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Team Sheet

Dover Athletic
1
Mitch Walker
3
Jack Connors
6
Connor Essam
8
Mitch Brundle (c)
9
Tobi Sho-Silva

Allen '81

11
Kadell Daniel

Effiong '66

16
Ejiro Okosieme
18
Nortei Nortey
20
George Smith
21
Bradley Barry

Fazakerley '48

23
Bedsente Gomis
1 goals for Bedsente Gomis
Salford City FC
1
Chris Neal
2
Scott Wiseman
3
Ibou Touray
6
Carl Piergianni
1 goals for Carl Piergianni
9
Adam Rooney (c)
3 goals for Adam Rooney (c) 3 goals for Adam Rooney (c) 3 goals for Adam Rooney (c)

Rodney '70

10
Danny Lloyd

Haughton '76

11
Tom Walker

Hogan '66

18
Danny Whitehead
19
Mark Shelton
23
Nathan Pond
30
Rory Gaffney
Substitutes
7
Anthony Jeffrey
10
Jamie Allen
12
Inih Effiong
14
Loui Fazakerley
19
Tim Schmoll
Substitutes
12
Max Crocombe
5
Liam Hogan
7
Nick Haughton
8
Lois Maynard
21
Devante Rodney
Managers
Interim Manager - Jake Leberl
Managers
Manager - Graham Alexander
Match Officals
Referee - Christopher Pollard
Assistant Referee - Robin Cox
Assistant Referee - Shaun Farrer
Fourth Official - Ian Fissenden

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Match
Report

Adam Rooney scored a hat-trick at the Crabble this afternoon as Salford City chalked up a seventh successive win. Carl Piergiann’si header completed the goal haul as Salford ran out 4-1 winners against struggling hosts Dover Athletic. This was another powerhouse performance from the Ammies who retain their place at the top of the National League. The Whites had sacked manager Chris Kinnear during the week, but the change didn’t pay immediate dividends

The Crabble is a pleasant place to watch a game of football, nestled into the side of a hill on the outskirts of town, overlooking the local rugby club. The weather would prove somewhat less congenial as fine rain that became increasingly heavy set in during the first half.

The prevailing conditions would not be enough to upset Salford’s bandwagon and manager Graham Alexander named a 16 that had served him so well over the previous 4 outings.

Dover’s sole home win of the season came back in August when Havant & Waterlooville were beaten 4-3 but for the first 10 minute or so this afternoon it seemed they would cause Salford some problems.
Within 2 minutes of the start Danny Whitehead’s drilled a low 18-yarder from left-of-centre wide of the far post. The Whites responded with a chance of their own as George Smith crossed low from the left. Bedsente Gomis was on the end of that one, inside the ‘D’ but was unable to get his shot anywhere near the target.

Dover were looking lively, and Mitch Brundle tested visiting keeper Chris Neal with a low 19-yarder that was well saved. Smith had a go himself in the 7th minute, advancing to hit a 20-yard effort that was always heading outside Neal’s left-hand upright.

Some encouragement Dpver's caretaker manager Joe Leberl but the Ammies soon started to stamp their authority on the game. In the 10th minute Whitehead’s cross-field pass sent Scott Wiseman on a right flank run that was finished off by a low cross. A partial clearance fell for Mark Shelton who unselfishly nudged a pass to the right where Tom Walker’s shot was bravely blocked by a defender. Within seconds Whitehead sprayed a pass out to the left, finding Rory Gaffney whose rising, angled effort cleared the crossbar.

The Ammies were clicking up through the gears and just before the quarter-hour Gaffney was played in on the left again only to have a powerful shot blocked by Ojiro Olosieme. Gaffney claimed the loose ball, clipping a pass inside where Walker’s first-time left-footer went just wide of Mitch Walker’s right-hand upright.

Dover were under increasing pressure and Danny Lloyd turned a pass into the path of overlapping left-back Ibou Touray. A low ball to the near post found Rooney whose inventive reverse flick wasn’t too far wide, despite a pretty tight angle.

Maidenhead’s defence had cracked last week after early Ammie pressure and Dover’s followed suit in the 18th minute today. Lloyd was the creator, getting past Bradley Barry on the left before playing a low ball into he area. ROONEY reacted quickly and lethally, stretching out a leg to guide the ball between Mitch Walker and his right-hand post for his 10th of the season.

He’d be on a dozen before the afternoon was over and his 2nd goal was scored within 2 minutes of the first. Good approach play from Salford ended when Whitehead lofted in a cross from the right and the ball dropped towards the far post. Top-scorer ROONEY was there again, getting in a downwards header that dropped just inside Mitch Walker’s right-hand post.

A commanding Salford lead with just a quarter of the game played and they were soon looking for more. A Dover attack was repulsed and Shelton spotted Lloyd’s run, playing a long ball from just outside his own area. It seemed that the former Stockport man might get a clear path to goal but Smith did well, getting in to usher the ball back to Walker.

Dover needed a goal and Tobi Sho-Silva picked up a ball played into the right-hand side of the area. It looked a decent opening for the home side but Neal was out quickly and effectively, dropping down to smother the ball before any damage could be done.

The Whites came close to halving the deficit on 27 minutes when Brundle’s corner from the left dropped to the far post. Big defender Okosieme got up to power in a close-range header and some of the home crowd were up and acclaiming the goal. Their celebrations would be cut short as it became apparent that the ball had hit the side-netting, leaving Salford's early lead intact.

Close for Dover and within a minute the tricky Kadeli Daniel wriggled into space on the right-hand side, for once getting away from Carl Piergianni. The defender isn’t used to being beaten and he recovered brilliantly, getting in a superbly timed challenge, emerging from it in possession.

Quality from Pidge and his side could have had a 3rd goal on the half-hour. Lloyd played in Gaffney on the left-hand side of the box and the striker blasted in a low effort that spun off Mitch Walker. The ball could have dropped anywhere but luck was with the Whites this time as Smith was able to clear on the far side.

Dover were pressing when they could, but some promising approach play was undone by poor final balls. Thirteen minutes before half-time the home side were awarded a free-kick, just over 30 yards out and left-of-centre. Brundle decided to have a go and his powerfully struck low effort was on course to trouble Neal until it clipped off a defender and behind for a corner.

The Whites had enjoyed a decent spell without managing to breach the blue wall of Salford’s defence. In the 39th minute Tom Walker intercepted Gomis’ pass before advancing into Dover territory. A clumsy challenge from defender Connor Essam brought the run to an end, earning a yellow card in the process. Walker took the free-kick himself but his 30-yarder crashed into Dover’s wall.

The half finished with Dover again looking to pull a goal back. Nortei Nortey’s deep cross from the right dropped into the near side of the penalty area, with Sho-Silve in pole position to collect. He did, but Nathan Pond had anticipated the danger, getting across to nick the ball away at the expense of a corner that was coolly claimed by Neal.

HALF TIME: DOVER ATHLETIC 0 SALFORD CITY 2

An accomplished first half from the Ammies, and they were firmly in the driving seat as the game got back underway. Dover had to make a quick substitution as injured Barry was replaced by Loui Fazackerley. He would make a quick impact, darting past Lloyd on the right in the 50th minute and getting to the line. A good cross was required and Fazackerley obliged, putting in a great delivery that was met by GOMIS and then stroked past Neal.

A real lifeline for the Whites and for a little while the outcome of the game was in some doubt. In the 54th minute Piergianni was penalised for a foul on Sho-Silva, 30 yards out. Daniel fancied his chances but will not be pleased with an effort that soared yards over the crossbar.

Dover were sensing a way back into the game but those hopes were dashed just 2 minutes later. Lloyd’s corner from the left fell perfectly for Wiseman on the far side of the box and his first-time effort beat Mitch Walker only to be stopped, on the line, by Okisieme. Possession fell for Piergianni whose first attempt was blocked (possibly by an arm) and his second effort, heading off-target, was poked home by ROONEY from 8 yards out. Instinctive finishing from a quality striker who is really proving his worth, here netting his 12th goal in 15 games.

Breathing space again for the Ammies and they resumed control of the game in its wake. With the hour approaching Rooney latched onto a ball into the right-hand side of the box, then squared inside, aiming for Lloyd. Fazackerley had tracked back and stretched to turn the ball just wide of his keeper’s left-hand post, denying Salford what would have been a 4th goal.

The home side were again struggling for a foothold and the game was pushed beyond their reach in the 66th minute. Gaffney did well to win a corner for Salford and Lloyd delivered from the right. PIERGIANNI got up well to get in a header that bounced down, then seemed to squeeze through the legs of the unbalanced Mitch Walker before rolling over the line.

Graham Alexander used all 3 substitutes in the 9 minutes that followed Piergianni’s 3rd goal of the season. Liam Hogan replaced Tom Walker, Devante Rodney came on for hat-trick hero Rooney and Lloyd made way for Nick Haughton.

With 3 points effectively wrapped up the Ammies went in search of more goals during the game’s final 15 minutes. Hogan won a challenge wide on the right before sending Wiseman on a run and the full-back rolled a pass inside. A Rodney dummy gave Whitehead sight of goal but his rising effort from the edge of the box failed to trouble Mitch Walker.

With 10 minutes left Gaffney swapped passes with Whitehead before having a shot charged down. The ball fell for Wiseman wide on the right and his low cross in was prodded behind by a defender.

There was more good football from Salford soon after that as Rodney’s crisp pass to the right found Wiseman in space. Another accurate low cross fell for Shelton on the edge of the 6-yard box, towards the far post, but off-balance and on his left foot the midfielder could only place an effort back across goal and wide of the upright.

In the penultimate minute of the 90 Haughton turned his marker consummately before sliding a pass to the edge of the area for Rodney, whose shot was blocked by a defender. There was one more opening to come as the Ammies moved possession from right to left where Wiseman hit a low, angled shot that Mitch Walker got down to stop and hold.

FULL TIME: DOVER ATHLETIC 1 SALFORD CITY 4

A 4th away win on the bounce for Salford City and it is fair to say they seem to have adjusted to away days in the National League. This was another impressive display to add to a growing collection and it is good to know there is more in the tank yet. The band of supporters who made the season’s longest journey were well rewarded and responded by encouraging their side throughout the game.

Once again this was a victory based on every player understanding his role in the way the team plays. Some of the footnall we saw today was very impressive indeed and once again the margin of victory could have been more pronounced.

Dover had their moments today but were well beaten in the end. The Whites showed flashes of quality but couldn’t produce them consistently. They made the play-offs last season but this campaign could prove harder and less rewarding.

Graham Alexander and his team will, of course, view their side very much as a work in progress and they’ll be looking for even more over the weeks and months to come. There are other teams in good form and some very big games looming on the horizon but while the future holds challenges it should certainly not hold any consternation.

A special word today for striker Adam Rooney whose well-taken hat-trick underlines the importance of a specialist finisher for sides who are on the hunt for success. It’s a privilege to watch such a craftsman at work in a Salford City's colours and his team-mates are certainly no slouches either.,,

Well done lads, and on to next Saturday when bottom side Braintree Town make the long journey from Essex to the Peninsula Stadium.

Attendance: 1,127 (86 from Salford City)

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