On song Boro close the gap on leaders Oxford
Boro 3 Salisbury City 1Boro closed the gap on leaders Oxford as they overpowered Salisbury at Broadhall Way.The opening exchanges proved to be disappointing for the home support as Boro were unable to break down a well drilled Salisbury side,
Boro 3 Salisbury City 1
Boro closed the gap on leaders Oxford as they overpowered Salisbury at Broadhall Way.
The opening exchanges proved to be disappointing for the home support as Boro were unable to break down a well drilled Salisbury side, preferring to resort to the long ball on too many occasions.
Indeed it took 16 minutes for the first clear cut effort on goal and it was one which should have seen Boro go ahead. Charlie Griffin created the chance with a header which put Andy Drury in the clear 12 yards out. His pass to the left found Yemi Odubade and although it looked easier to score, the front man appeared to stumble with the goal at his mercy and keeper Bittner made the easiest of saves.
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Just two minutes later Boro threatened again and once more it was Odubade who was in the right place, unleashing a shot following a neat free kick which took a deflection before going wide of Bittner’s right hand post.
With Boro building up a head of steam, the game was unexpectedly halted for three minutes when a corner flag was broken and the backroom staff struggled to find a replacement. The ensuing drinks break allowed Boro to regroup and they continued to turn the screw against a Salisbury side who showed little attacking invention.
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Darren Murphy played a neat one-two with Odubade and was only denied a goal when his poor first touch allowed Bittner to make a brave diving save at his feet. Murphy was again in the thick of the action on 39 minutes when he saw a rasping shot go just wide. A goal looked inevitable and it came, not from a neat passing move but a more direct route.
A free kick two minutes from the break by Henry looked to heading nowhere as it was lofted into a pack of players. But the visitors failed to deal with an awkward bounce, and although Murphy was unable to make connection with his header it was Roberts who sneaked in to nod the ball over Bittner and in.
With their game plan in tatters at the break, Salisbury came out in the second half with more aggressive intent and they silenced the home support with a shock leveller on 53 minutes. Less than 30 seconds earlier City had rung the changes with a double substitution and it was one of the new faces who came on to hurt Boro, Chris Flood pouncing after a break caught Boro light at the break to score with his first touch of the game.
An immediate response was required and the home side hit back. Odubade came close with a good effort on 58 minutes before Charlie Griffin inevitably netted against his old side on the hour.
The lively Odubade was again the creator, his fine run and pass across the box finding Griffin and to the delight of the home crowd he turned his marker before finding space to calmly slot into the bottom corner.
The goal knocked the stuffing out of the visitors and their hopes of a point evaporated as they lost their grip on the contest.
But the win was only made certain on 83 minutes when Boro’s quick thinking proved too much for tiring City. And again it was a case of an inspired substitution as Chris Beardsley netted with his first touch. A throw from the right by Henry found Odubade and his ball was controlled by Beardsley before being drilled in across the face of goal.
There was still time for Odubade to fire just wide late on as his lack of a richly goal proved the only disappointment on a day in which Boro Dominated and got the three points they deserved.
Boro: Day, Laird, Murphy, Griffin (Vincenti 90), Odubade, Byrom, Roberts, Brough, Drury (Beardsley 81), Bostwick, Henry (Ashton 89)
Salisbury: Bittner, Anderson, Brown, Oastler, Ruddick (Flood 52), Webb, Cox (Tubbs 51), Clohessy, Turley, Sinclair, Clarke.