S a l f o r d
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Salford City football Club

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Team Sheet

Barrow
1
Paul Farman
3
Patrick Brough
Yellow card for Patrick Brough
5
Matt Platt
Yellow card for Matt Platt
11
Josh Kay
13
Tom White

Devitt 79'

14
James Jones
17
Will Harris
24
Remeao Hutton
28
Ollie Banks (C)
31
Kgosi Ntlhe

Wakeling 67'

35
Jordan Stevens

James 67'

Salford City FC
1
Tom King
2
Donald Love
Yellow card for Donald Love

McAleny 82'

4
Jason Lowe
5
Ash Eastham (C)
6
Corrie Ndaba
7
Ryan Watson
8
Matthew Lund

Kelly 79'

10
Ash Hunter
1 goals for Ash Hunter
16
Jordan Turnbull
Yellow card for Jordan Turnbull
19
Matt Smith

Vassell 90+3'

32
Liam Shephard
Yellow card for Liam Shephard
Substitutes
21
Josh Lillis
2
Connor Brown
4
Jason Taylor
7
Jamie Devitt
20
Jacob Wakeling
33
Luke James
Substitutes
31
Joel Torrance
17
Stephen Kelly
18
Conor McAleny
22
Tylor Golden
33
Liam Loughlan
42
Theo Vassell
Managers
Manager - Mark Cooper
Managers
Manager - Gary Bowyer

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Match
Report

An Ash Hunter free-kick and a late own goal were enough for The Ammies to record their 3rd away win of 2022. On a cold night in Cumbria the travelling Salford City supporters didn’t witness a thriller, but Gary Bowyer’s side did enough to take the points with another clean sheet an added bonus.

Following Saturday’s defeat at the hands of Colchester United, it was perhaps unsurprising to see the pack shuffled a little. Liam Shephard was restored to the starting XI in place of Theo Vassell and Corrie Ndaba slotted in at left-back, with Donald Love pushed upfield and Stephen Kelly on the bench.

The first half wouldn’t produce much in the way of goalmouth incident, although Ryan Watson had an 18-yarder blocked very early on.

After that, both sides enjoyed little spells of possession for a while without managing to trouble the opposing defence. Barrow were looking liveliest on their left flank and their first chance of note came along in the 18th minute. Romeo Hutton slid a neat pass out to Jordan Stevens on the right and his low cross was only partially cleared by Jordan Turnbull. Hutton pounced to hit a low effort from 18 yards and right of centre, but Turnbull was in the way again and the loose ball was cleared.

A nicely worked chance for The Bluebirds but it didn’t serve to spark the game into life. Just before the half-hour Stevens put pressure on Turnbull on the left-hand side of Salford’s area but the central defender managed to get the ball back for Tom King to put clear.

A couple of minutes later Salford created their best opportunity of the evening so far after Matty Lund nudged a pass to Shephard on the right touchline. A darting run took the full-back past Kgosi Ntlhe and he whipped a good cross to the near post. Matt Smith got to it ahead of James Jones only for his downwards header to bounce up and over the angle of post and bar.

There was another opening for Salford 10 minutes before the interval as Matthew Platt got to meet a long Donald Love throw from the left. His header dropped to the edge of the area, right of centre, were Hunter controlled adroitly off his left thigh before meeting the dropping ball with an ambitious lob that dropped wide of the far post.

Love was booked for holding back Ntlhe and the last incident of note occurred 2 minutes before the break as Hunter lofted a cross from the right to the far post. Smith was there to apply some physical pressure, but Bluebirds’ keeper Paul Farman got up to make a clean catch.

A half that Salford had finished quite well, and they would continue to look the better side after the half-time interval.

HALF-TIME: BARROW 0 SALFORD CITY 0

The second half started slowly, but there were already signs that The Ammies might have shifted up a gear or two. In the 51st minute a Barrow attack broke down, with Salford moving the ball forward with some patient, crisp passing. Watson laid possession of for Lund who moved forward with purpose before passing to the right for Love. The return ball was first time, low and square with Lund taking advantage of Platt’s slip to get in a 17-yarder that was always rising on its way over the crossbar.

A presentable chance and the former Rochdale man was obviously disappointed not to have hit the target.
It was Barrow’s turn a couple of minutes later after Turnbull was booked for wrestling Will Harris to the ground well outside Salford’s penalty area. Ollie Banks has form from these situations and from a central position around 30 yards from goal belted in a rising drive that King – at full stretch – tipped around his right-hand post. A great effort from Banks although it did appear that his shot might have gone wide without the keeper’s intervention.

Platt was booked for a heavy challenge on Lund just before the hour and picked up a deserved yellow card that might just have been a red. There would be an even heavier price to pay however as HUNTER lined up the free-kick, about 25 yards out and left of centre. His low effort found its way through a crowd of players inside the penalty area before bouncing and dropping beyond Farman’s despairing dive and inside his left-hand post. Not the sweetest strike we’ve seen from the former Fleetwood man – and perhaps not the best bit of goalkeeping either – but Hunter was unconcerned as he celebrated his first goal of the season with the faithful few.

That goal seemed to knock Barrow’s confidence and they could have conceded again 6 minutes later. A corner from Salford’s left was played short by Hunter to Love, who rolled a pass inside for Watson, in space. From 20 yards and left of centre the midfielder hit a dipping effort that was destined to drop under the bar until Farman stretched to push the ball over.

Barrow manager Mark Cooper made a double change after that, but with their goal in the bank Salford continued to look the better side. The Bluebirds were being pressed back although on 70 minutes former Ammie left-back whipped in a cross from the left that King was forced to tip away.

Brough and Shephard were both booked after that following a spot of bad-tempered pushing, but the Ammies were looking comfortable now. Barrow were largely being held at arm’s length although with a dozen minutes to play substitute Jacob Wakeling got in a 22-yarder that was blocked inside the area by the omnipresent Turnbull.

Gary Bowyer replaced Lund with Kelly and Love with McAleny for the closing stages. Barrow were doing the best to push men forward but the best they could muster was a shot from distance from Brough that didn’t make its way past a crowd of black-shirted defenders inside the penalty area.

A few more crosses were slung into Salford’s area during the time that remained, yet all were dealt with routinely enough. With 4 minutes to play Hunter’s free-kick from the left was aimed at the far post where Smith, jostled by a defender, couldn’t get a touch.

At the other end Jamie Devitt snatched at a 22-yard shot that rose high and wide of King’s left-hand upright. Salford’s attacks carried more of a direct threat, and in the penultimate minute of the 90 an Ndaba run on the left took him to the edge of the area. A square ball inside picked out Hunter whose low 15-yarder was pushed away to the left by Farman, just out of Smith’s reach.

A one-goal win would have been fair reward for Salford’s endeavours, but they would be gifted a second two minutes into the generous 7 added on by the match officials. Watson’s ball up the right was chased by McAleny whose squared cross dropped to the edge of the 6-yard box. Hunter was the nearest Salford player and Smith was lurking beyond the far post, but in the event neither would be needed. HUTTON, facing his own goal and presumably with a hooked clearance in mind, arrived with a sliding first-timer that buried the ball into the net to a bemused Farman’s left.

Vassell replaced Smith for the final few minutes, but the points were tucked safely into Salford’s bag.

FULL-TIME: BARROW 0 SALFORD CITY 2

An undistinguished first half gave way to a better second, although in truth this game won’t be remembered for its entertainment value. The Ammies deserved the win, having created better and more numerous chances than their opponents. Crucially, the managed to take one of them and had another gift-wrapped right at the end.

A 3rd away win of the year – all with clean sheets – and despite the disappointment at Bradford and the setback last Saturday, The Ammies are up to 9th place, just 4 points outside the play-offs. Since the defeat at Mansfield in mid-December Salford City have won 4, drawn 1 and lost 2, which isn’t a bad run of results in anyone’s book.

With 19 games to play and 57 points up for grabs, The Ammies are still in control of the own destiny – what’s needed now is the consistency that has evaded them at times this season. Up next is a tricky test at Northampton, followed by back-to-back home games -vs- Carlisle United and Port Vale. A hectic spell of 11 games in 36 days is then completed by trips to Sutton United and Leyton Orient. When that little lot is out of the way, we’ll know a lot more about the likely outcome of the season.

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