Salisbury City: Robbie Matthews eyes another promotion

Robbie Matthews in action for Salisbury City

Blue Square Bet South play-off semi-final first leg - Chelmsford v Salisbury

Melbourne Stadium
Tuesday, 30 April
19:45 BST
Live commentary on BBC Wiltshire, BBC Essex and BBC Sport website

Salisbury's Robbie Matthews is hoping to repeat the play-off success he had during his first spell at the club.

Part of the squad that was promoted in 2007, Matthews has helped the Whites to the Blue Square Bet South play-offs, where they will meet Chelmsford.

"Everyone was buzzing when we got promoted," he told BBC Wiltshire.

"When we got back it was like having a key to the city. Hopefully the lads can experience it again because you don't forget things like that."

The Whites' promotion to the Conference six years ago saw them become a full-time club, meaning Matthews abandoned his career as a bricklayer to concentrate on football.

However, two years after their play-off success, Salisbury found themselves in financial difficulty and were placed in administration.

Matthews moved on to join Kidderminster Harriers in 2009 and the following year they suffered a double demotion and points deduction after missing a deadline to pay creditors.

But the club has been rebuilt under the management of former player Darrell Clarke. They have come out of administration, while remaining full-time, and finished second in the table this season.

"No one expected us to have the season we've had," admitted Clarke.

"Nobody thought we'd be up there all season, but we have been.

"It's not only been a wonderful season but a wonderful three years. The chairman [William Harrison-Allan] is delighted and we're delighted. Now we just have to go that extra step."

Salisbury travel to Chelmsford on Tuesday in the semi-final first leg, before Saturday's return leg at the Ray Mac.

The aggregate winner will face either Dover or Eastleigh in the final.

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