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Team Sheet

Alfreton Town
1
Chris Elliott
2
Tom Allan
3
Bradley Wood
4
Craig Disley (c)

Everington '58

5
Luke Shiels
1 goals for Luke Shiels Yellow card for Luke Shiels
6
Lee Beevers
7
Ryan Jennings
Yellow card for Ryan Jennings

Marshall '68

8
Tom Platt
9
Craig Westcarr
10
Brendon Daniels

Sharp '68

11
Cieron Keane
Yellow card for Cieron Keane
Salford City FC
1
Max Crocombe
2
Michael Nottingham
3
Ibou Touray
4
Scott Burton
Yellow card for Scott Burton

Allen '76

5
Danny Livesey
1 goals for Danny Livesey Yellow card for Danny Livesey
6
Lois Maynard (c)
7
Nathan Arnold
8
Gus Mafuta
1 goals for Gus Mafuta
9
Mike Phenix
Yellow card for Mike Phenix
10
Jack Redshaw
1 goals for Jack Redshaw Yellow card for Jack Redshaw

Dudley '76

11
Tom Walker

Haughton '79

Substitutes
12
Sam Topliss
14
Kegan Everington
15
James Baxendale
16
Chris Sharp
17
Marcus Marshall
1 goals for Marcus Marshall Yellow card for Marcus Marshall
Substitutes
12
Richie Allen
14
Mani Dieseruvwe
15
Nick Haughton
16
Anthony Dudley
17
Josh Askew
Managers
Manager - Chris Moyses
Managers
Joint Manager - Bernard Morley
Joint Manager - Anthony Johnson
Match Officals
Referee - Aaron Jackson
Assistant Referee - Matthew Scholes
Assistant Referee - Paul Ince

Close Team Sheet

Match
Report

Salford City returned to winning ways at the Impact Arena this afternoon and in truth the 3-2 final score didn’t do justice to a powerful and controlled performance. The Ammies led 3-1 at half-time then restricted the home side to odd half-chances after the break until an injury-time strike made the game look far closer a competition than it actually was.

Managers Anthony Johnson & Bernard Morley were forced to make changes from the side that lost at York last Saturday. The central defensive partnership of Liam Hogan & Carl Piergianni were absent today through injury and suspension respectively, replaced by Danny Livesey (starting a league game for the first time since August) & Lois Maynard (dropping back from midfield). Further upfield Tom Walker & ex-Alfreton winger Nathan Arnold patrolled the flanks, with Gus Mafuta and back-from-suspension Scott Burton in the middle of the park. Mike Phenix and Jack Redshaw formed the strike-force with Richie Allen and Mani Dieseruvwe among the substitutes.

A reshuffled defence and a change of formation to 4-4-2 but the Ammies took any disruption in their stride, pressing Alfreton back from the start. The same sharp play that marked the opening twenty minutes of last week’s game at Bootham Crescent was back in evidence and the visitors very nearly went ahead as early as the 3rd minute. A threaded pass sent Redshaw into the box, left-of-centre, but his shot was well saved by Town keeper Chris Elliott. The ball went loose but Elliott was alert to the danger, just about doing enough to prevent Nathan Arnold from tapping into the empty net.

A corner was the result, followed by another and although both were dealt with Salford were back on the attack in the 5th minute. This time Arnold delivered a corner from the left into the near-side of the 6-yard box and the ball spun off Michael Nottingham’s head and up into the air. A crowd of players gathered in anticipation of gravity initiating the return journey and it was DANNY LIVESEY who got up highest to nod home between Elliott and his right-hand post - a first ever Salford goal for the former Barrow man.

Early stages but that goal was no more than Salford deserved for their determined an enterprising start to the afternoon. Home keeper Elliott needed treatment for an apparent facial injury before play could restart, with the game held up for almost five minutes.

Alfreton had yet to find a foothold in this match but they were slowly settling and when Brendon Daniels looked to play in Craig Westcarr, Livesey blocked the path of the ball with his hand to pick up the first yellow card of the afternoon.

The game was opening up a little and after an Alfreton free-kick was cleared Cieron Keane was dispossessed outside the penalty area. Arnold took advantage, launching a long ball forward to the right where Phenix’s run into the area was only curtailed by perfectly timed challenge from David Shiels.
Just past the quarter-hour mark Town's Tom Platt had a go from outside the area but the effort sailed high and wide of the target.

Some encouragement for Alfreton but Salford were looking the stronger side, moving the ball around well and looking reassuringly solid. The home side’s main goal threat seemed to come from set-pieces and they were proving adept at winning free-kicks in decent positions. In the 19th minute Daniels went to ground then stepped up to slam a low free-kick into the defensive wall. No luck from that one but within two minutes Town had another, wide on the left and this one proved to be far more productive. Daniels whipped a delivery into the middle where SHIELS arrived untracked to plant a header past Max Crocombe.

Not great defending from Salford’s point of view and within just two more minutes Alfreton won another free-kick, this time on the right. Once again Daniels was the man to take it and his cross beyond the far post was headed wide from a tight angle by Tom Allan.

Undaunted by the setback Salford set about restoring their lead and almost managed to do just that within a couple of minutes. A crisp passing move gave Arnold possession on the edge of the box and he slid a neat ball to the right for Redshaw. Another good opening for Salford’s top-scorer but Elliott thwarted him again, getting down to push the low effort away from goal.

The Ammies continued to press and in the 25th minute Walker met Arnold’s ball out to the left with a perfectly weighted first-time cross that caught out the home defence. This time REDSHAW moved into space before tucking neatly past Elliott from six yards out to record his 15th goal of the season. Alfreton's appeals for offside fell on deaf ears and it did look as if Redshaw had timed his run perfectly to meet that peach of a cross.

Again Town looked to respond and a snap-shot from Ryan Jennings on the right flashed into the side-netting of Crocombe’s goal. A couple more attacks foundered on Salford’s defence and 7 minutes before the break it was time for Salford to return to the offensive. Redshaw made space for himself on the left before picking out Mafuta whose left-of-centre 20-yarder deflected off Shiels and rolled harmlessly through to Elliott.

At the other end Allan’s pass into the left-hand side of the box found Platt whose low ball across the face of goal had to be touched wide for a corner just beyond the far post. Both sides were playing some good stuff as the half drew to a conclusion and for Salford Walker’s deft touch earned a chance to shoot from outside the box. There was power behind the 22-yarder but the ball soared high into the air, over the away end and out of sight.

There were close to a couple of hundred travelling Ammies behind Elliott’s goal and a collective breath was held in the 44th minute after Burton’s robust challenge on Allan. The combative midfielder has just returned to action following a seven game ban for back-to-back straight reds over the Christmas period and there was more than a suspicion of studs showing this time. Fortunately the referee contented himself with a yellow card and Burton got the slice of luck that had evaded him during his previous two appearances.

Five minutes of additional time was indicated at the tail end of the first-half and The Ammies used it well, establishing a two-goal lead to take into the break. Salford's third was all about the pace and power of Phenix who got into the box on the left before making it to the line and drilling a low ball across the face of goal. Redshaw couldn’t quite get the required contact at the near post but MAFUTA had no such issues at the far, slamming a low 5-yard finish past Elliott to score his first Salford City goal.

That was it for an entertaining first-half and Salford had certainly made the something approaching the most of their chances this week, with their half-time advantage thoroughly merited.

HALF TIME: ALFRETON TOWN 1 SALFORD CITY 3

Alfreton needed to get back into the game as soon as possible and in the 47th minute they very nearly halved Salford’s lead. Daniels slid a ball out to Keane on the left and his low cross found its way towards the far post. Jennings and Ibou Touray tussled to get there first but in the event neither could get in a decisive touch, with the ball rolling away to safety.

A scare for the Ammies but they slammed down the shutters after that, defending diligently and denying Alfreton time or space to carve out chances. In the 59th minute Bradley Wood’s surging run on the right was curtailed by a clip from Redshaw who became the third Salford player to go into the referee’s notebook.

The free-kick came to nothing and in the 64th minute Salford had a opportunity to make the three points all but safe. Arnold weaved his way in from the right before nudging a square pass to Mafuta who dragged a low effort just wide of Elliott’s right-hand post.

The game could have been killed off there and then but to be it's also fair to say that Alfreton’s attempts to find a way to goal were not yielding results. The Ammies were successfully closing the game down, patiently waiting for the odd chance to present itself at one end and snuffing out Town forays at the other.

With nineteen minutes left Walker, again having an impressive afternoon, latched onto a pass out to the left before squaring low inside. Mafuta nudged the ball back to the left where Redshaw hit a low angled drive inches wide of the far post.

In the 76th minute Salford replaced Burton & Redshaw with Dudley & Allen, making his 100th competitive appearance for the club.

Alfreton’s frustration was beginning to show and 9 minutes from the end Marcus Marshall’s heavy challenge on Mafuta earned him a yellow card that might have been a touch lenient. The Ammies were very firmly in control and Haughton’s shot was deflected wide after a cross from the left was headed down into his path.

The game seemed to be drifting towards its conclusion but Salford rarely like to do things the simple way and lost a little of their defensive discipline late on. In the 86th minute Nottingham’s back-pass from the right-back position put Crocombe under pressure as former Salford striker Chris Sharp closed him down quickly. The subsequent hurried clearance crashed into the Alfreton substitute before going out for a goal-kick.

Time was running out for Alfreton but they plugged away and in the final minute of the 90 Allan’s cross was flicked on by Shiels but Sharp couldn’t get in a decisive touch towards the far post.

That seemed to be about that but deep into injury time Alfreton snatched a goal back as Keane found space on the left to cross low towards the far post and MARSHALL got there to slot home from close range.

A late blow but there was no time left for Alfreton to press for an unlikely equaliser and Salford’s recent run of away-day disappointments had come to an end.

FULL TIME: ALFRETON TOWN 2 SALFORD CITY 3

A vital win for the Ammies as even a draw this afternoon would have seen them knocked off the division’s top spot for the first time since late October. Injury and suspension bit into the squad today but the importance of strength in depth was underlined as players stepped in to do their bit. Danny Livesey showed few signs of rustiness despite that long lay-off and Scott Burton returned to action seamlessly, doing the things he does best.

As at York last Saturday the travelling supporters were treated to some great football, especially during the first half. The difference today was that some of the chances that came along were taken and a very useful lead had been built by half-time.

The second half was a textbook exercise in how to protect a lead and there were also enough chances created to push the game far beyond Alfreton’s reach. At virtually no time after the break did Salford’s grip on the game weaken, with a hard-working Alfreton side having to rely on the odd set-piece or half-chance to apply any real pressure at all.

There will be some disappointment with that late goal conceded but the most important thing this afternoon is the points and those three most welcome guests had taken up their seats on the team coach long before the final whistle.

An accomplished performance from Salford against a decent side and two home games over the next seven days offer an opportunity to get some points on the board. You can’t take anything for granted in this division but this was a splendid response to recent setbacks and provides a great foundation for what promises to be a big week.

Twelve games to go and we need to maintain this level of performance for all of them as the season moves towards what looks like being a cracker of a conclusion.

A special mention for Richie Allen, introduced as a second half substitute to record his 100th competitive appearance for the club.


GOALS:

0-1 Danny LIVESEY (5th min)
1-1 David SHIELS (21st min)
1-2 Jack REDSHAW (25th min)
1-3 Gus MAFUTA (45+2 mins)
2-3 Marcus MARSHALL (90+3 mins)

Booked: Livesey, Burton, Redshaw, Phenix

Attendance; 984 (183 Salford)

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