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

View Team Sheet

Team Sheet

Darlington FC
James Talbot
Dominic Collins

Portas '27

Terrence Galbraith
Leon Scott
Joshua Heaton
Yellow card for Joshua Heaton
Gary Brown
Gregory Mills
1 goals for Gregory Mills

Saunders '82

Phil Turnbull
Reece Styche (c)
Yellow card for Reece Styche (c)
Josh Gillies
Stephen Thompson

Wheatley '82

Salford City FC
Max Crocombe
Michael Nottingham
Ibou Touray
Yellow card for Ibou Touray
Lois Maynard
Carl Piergianni
Liam Hogan (c)
Yellow card for Liam Hogan (c)
Tom Walker

Askew '68

Gus Mafuta
Mike Phenix
1 goals for Mike Phenix

Beesley '66

Jack Redshaw

Dudley '66

Mark Shelton
Thomas Porter
Josef Wheatley
David Syers
Harvey Saunders
James Caton
Danny Livesey
Josh Askew
Jake Beesley
Anthony Dudley
1 goals for Anthony Dudley
Mani Dieseruvwe
Manager - Tommy Wright
Joint Manager - Bernard Morley
Joint Manager - Anthony Johnson
Match Officals
Referee - Rebecca Welsh
Assistant Referee - Terry Fletcher
Assistant Referee - Matthew East

Close Team Sheet



Anthony Dudley’s goal during the penultimate minute of this twice-rearranged fixture was enough to earn the Ammies a first win in five outings. This wasn’t a classic performance by any stretch of the imagination but marks a welcome return for the knack of grinding out wins from less than inspiring encounters.

There was one change from the side that started at Edgeley Park on Saturday as Mike Phenix returned in place of the unwell Richie Allen. Restored to health was Dudley who started the evening on the bench, although he would finish it in far more auspicious circumstance.

Salford’s first visit to Blackhall Meadows could well have yielded a goal within thirty seconds of the start. Phenix made ground on the right before swapping passes with Jack Redshaw and slamming a low cross into the middle. Mark Shelton was on the end of it but the ball came at him at a fair lick and he could only lift a seven yard first-time effort over the bar.

Almost a perfect start for the Ammies and they looked the more dangerous of the sides during the early stages. Shelton threatened again after six minutes, drilling in a left-of-centre free-kick from twenty-two yards that took a nick off a defender on its way just wide of James Talbot’s right-hand post.

Darlington won a couple of free-kicks after that but both came to nothing and the next opportunity went the way of the visitors. Shelton nudged a pass to the right for Phenix who cut into the area where he was faced by Darlington defender Gary Brown. The slightest of gaps offered itself and Phenix almost made the most of it, poking in a clever, low shot from fifteen yards. Talbot was taken by surprise but fortune was with him as Phenix’s enterprising effort passed a foot wide of his right-hand upright.

The Quakers were constructing most of their attacking moves down the left and won another free-kick in the thirteenth minute. From a few yards inside the corner flag Joshua Gillies curled in a delivery that dropped over everyone on its way outside the far post. A couple of corners followed for the home side but both were aimed at the near post where they were comfortably dealt with by the Salford defence.

Laboured stuff in the final third from Darlington and what chances a low-key first-half produced were largely falling to the Ammies. In the nineteenth minute Touray flicked a pass out to Tom Walker on the left and he whipped in a cross-shot that forced Talbot to tip over the crossbar at full strength. Midway through the first half Michael Nottingham’s diagonal ball from inside his own half fell nicely for Redshaw out on the left, and the Salford top-scorer’s first-touch was great. A dart inside to the edge of the box followed but Redshaw’s shot on goal was charged down by Joshua Heaton.

Darlington defender Dominic Collins was stretchered off in the twenty-seventh minute following a spell of on-field treatment, with Tom Portas coming on in his place.

Some decent moments so far from Salford and endeavour aplenty from the Quakers but the half had failed to ignite, certainly in comparison to some past encouters between the two...

The Ammies won a couple of corners in quick succession – the second after a rising, angled Phenix drive from the right was deflected behind. At the other end Gillies escaped the attentions of Liam Hogan on Darlington’s left but Carl Piergianni was covering diligently and got there in time to mop up the danger. Soon after that a lofted cross from the left dropped for Reece Styche inside the box but the striker’s first touch was poor, with the ball rolling out of play for a goal-kick.

At the other end a neat Redshaw touch was followed up by a pass out to the left for Walker. The former Bolton Wanderer has made a promising start to his Salford career and here he made it to the angle of the box before letting fly with a low shot that billowed the side-netting.

Touray created the next chance, dropping a cross from the left onto the penalty spot where the unmarked Lois Maynard could only head high and wide of Talbot’s right-hand post. The Ammies were on the hunt for a goal before half-time and Redshaw did well to keep possession on a run that took him from right to left along the edge of the area. A one-two with Phenix very nearly came off too but a Darlington defender managed to intercept just in the nick of time.

No luck in front of goal for Salford and they nearly shot themselves in the foot at the other end during the first minute of time added on. Walker, positioned wide on the left in midfield misjudged a pass inside, with Leon Scott taking advantage by threading a good pass through the middle of Salford’s defence. For a second it seemed that Styche would get clear but Piergianni was there again, sliding in from the right to nick the ball off the former Tamworth man’s toes.


Some opportunities for Salford despite a generally drab first half but they started the second on the front foot. In the forty-ninth minute Touray passed inside from the left to find Gus Mafuta in space but the midfielder’s effort from distance drifted well wide of Talbot’s left-hand post.

Promising for the visitors but Darlington pushed forward from the goal-kick with Greg Mills and Portas exchanging passes on the right. The former tried to skip past Piergianni inside the area only to be felled and the referee, well positioned, had no hesitation in pointing at the penalty spot. Styche took responsibility for the spot-kick but to the horror of the home supporters tried to place a cheeky chipped effort inside Crocombe’s right-hand post. Unfortunately for Darlington this weakest of efforts barely rose a yard from the turf and with Salford’s keeper having gone the right way he had the simplest of tasks to grasp the ball out of the air.

Perhaps not the best of times to try something fancy and Styche’s blushes deepened a shade or two when Salford took the lead just four minutes later. The home support behind Crocombe’s goal were already raising a jeer as Touray’s cross from deep on the right appeared to be dropping harmlessly out of play beyond the far post. Piergianni had other ideas however and having tracked the ball was in place to head back from the line and into the path of PHENIX. From a few yards inside the angle of the penalty area Salford’s number nine hit a venomous low effort that swerved wickedly away from the despairing dive of Talbot and just inside the far post.

A great strike to break the deadlock and as might be expected Darlington applied some pressure in its aftermath. Initially it didn’t seem to be paying off as final balls went astray and crosses were summarily headed away or collected by Crocombe. The home side had struggled to put together crisp attacking moves all evening but they finally managed to carve a hole in Salford’s defence in the sixty-fifth minute. The Ammies have conceded some disappointing goals recently and this one will have to be added to that number. Steve Thompson’s pass to the right found Gillies in space and he squared a low ball into the area. You would have expected a blue shirt to get onto the end of that one but instead MILLS had time, nine yards out, to place a cool finish between Crocombe and his right-hand upright.

Having toiled to take the lead Salford had been pegged back within just ten minutes. The managers had been lining up a double change prior to Mills’ equaliser and both went ahead as planned, with Anthony Dudley & Jake Beesley replacing Phenix and Redshaw.

Harrogate Town’s unexpected defeat at Nuneaton on Tuesday had given Salford a boost, as well as the chance to re-establish a cushion at the top of the National League North. They needed to win to do that and in the sixty-eighth minute Touray’s driving run was finished off by a lofted cross to the far side of the penalty area. Beesley got there before his marker but from a dozen yards out could only lift an effort yards over the crossbar.

Josh Askew came on for Walker next but for a while neither side could find the quality to upset the opposition defence. Darlington were getting men forward without really looking likely to crack open Salford’s reaguard for a second time while for their part the Ammies were now finding it hard to keep possession of the ball.

With fifteen minutes left Mills tried his luck with a left-of-centre shot from distance only for the ball to clip off a defender and drop harmlessly for Crocombe to collect. Two of Salford’s substitutes combined well with eleven minutes to play as Dudley touched a pass inside from the left for Askew to chase. Space seemed to open up for the former Blackburn man but Portas had tracked back, putting in a well-timed challenge that pushed possession back to Talbot.

Home manager Tommy Wright introduced Harvey Saunders & Joe Wheatley for Mills and Thompson with seven minutes to play, but the next incident of note was an altercation between Heaton and Touray, with each picking up a yellow card.

Styche rounded off a gloomy personal evening next, picking up a yellow card following a blatant trip on Beesley.

The Ammies were still looking for that vital second goal and with three minutes left a Touray cross caused problems for the Darlington defence. A corner was the result and Touray hoisted that one in too, with the Quakers again failing to clear their lines. The ball was bouncing around but Dudley produced a moment of class, in the form of a seven yard back-heel from among the mayhem. That clever effort was on course to creep inside Talbot’s right-hand post but Phil Turnbull was still in position from the corner, hacking clear from almost on the line.

Touray was involved again within sixty seconds, winning a crunching challenge on the left before prodding a pass forward to send Askew clear. A low cross made it to the far post but Beesley was under pressure and could only steer a low effort wide of the upright.

It seemed as if Salford would have to settle for a single point but for the second match in succession they had a late sting primed and ready in their collective tail. Maynard’s pass from deep found Dudley, just inside the left-hand angle of the area. A defender had gone with him but a subtle touch from the Salford substitute made just enough space for a low shot of real quality, leaving Talbot grasping at air as the ball found its way just inside his left hand post.

A finish out of the top-drawer and the timing could not have been better from Salford’s point of view. The referee added four minutes of added on time but the Ammies played it intelligently enough, with Darlington largely struggling to carry possession out of their own half.

The final whistle sounded out over Blackwell Meadows and Salford City had picked up their first win since edging out Blyth Spartans on 2nd December.


A win that could well turn out to be invaluable for Salford City and the three points puts them five ahead of second placed Harrogate Town. Nobody could claim that this was a great artistic performance from the Ammies but they stuck to their task, grafted hard and were able to pull out two excellently taken goals when they most needed them.

It was a deserved win too, based on the number of chances created over ninety minutes although the game could still have gone very differently. Darlington had just two good opportunities this evening, with Mills tucking one away and Styche squandering the other. Had that penalty been converted we could easily have been reflecting on a fifth successive game without a win.

A slice of good luck is perhaps overdue for Salford City and it’s encouraging that they took full advantage of this one. Once again though they struggled to click into top gear, at times lacking any fluency in their play against a side that offered relatively little other than hard work and determination. That is something that can be worked on, but for now it’s just good to be back to winning ways. Another win on Saturday would prove the perfect springboard for the top-of-the-table double header against Harrogate Town and Brackley Town later this month.