Yate's FA Emirates Cup run came to an end after a game of 'what ifs', writes John Davis. What if a red card had been shown after an early foul on Ross Langworthy? What if the home side had taken more of their first chances? What if a penalty had not been given away to let Salisbury back into the game? What if the match official had blown the final whistle two minutes earlier?
The pace of Langworthy troubled the Salisbury defence from the start and perhaps Tom Whelan was lucky to escape with just a yellow card when he brought down the Yate winger in full flight for a clear shooting chance with only four minutes on the clock.
Yate then capitalised on Jake Hallett's shaky start in the Salisbury goal with several testing corners causing problems and one Josh Ford header going particularly close.
A storming run from Ollie Mehew took the young striker into the box on 37 minutes but this time Hallett was up to the task as he went full length to save the shot.
The home side took a deserved lead five minutes before the break. Hallett flapped at another Adam Price corner and when the ball was not cleared Ford claimed the final touch as the ball was scrambled over the line.
No doubt following some strong words from Steve Claridge, the visitors started the second half with much more purpose and determination and within a ten minute spell at the start of the second half had turned the game on its head.
First Chris Sheppard netted from the penalty spot after Zack Kotwica had been needlessly dragged down on the edge of the box and then Jacob Wannell had fired in through a group of defenders after receiving a short pass from Sheppard.
Salisbury, now playing with a high back line and pressing the ball at every opportunity, restricted Yate to quick break-outs with Price hitting the crossbar in one raid and Mehew only being prevented from getting in a close range shot by a last ditch tackle from Salisbury's Elliott Wheeler.
Whelan set up Lewis Benson for Salisbury's third goal right at the death before mayhem broke out during stoppage time and the game finished on a sour note. Wheeler caught Sam Boulton with a heavy tackle and, after most of the players had been involved in a mass flare-up, Salisbury's Wheeler and Darren Mullings and Yate's Mehew and Charlie Hitchings were shown red cards.
Yate star man: Joe Guest. Attendance: 252 Entertainment rating 4/5
Yate Town: Grimshaw, Evans, Keightley, Peare, Ford (Boulton 82 minutes), Hitchings, Price (Sims-Burgess 76 minutes), Guest, Mehew, Langworthy, Twyman. Subs not used: Kamara, Cann, Spruce, Rennie, Hawkins.
Despite the setback, the unbeaten league record still remains intact and will need defending when newcomers Moneyfields are the visitors to the Universal Components Stadium on Saturday, kick off 3.00 p.m.
Updated 12:56 - 23 Sep 2018 by Sebastian Parker