Salisbury FC moves on to the grand final of the Wiltshire Senior Cup after beating city rivals Laverstock and Ford FC 6-0 on neutral ground at Melksham.
But Laverstock should, with an average age of 21, keep their heads high as they did well to compete with a strong Salisbury side and deserved several goals of their own.
Laverstock manager Liam McConnell said he was delighted with their attitude and performance.
“A great opportunity for us to pit our wits against a title-chasing group currently three divisions higher,” he said.
“We deserved our shot last night and all of the squad should be pleased with the work.”
Lavvy came out swinging and played physical football, but on six minutes, Salisbury’s Luke Hopper put Whites in the lead.
Whites possessed more of the ball and had more controlled attacks, but had to fight as Laverstock kept their shape well, ready to counterattack.
Whites had a couple of good opportunities to score before Laverstock hit back. On 28 minutes, Lewis Wykes headed a long ball to Chae Sykes on the wing who put it into the box, where Wykes squared it to Russell Jones who nearly curved it into the far corner.
A few minutes later, Laverstock had the ball in the back of the Whites net, after Wykes chested the rebound in from Sykes’ shot. Unfortunately, it was deemed offside.
The next Salisbury-goal came just minutes later after Hopper got a toe on a Benson freekick.
For the remainder of the first half, both teams had chances and a level score would have been fair, but 2-0 it was, after 45 minutes.
It only took five minutes for Whites to score their third through Benson from close range after a great link-up play.
On 53 minutes, Laverstock’s Adam Bourner’s free kick forced Jake Hallett to stretch out to keep it 3-0.
Three became four on 57 minutes, when Fitchett scored his first for the night from an obvious handball, yards from the linesman.
Moments later, Sykes nearly got Laverstock on the board but narrowly missed Jones’ ball into the box.
Claudio Herbert made it 5-0 through an individual performance on 60 minutes, before Sykes once again had a huge chance to give Lavvy a goal, but his shot from close range was saved by Hallett.
As the game went on, Salisbury forced the away side to chase the ball, and eventually Fitchett got his second for the night on 76 minutes which finalised the score.
Before the end, both keepers had to make quality saves and with some more cool, Laverstock could have hit the net several times throughout the game.
“We are disappointed we didn’t make our chances count. We created more clear-cut chances than them in the first half, which was pleasing but not surprising,” Liam said.
“It shows Salisbury respected us by playing a full-strength side and it was a great opportunity to go toe-to-toe with them, which is exactly what we did.”
Salisbury’s manager Steve Claridge praised Laverstock and said he was scratching his head, wondering how they managed to not score.
“Defensively, not convincing for us at all, but take nothing away from them,” he said.
“They certainly didn’t deserve to get beaten 6-0: I thought they did themselves proud.
“We’ve got a big game coming up, so I can understand why the lads maybe weren’t at 100% where they needed to be.
“But I thought Laverstock were excellent, if it had finished 6-4, I think it would have been a fairer reflection of the game.”
Despite 6-0, Laverstock never gave up and just lacked that little bit of edge in the finishing moments and the team should be very happy with their run in this year’s Senior Cup.
Salisbury now have the chance to go for gold against Swindon Supermarine. This weekend they travel to Metropolitan Police, two points behind them in the league with a game in hand.