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Page last updated at 08:18 GMT, Tuesday, 3 May 2011 09:18 UK

Salisbury secure promotion in shoot-out drama

Darrell Clarke
Player-manager Clarke first joined Salisbury City back in 2007

Salisbury booked their place in Blue Square Bet South after a thrilling Zamaretto Premier division play-off final win at Hednesford.

The Wiltshire club won 3-2 on penalties after the tie had ended 2-2 after extra-time.

Whites goalkeeper Tommy Smith saved two spot-kicks and manager Darrell Clarke was full of praise for his young side.

"It's an average age of 20-21 and they've got promotion. That's ten months work gone into a shoot-out."

After Salisbury had gone close to opening the scoring, Hednesford took the lead in the second-half through Nick Wellecomme but Matt Wright equalised six minutes from time.

The hosts again went in front in the 106th minute through Danny Quinn, but Ben Adelsbury's late long-range effort took the tie to penalties.

Smith's save from Quinn won the match and sparked scenes of Salisbury celebrations.

"The boys never died," said Clarke who took the managerial reins in August following Salisbury's two division demotion from the Blue Square Premier.

"It's an unbelievable feeling. I'm just really, really pleased for everybody at the football club,

"I promised the fans I'd get us up and I did it."

If I'd had any more energy I would have taken it on but I just hit it!
Ben Adelsbury

Smith, who signed from Portsmouth last summer, admitted he did his best to put the penalty takers off.

"I just tried to stand up as long as possible and then tried to put him off by moving up and down!

"It's great for the club, great for all the lads, just a great feeling.

"We've got a great bunch of fans. They've been here all year for us, through the thick and thin, the ups and downs."

Midfielder Adelsbury, one of the survivors of last season's Blue Square Premier campaign, was pleased that his 118th minute rocket took the game to a penalty shoot-out.

"If I'd had any more energy I would have taken it on but I just hit it!

"We've been practising (penalties) during the week. Bring on Conference South next year!"

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see also
Salisbury suffer double demotion
10 Jun 10 |  Salisbury
Salisbury name Clarke as manager
04 Aug 10 |  Non League

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