S a l f o r d
C i t y
F o o t b a l l
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Team Sheet

Crewe Alexandra
1
Will. Jaaskelainen
2
Perry Ng (c)
3
Harry Pickering
1 goals for Harry Pickering
4
Ryan Wintle
6
Eddie Nolan
8
James Jones
Yellow card for James Jones
9
Chris Porter
1 goals for Chris Porter

Ainley 86'

10
Charlie Kirk

Anene 86'

15
Nicky Hunt
16
Tom Lowery
2 goals for Tom Lowery 2 goals for Tom Lowery
19
Owen Dale

Powell 76'

Salford City FC
12
Kyle Letheren
2
Scott Wiseman
3
Ibou Touray
6
Carl Piergianni

Lloyd 86'

8
Lois Maynard
9
Adam Rooney (c)
1 goals for Adam Rooney (c)
13
Sam Hughes
Yellow card for Sam Hughes
15
Cameron Burgess
18
Danny Whitehead

Rodney 74'

19
Mark Shelton
20
Mani Dieseruvwe

Armstrong 67'

Substitutes
13
Dave Richards
5
Olly Lancashire
7
Daniel Powell
11
Callum Ainley
14
Oliver Finney
17
Chuma Anene
20
Josh Lundstram
Substitutes
31
Ewan McFarlane
7
Luke Armstrong
10
Danny Lloyd
21
Devante Rodney
23
Nathan Pond
25
Joey Jones
34
Alex Doyle
Managers
Manager - David Artell
Managers
Manager - Graham Alexander
Match Officals
Referee - Will Finnie
Assistant Referee - Chris Isherwood
Assistant Referee - Ian Smedley
Fourth Official - Anthony Moore

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Match
Report

Very much a game of two halves at Gresty Road this afternoon. For the first 45 minutes Salford City look assured and lively, putting the home side under pressure and getting a goal they deserved. Crewe Alexandra had looked very ordinary before the interval but David Artell’s side were a far different prospect during the second half. They would go on to score four times and in all honesty it could have been more. A very disappointing performance from The Ammies, particularly after that hard-fought win against Grimsby in midweek and it could well be a case of back to the drawing board for Graham Alexander and his coaching team.

No changes to the XI that had started versus the Mariners four days earlier and the early signs were good for the near 500 travelling supporters. The Ammies pressed forward almost from the off and in the 2nd minute Carl Piergianni whipped in a cross from wide on the left, forcing Perry Ng to head behind at the far post. From the corner possession fell for Lois Maynard outside the box, with the midfielder hitting a shot that took a deflection before dropping harmlessly for home keeper Will Jaaskelainen to collect.

Danny Whitehead’s pass down the left sent Ibou Touray racing into space and his low cross had to be hacked away by a defender, right in front of goal. Salford were denying Crewe the time and space to play their neat football and the visitors also carried a threat up front. In the 7th minute Scott Wiseman got in a cross from the right, met by Adam Rooney with glancing header that dropped outside the far post.

Modest chances, but Salford had started well, and Crewe had not looked dangerous at all during the opening exchanges.

Alex’s first chance of any note came in the 11th minute after Chris Porter chested down a long ball forward. Harry Pickering tried his luck from about 20 yards out but couldn’t keep the effort down. The same player would have another go soon afterwards after Crewe had passed the ball around on their right for a while. Pickering fancied his chances again but from almost 25 yards and right of centre could only lift a shot high over the crossbar.

Pickering would do rather better later on, but for now the balance of the game was tipping back in Salford’s favour. Wiseman’s advance on the right took him into space after a stumble from home defender Eddie Nolan. This was promising for the Ammies but as Mani Dieseruvwe peeled away from his marker in the middle, Wiseman's low ball in passed behind him and a defender cleared the danger.

Within a minute Rooney had won a header on the right-hand side of the box and Shelton nudged a pass back to Dieseruvwe. The big striker got power into his first-time effort, but a defender put himself in the way, deflecting the ball to safety.

Salford’s game plan seemed to be working as their opponents struggled to keep possession. They almost got a goal just before the midpoint of the half after Whitehead did well to find space wide on the left. The cross was a good one, with Piergianni heading it back across goal from the far post. Dieseruvwe was unmarked as he arrived on the edge of the 6-yard box to get in a header that dropped over the bar.

A missed opportunity, but the Ammies were still rolling forward in search of an opener. A bare minute after Dieseruvwe’s chance Touray’s pass found Whitehead on the left and again he put in a decent cross to the far post. It was inches too high for Rooney, glancing off his forehead to the far side where Wiseman pushed a pass back inside. Mark Shelton lined up the shot and hammered in an effort that was bravely charged down by Nolan.

Piergianni’s header came back off the bar soon after that, but the offside flag had already gone up.

The visitors needed to make the most of their domination and had a penalty shout waved away 13 minutes before the break. Maynard found Whitehead who slid a pass into the area for Dieseruvwe. A spot of defensive manhandling left the Salford striker on the turf and there were appeals from his teammates. The referee was handily placed and was having none of it, indicating that play should continue.

Sam Hughes was booked for a tug on Tommy Lowery’s shirt and the aftermath of the free kick would produce a chance for Alex. Ryan Wintle's pass from wide on the right, close to the corner flag, picked out James Jones who slung a cross beyond the far post. Charlie Kirk was on hand to hit an angled volley that bounced past the upright.

Some encouragement for the home supporters but their side fell behind 6 minutes before half-time. The build-up appeared innocuous as Touray delivered a cross from the left that was on course to be collected by Jaaskelainen at the near post. The keeper got there then allowed the ball to slip out of his grasp. ROONEY had gambled and was on hand to poke the ball inside the near post to record his first league goal of the season.

A moment for the Finnish keeper to forget, although he earned a measure of redemption a couple of minutes before the interval. Whitehead played Touray into space on the left and his cross dropped towards the far post. Jaaskelainen stretched to tip the ball away, but only as far as Shelton who got in a well-struck angled effort. The keeper did well, recovering his balance sufficiently to push the ball away to relative safety.

That would be it for a first half that had turned out very satisfactorily for Salford City. They’d played well, denying a good team the possession and time they required to build attacks. There had been a touch of fortune about the goal perhaps, but the lead it earned was probably merited as the sides headed back to the changing rooms.

HALF-TIME: CREWE ALEXANDRA 0 SALFORD CITY 1

Initially the second half started off in the same fashion as Salford made the early running. Whitehead was having a good game and headed for the line on the left before aiming a low ball at the near post. Dieseruvwe got there and his touch was deflected past the far upright for a corner. The set-piece was cleared as far as Whitehead outside the box, but his low shot lacked the power to trouble Jaaskelainen.

Soon after that, Rooney hit a half-volley of target as the visitors went in search of a second goal.

Business as usual for the Ammies it seemed, but their afternoon was about to take a turn for the worse. Crewe had struggled to test Letheren so far, yet they suddenly seemed to click into gear and fashioned an equaliser in the 50th minute. A neat spell of passing ended with Wintle delivering a cross from deep and left-of-centre, with PORTER escaping from Piergianni to stoop and guide a header between the despairing dive of Letheran and his right-hand post.

Nicely worked and a quality finish, but it seemed that the Salford defensive unit had collectively switched off, as they had during the opening minutes of the second half at Morecambe a fortnight ago.
Disappointing, but Salford looked for a quick response and within another minute Touray hit a low shot from distance straight at Jaaskelainen.

Hope there for the vocal travelling support, but it would prove to be false. The hesitant passing that had marked Crewe’s first half had become much crisper, the movement had livened up and every time they moved into Salford’s half there seemed to be danger for Letheran’s goal.

In the 53rd minute the busy Wintle dispossessed Maynard just inside Salford’s half then slid a pass out to Owen Dale on the right. The winger had been anonymous during the first half but here he advanced before hitting a low, angled shot that smacked off the base of the far post and away to the far side. Kirk picked up possession then tried to curl an effort inside the far post, only to see the effort fly high over the target.

Momentum was with Crewe now and the pressure on Salford’s goal grew steadily. Dale darted to the line on the right with Jones failing to get a decisive touch on his low cross at the near post. Pickering provide the next threat, crossing from the left, with Dale heading back inside from the far upright. Porter was on the end of it but from six or seven yards out could only guide a header back across goal wide of Letheran’s left-hand post.

The Ammies were creaking at the back and their defence was breached again in the 57th minute. More neat football from Crewe was topped off as Kirk slipped a pass forward for Lowery to chase. It seemed as if a defensive boot had curtailed that progress, but a sublime flick of the heel had Lowery scampering after his own lobbed pass into the area. Letheran advanced, Cameron Burgess got in a last-ditch challenge, but it was to no avail as LOWERY controlled with his first touch then lifted a subtle finish over the keeper and into the net with his second.

A goal to grace any standard of the game and Crewe had completely turned this one around within a dozen minutes of the restart.

As if that wasn’t bad enough for Salford, the home side provided another finish of real quality 5 minutes later. Wintle’s ball out to the left was collected by Kirk, who was allowed to push inside and into the area. He was then afforded the time and space to pass inside for PICKERING, left of centre and right on the edge of the box. Once more the defensive cover wasn’t tight enough, allowing the full back to hit an unstoppable rising effort across the helpless Letheren and just underneath the crossbar.

A two-goal cushion for the Railwaymen, yet they showed little sign of easing up. In the 66th minute a corner from the right found its way to Kirk on the nearside edge of the box. A low shot followed, with only a great touch from Letheren turning the ball outside the post.

Luke Armstrong replaced Dieseruvwe for Salford, but it made little difference to a game that Crewe were dominating entirely. Pickering clipped in a teasing cross in from the left, with Dale only just failing to provide a finishing touch at the far post.

The Ammies were grafting but there simply didn’t seem to be a way back into this one. The tremendous pressure they’d been under for the third quarter of the game had abated a little, but it was Crewe who looked more likely to add to the afternoon’s goals. With 13 minutes to play Pickering’s low pass into the area almost set up Lowery until Burgess got in a tremendous last-ditch challenge.

Devante Rodney had come on as substitute for Salford and his pace took him to the line on the left in the 79th minute. A low ball across the 6-yard box evaded everyone until a defender turned behind for corner, denying Armstrong who was waiting at the far post.

Had that one gone in the final stages may have been interesting, but with 8 minutes to go Crewe pushed any thoughts of a comeback way beyond Salford’s reach. It was another well worked goal as Jones’ ball forward sent Porter clear on a right-of-centre run. The experienced striker squared a pass into the middle where Letheren made a great point-blank save from Kirk, 6 yards out. Luck was against the Ammies’ keeper however as LOWERY was on hand to scoop into the unguarded net from close range.

Rodney’s effort from the left flew high and wide late on and at the other end a Lowery free-kick dropped outside Letheren’s right-hand post. Neither mattered too much – the destination of the points had been decided for a while and Crewe’s splendid second half performance had earned three richly deserved points.

FULL-TIME: CREWE ALEXANDRA 4 SALFORD CITY 1

Credit where credit is due – Crewe Alexandra produced a tremendous performance during the second half, played some great football and scored a couple of outstanding goals. They look as good a footballing team as any that Salford City have faced in league games, but there is a frustrating element to the afternoon as well. The Ammies had looked so solid before the interval, breaking up Crewe’s attempts to play, retaining concentration and producing some decent attacks of their own.

A narrow half-time lead adequately reflected the pattern of the game, but David Artell must have produced a team-talk of near genius in the dressing room. A much more confident and composed Crewe outfit emerged after the break and Salford’s defence – so reassuringly resolute previously, struggled to get to grips with them.

Some of the approach play and finishes were of real quality, but Graham Alexander will not be happy with his side’s defending or general application during that second half. We’ve seen a level of performance to aspire to and the challenge now is for Salford City to reach it. The Ammies have a habit of reacting positively to adversity – let’s judge the response to this setback when 5th placed Forest Green Rovers travel to The Peninsula Stadium next Saturday.

Attendance: 4714 (498 Salford City)

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