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Salisbury chairman praises bumper crowd

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Salisbury chairman Dave Phillips has thanked a magnificent Bank Holiday crowd of 1,485 at the Ray Mac for their "amazing" support.

After a great Bank Holiday Monday for the new club, with Salisbury FC beating city rivals Bemerton Heath Harlequins 3-1 to return to the top of the Sydenhams Wessex League Premier Division, Dave says the club are now waiting to hear from the league to confirm it is a record attendance for the competition.

"It couldn't have gone much better all round," said Dave. "We got the points and entertained a great crowd, the size of which took us all a bit by surprise. We had hoped for around 1,000 but to get nearly 1,500 was staggering. We are waiting to hear back from the league about it being a record crowd but I would think it has to be.

"It was great seeing the main stand and the terraces so full and a bonus to have all our hospitality boxes filled and three matchday sponsors in place.

"We are extremely grateful for the amazing support, both from the fans and the business community, notably the three match sponsors, the Salisbury Journal, The Cathedral Hotel and Bits & Pieces. On top of that, we had a cheque from the Supporters Club for £3,000, which means they have paid the £5,000 for the new mower in full after an earlier £2,000 donation. It is a fantastic gesture.

"After all the hard work that has gone in from everyone, from the board and our club administrator Mandy Woolford, from volunteers and the Supporters Club, it was really heartening to see so many people responding by pouring through the turnstiles.

"I always knew that people wanted their club back and the Bemerton game certainly proved that. We are grateful to Harlequins for agreeing to bring the game forward to the Monday Bank Holiday afternoon from the scheduled Tuesday night date because we knew it would enable more fans to attend and would be a money spinner for the club.

"I think the way we coped on the day with our stewarding, at the turnstiles and the tea huts, at the bar and in the boxes, and by providing hot meals for more than 150 people, shows what we can do.

"I am extremely grateful to all those who gave their time and energy on the day to make it all happen, and would like also to thank Jamie Eldridge, who sang his heart out as the half-time entertainment."

Now Dave is hoping for some more 1,000-plus crowds as the club go into the New Year and the second half of what has so far been a successful inaugural season.

"If we stay in contention at the top of the table and remain in the FA Vase, I reckon we could see some more big gates," added Dave.

"Steve Claridge is producing an entertaining side, a winning side, and fans are voting with their feet. Here's to a great New Year for the club and all our supporters."

Source: salisburyfc.co.uk

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