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Team Sheet

Aldershot Town
1
Jake Cole
4
Adam McDonnell
Red card for Adam McDonnell
6
George Elokobi
8
Luke Howell
9
Scott Rendell (c)
12
Dominic Bernard

Gallagher '90

17
Regan Booty
20
Bernard Mensah
21
Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong
22
Rollin Menayese
26
John Goddard

Grant '71

Salford City FC
1
Chris Neal
2
Scott Wiseman
3
Ibou Touray
Yellow card for Ibou Touray
4
Gus Mafuta
Yellow card for Gus Mafuta
5
Liam Hogan (c)
Yellow card for Liam Hogan (c)
6
Carl Piergianni
7
Matt Green

Gaffney '77

8
Lois Maynard
15
Devonte Redmond
1 goals for Devonte Redmond
20
Mani Dieseruvwe

Rooney '83

23
Nathan Pond
Substitutes
13
Will Mannion
10
Matt McClure
16
Jake Gallagher
24
Alex Finney
25
Reece Grant
Substitutes
12
Max Crocombe
9
Adam Rooney
10
Danny Lloyd
26
James Jones
30
Rory Gaffney
Managers
Manager - Gary Waddock
Managers
Manager - Graham Alexander
Match Officals
Referee - Sam Purkiss
Assistant Referee - Dan Bonneywell
Assistant Referee - Scott Williams
Fourth Official - Jack Oxenham

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Match
Report

Not a classic afternoon’s football at the EBB Stadium perhaps, but that didn’t matter to those Salford City supporters who made yet another long journey. A first half goal from Devonte Redmond – his first for the club – secured a fourth successive victory, built on the solid foundation of another clean sheet. With promotion rivals picking up points elsewhere this was a crucial win for The Ammies who are now just four points behind leaders Leyton Orient as the race for promotion heats up.

Not surprisingly manager Graham Alexander named an unchanged starting eleven again, with Adam Rooney among the substitutes having recovered from injury.

A blustery afternoon in Hampshire and for the first ten minutes or so the ball largely spent its time in Salford’s half of the pitch. The Shots knocked possession around neatly enough, yet were unable to make any impact at all inside the final third.

Salford took a little time to warm up, but the first opening of the day went their way. In the 15th minute Redmond’s free-kick from the left was flicked on, falling to Liam Hogan just beyond the far post. A touch inside found Lois Maynard but from 15 yards out he lashed a rising effort over the crossbar.

Within a minute Scott Wiseman had lofted in a cross from the right and Ibou Touray got in a header that bounced well wide of Jake Cole’s right-hand upright. The Ammies created another opportunity in the 16th minute as Maynard, despite being impeded, threaded a pass out to Matt Green on the right. A low ball inside picked out Mani Dieseruvwe who took a touch before hitting a low shot straight at Cole.

Aldershot’s attacking efforts had amounted to very little so far, with the visiting defence again looking resolute. Their best efforts came when Bernard Mensah moved into some space, letting fly from nearly only 30 yards only to see his effort soar high over the crossbar. The home side pushed forward again on twenty-five minutes with Mensah playing John Goddard into space on the left. A jink past Carl Piergianni seemed to have opened up a path to goal, but Salford’s centre-half recovered to get in a great blocking challenge.

The Ammies countered, with Touray advancing on the left before crossing into the middle. The ball seemed to skim off the head of Aldershot’s Rollin Menayese, dropping over the stranded Cole and on course to put Salford ahead. Former Wolves defender George Elekobi had his own ideas about that, executing a perfect overhead kick to clear the ball bare inches before it crossed the line.

A magnificent bit a defending from the Cameroonian as Salford’s attacking threat continued to grow. They could have gone ahead just past the half-hour as Maynard got up to flick on a cross that dropped to the far post. Liam Hogan stretched to get in a diving header but could only direct the ball into the side-netting.

The game got a bit scrappy for a while as the wind made its presence felt. Salford had been on top so far but a touch of confusion almost cost them dear five minutes before the break. Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong collected a short pass on Aldershot’s left, only for the assistant’s flag to go up on the far side. Salford’s defence hesitated to a man, awaiting the referee to confirm a free-kick but the man in charge waved play on. Apparently, the ball had arrived with Berkeley-Agyepong off a Salford player and he now had a clear run on goal. An unchallenged advance into the left-hand side of the area followed but the shot on goal was saved by the previously untested Chris Neal who managed to divert the angled effort behind for a corner. McDonnell took the set-piece but Goddard’s attempt to place a shot inside the far post was a good idea that was badly executed.

Something of a let-off for The Ammies and they responded to it positively, taking the lead just before half-time. Touray again attacked on the left, this-time playing a neat one-two with Dieseruvwe before getting in his cross. The ball fell for Gus Mafuta whose shot was blocked before REDMOND collected possession. There were defenders closing in but the former Manchester United man kept his cool, steering a low fifteen-yarder between Cole and his right-hand post.

A deserved lead for Salford, scored right on the brink of the interval, and Redmond’s first goal for the club might yet turn out to be a priceless one.

HALF-TIME: ALDERSHOT TOWN 0 SALFORD CITY 1

Having edged ahead Salford looked determined to add to their advantage as the second half got underway. Within two minutes of the restart A left-footed Touray corner from the right was headed towards goal by Dieseruvwe, but despite close attention from Salford players keeper Cole saved and held on to the ball. Within another minute Touray repeated the trick, and this time Nathan Pond arrived just outside the six-yard box to steer a header inside the far post. Celebrations got undeway on and off the pitch, but they were cut short as the assistant’s raised flag caught the attention of the referee. The goal was disallowed, much to the chagrin of Salford’s players, and it seems that a Matt Green foul on Shots' keeper Cole was the reason.

Still just the one goal advantage then, and Salford’s bright start to the second half seemed to dissipate after the disappointment of Pond’s disallowed effort.

For their part, Aldershot were still struggling to create chances, although in the fifty-fourth minute Goddard’s pass inside from the left found Mensah. The twenty-yarder that followed was firmly hit but straight at Neal who made a comfortable save.

A couple of minutes later The Shots went closer after Hogan was harshly yellow-carded for a barge on Berkeley-Agyepong. Goddard took the free-kick, left-of-centre and 25-yards out, and his effort was heading towards Neal’s top right-hand corner. The keeper moved quickly to tip the shot away and then also managed to catch the ball as it dropped back down.

Close for Aldershot and there were signs that the tide might be turning their way as Salford began to defend deeper. That solid back five were still proving to be a considerable obstacle, but the home side certainly looked more of an attacking threat, especially compared to their somewhat tepid first-half showing.

Cole saved a Redmond free-kick after that but in the sixty-fourth minute Aldershot had the ball in the net. A neat bit of play moved possession from right to left, with Berkeley-Agyepong finding McDonnell in space. A neat, angled finish beat Neal, but the assistant’s flag was up and Salford’s narrow lead was still intact.

With nineteen minutes to play the lively Berkeley-Agyepong nicked possession from Maynard inside Salford territory before heading towards goal. With options to choose from, he elected to have a go from twenty-five yards and failed to hit the target.

The Shots continued to pump balls into Salford’s box, yet nothing clear-cut came of it, despite a few nervous moments for the travelling supporters. Gary Waddock's side worked hard, had some possession, but apart from a couple of isolated chances failed to find the little spark of inspiration they so badly needed.

The Ammies were in no mood to give anything away but with just four minutes left a spell of possession for the home side ended with McDonnell trying his luck from eighteen yards out and right of centre. Neal was behind the decently struck effort all the way and there would be no leveller for Aldershot.

Frustrating for McDonnell and there was worse to come for him during the penultimate minute. Scott Wiseman’s surging run on the right looked set to take him into acres of space until his shirt was tugged by McDonnell and the second yellow card that followed was inevitable.

Touray launched the free-kick from deep on the right into the box and Piergianni got a touch that dropped just wide of the far post.

There would be one more opportunity for the home side to rescue a point as Regan Booty’s free-kick was headed on by Menayese, only for Maynard to clear Salford’s lines acrobatically.

That was all the ten-man Shots could muster and when the whistle went Salford City had three more deserved points in the bag.

FULL-TIME: ALDERSHOT TOWN 0 SALFORD CITY 1

It’s all about results, particularly at this stage of the season, and The Ammies have had a very timely return to form. Four straight wins, all without conceding a goal, have reinvigorated the club’s promotion challenge just when it seemed to be faltering.

Today’s first-half performance could have produced more than one goal and there were some moments of concern after the interval when relegation haunted Aldershot searched for an equaliser. Not too many though as the defence did its job, again, and the whole team worked tremendously hard to claim their spoils.

Sometimes you have to grind our results, especially away from home, and although it might always be too pretty, it’s certainly been effective of late.

We have eight more games to play, with twenty-four points up for grabs. Other clubs might be in slightly better positions, but form and nerve will decide who ends up claiming that single automatic promotion place. The Ammies, as they have proved again today, have plenty of both…

Attendance: 1,668 (approximately 100 from Salford)

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