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Salisbury striker wants that Wembley feeling again

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For Salisbury striker Ashley Jarvis, the FA Vase conjures up mixed feelings.

Ashley was part of fellow Sydenhams Wessex League club Sholing's Wembley win over West Auckland Town 18 months ago but didn't make it on to the pitch.

Now the 27-year-old Southampton-born striker is looking for a return - and this time get on to the hallowed turf.

"I scored 36 goals that season at Sholing and played in nearly every round up to the semi-final, so getting dropped was a bit of a nightmare," Ashley recalls.

"I was on the bench for the final and thought I would get on but then our centre half got injured just before half time and our right back just after. We were clinging on to a 1-0 lead after that so the manager put on a holding midfield players and that was that.

"I was proud I was part of a winning squad but not getting on after the season I had took away a bit of the gloss, I have to admit."

Sholing began their run by beating Winchester City, playing nine matches in total before lifting the trophy. Having experienced it all, Ashley knows just what a Vase run can do for a club, with Sholing also surfing that winning feeling to secure the Wessex League title that season.

So far from being a distraction to Whites' ambition of winning the Wessex League themselves this season, he believes Saturday's second round tie against AFC St Austell - semi-finalists last season - can give the club a new energy and impetus.

"Wembley was a big incentive and everyone was really buzzing," he says. "Everyone wanted to be part of it. It was a good feeling.

"I like to think that we have something like it going here at Salisbury. I believe with the squad we have, all over the park, we could do really well, though obviously St Austell are a good side and it's going to be tough.

"What will help us is having a big crowd behind us. There aren't many clubs at this level that get the numbers through the gate that we do. It's a big thing having them as the 12th man."

For the club, the ambition is clear - to make it through to Monday's third round draw and keep the winning run going.

For Ashley, who was a youth team player at Brighton and Hove Albion when Whites manager Steve Claridge was a first-teamer there, there is a personal, longer-term goal.

"I'd love to go back to Wembley and get on this time," says Ashley. "Definitely."

Source: www.salisburyfc.co.uk

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