Not sure whether the goal fest had anything to do with the similar shirt colour's, with Salisbury turning out in orange against our normal red, but a seven goal thriller it was although sadly for United the seventh was conceded and defeat ensued.
Garry made one change to the victorious side of two days earlier as Ram Marwa came in from the bench to replace Danny Allen-Page who had been injured at Ebbsfleet, his place in the bench being taken by the returning Justin Cochrane.
In the hot bank holiday sun it took several minutes before the game got going and Salisbury really should have taken the lead just before the ten minute mark when Chris Flood outpaced Matt Ruby and made space for himself in the area only for his goalbound shot to be cleared off the line by his own team-mate in the shape of Matt Tubbs, who incidentally was flagged for offside anyway.
Minutes later Tubbs should have given his side the lead, a quickly taken free-kick in the centre circle caught the United defence unawares and Tubbs raced through but with just Simon Overland to beat he screwed his shot wide of the target. United's first effort on goal followed shortly when Adam Green latched onto a poor clearance and hit a 25 yard shot that James Bittner comfortably held.
Ten minutes later an excellent reaction save from Overland kept the scoresheet blank when he turned over a point blank Stuart Anderson header from just six yards after the City man rose highest to meet a near post corner. Minutes later Tubbs was again on the run, this time holding off Matt Ruby before before firing wide from the edge of the area as Overland advanced to narrow his angle.
Ten minutes of the half remained and when Green got to the ball first in the middle of the park, his tackle taking the ball into the run of Dale Binns who cut inside the area and fired across the face of Bittner's goal and agonisingly wide of the far post. This chance proved a spark for United and just four minutes later they had the lead. Fitzgerald charged the ball down on the edge of the area and despite appearing to be fouled play continued and Esmond James fired across Bittner into the far corner for his second senior goal in United colours.
Sadly, as had happened on Saturday United then seemed to go to sleep and just four minutes later the game was once again level. City's Darrell Clarke made his way into the area, shrugged off Cadmore's challenge and then managed to cross the ball past Overland to Tubbs who headed in whilst standing virtually on the line, despite despairing looks to the assistant for an offside flag a goal it was.
Conceding on the brink of half time was bad enough, sadly it seems United stayed in the changing rooms as within seven minutes Overland had been beaten twice more. First up was that man Tubbs again, Ram Marwa gave away a free-kick 20 yards from goal and when the ball was touched right to the City striker his effort appeared to shoot under the jumping wall and through Overland into the United net. Worse was to come three minutes later when Robbie Sinclair broke away on the right and crossed to the near post where Chris Flood was quick to turn the ball past Overland from close range.
Going two goals behind seemed to awaken the home side and good work from substitute Toby Little on the left found Marwa who chested down to an on-coming James Mulley but his effort was far too high from the edge of the area. Just after the hour mark United did indeed get themselves back in the hunt, a corner from the left side was headed upwards by Ruby, George Daly attempted a far post volley that was controlled and fired home by Fitzgerald duly reducing the deficit.
Almost instantly United were chasing Tubbs again as he latched onto a long punt down the left channel, this time Overland was equal to his effort making a fine catch diving to his left. Tubbs was again close to his hat-trick minutes later when he got his head to a Sean Clohessy centre but this time he could not hit the target.
Just nine minutes remained and the game was all square once more. Justin Cochrane played the ball to Binns who was now running the right side, he outpaced Luke Prosser before firing across Bittner with his weaker right foot and into the far corner of the City net.
Sadly for United once more an instant reply was forthcoming and this time Tubbs made no mistake in securing his hat-trick. A cross into the United box looked to be cleared by Binns who appeared to be grabbed by the neck and floored, no whistle was forthcoming and when the ball found it's way straight back to Tubbs in the left channel he entered the box where Binns had been and rifled an unstoppable shot past Overland to secure maximum spoils for the Wiltshire side.
Report by Kevin Watts. Photos by Ray Peploe.
Highlights courtesy of FC Video
United Man of the Match: Scott Fitzgerald.