Paulton came from behind to once again prove a bit of a bogey side for Steve Claridge’s Salisbury team.

A neat Rovers move involving Ali Sen, Ed Butcher and Ben Bament saw Jacob Sloggett waste a chance, blasting over, whilst the home side then peppered the Paulton goal, with Warren Bentley shooting over. Salisbury went ahead on 26 minutes as Bentley put through Cameron Allen and Captain, Aaron Dawson, fired home.

Sloggett then saw his shot fisted away by home keeper, Will Batt, whose follow-up error gave the ball to Bament, who raced on and chipped past the hapless keeper to level. Paulton’s young debutant keeper, Archie Matthews, pulled off a fine save from Allen’s curling goal-bound volley.

Salisbury started the second half on fire, with Dave Gerrard, then Bentley, driving wide. Rovers gradually got back into the game, and Butcher twice brought saves from Batt. On 65 minutes, Paulton took the lead as Brad Abrahams’ long cross-field ball was superbly controlled by Sloggett, who held off his marker to shoot low past Batt.

The lead lasted a mere three minutes, as a fierce shot by Shaq Patrick was turned away by Matthews, with Bentley following up to thump the ball into the net. Matthews was again alert to stem Patrick, and Dawson hit the crossbar.

The home side were to rue that chance as Paulton broke down the right, Braeden Symes fed Bament to hold off several tackles to hit a cracking shot into Batt’s top left-hand corner of the net to grab the winner on 84 minutes.

Six wins and just one defeat have given Paulton Manager, John Rendell, and his coaching staff a positive note to go into the start of the BetVictor Southern League campaign, which starts on Saturday, 17th August with a trip to Evesham United. Rovers supporters live in hope for a much better season than the last couple of years.

Speaking of the results, Rendell said: “I am really pleased with the pre-season so far, every game has been a test and we have given a good account of ourselves each time. Even our one loss was against a very strong Welsh Premier outfit, Penybont, and we were excellent for the majority of the game.

“We will rest up now and recover from various knocks, bumps and bruises prior to our opening Southern League game away at Evesham United. I will have an eye on the FA Cup Pre-Preliminary game on Friday night (9th August) between Plymouth Parkway and Buckland Athletic, as we are away to the winners on Saturday, 24th August in the FA Cup Preliminary Round.

“I have arranged an open practice match for Saturday, 10th August (2 p.m. kick-off), to go through set pieces and to have a slightly more intense workout than a training session, before a social get-together in the clubhouse.”

Tony Walsh