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

Salford City football Club

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Team Sheet

Exeter City
Jokull Andresson
Jack Sparkes

Sweeney 80'

Rory McArdle
Jake Taylor (c)

Atangana 46'

Ben Seymour

Bowman 56'

Archie Collins
Robbie Willmott
Yellow card for Robbie Willmott

Williams 89'

Matt Jay
1 goals for Matt Jay
Lewis Page
Josh Key
Alex Hartridge
Yellow card for Alex Hartridge
Salford City FC
Vaclav Hladky
Yellow card for Vaclav Hladky
Ibou Touray
Jason Lowe
Ash Eastham (c)
Tom Clarke
Ash Hunter

Dieseruvwe 72'

Jordan Turnbull
Yellow card for Jordan Turnbull
Oscar Threlkeld
James Wilson

Towell 60'

Brandon Thomas-Asante
Ian Henderson
Harry Lee
Jake Caprice
Nigel Atangana
Randell Williams
Ryan Bowman
Yellow card for Ryan Bowman
Tom Parkes
Pierce Sweeney
Hayden Evans
Di'Shon Bernard
George Boyd
Luke Burgess
Richie Towell
Mani Dieseruvwe
Paul Coutts
Manager - Matt Taylor
Manager - Gary Bowyer
Match Officals
Referee - Antony Coggins
Assistant Referee - Michael Begley
Assistant Referee - Dean Treleaven
Fourth Official - Adrian Quelch

Close Team Sheet


Gary Bowyer’s first game in the Peninsula Stadium hotseat ended in defeat as a first half goal proved sufficient for hosts Exeter City. The Ammies hit the woodwork and had an effort cleared off the line, but once again a hefty slice of possession – particularly during the second half – failed to pay goal dividends. The goalless run now extends beyond 9 hours of football and that statistic is seriously threatening to derail hopes of a play-off place.

The new gaffer made a couple of changes, recalling Brandon Thomas-Asante & Tom Clarke to the starting XI, with Di’Shon Bernard and Robbie Gotts missing out.

The Ammies started their afternoon encouragingly, with a real intensity about their early play. In the 4th minute a cleared corner dropped for Oscar Threlkeld whose volleyed 20-yard effort bobbled harmlessly wide of Jökull Andrésson’s right-hand post.

There was cause for Exeter concern in the 9th minute as Jack Sparkes required treatment following a collision, but happily he was able to resume soon afterwards.

Salford were seeing plenty of the ball and almost prised the Grecians’ defence open on 13 minutes. Ian Henderson picked up possession on the left-hand side of the box before nudging a pass out to Thomas-Asante. A cross aimed at the far post was contested by Ash Hunter and Exeter’s Lewis Page, with the referee adjudging that the Salford man got a final touch as the ball dropped wide.

Plenty of attacking intent from the Ammies and they went ever so close to taking a 16th minute lead. Henderson’s smart turn inside from the right wrong-footed Alex Hartridge and the rising 12-yard drive that followed came back off the underside of the crossbar. The ball fell for James Wilson on the left-hand angle of the 6-yard box and his low shot was on target. Rory McArdle did very well indeed, scuttling across the goal line to get in a clearance just inside the keeper’s right-hand post.

Luck very much against the Ammies there and Exeter began to see more of the ball as the half progressed. The Grecians had a penalty shout in the 18th minute when Matt Jay’s flick seemed to strike Jordan Turnbull’s hand, with the referee – probably correctly - waving play on.

Jay was involved again soon after, dropping a pass to the left-hand side of the box where Sparkes was in space. The first touch was good, but the left-foot shot that followed was not as the ball rose high and wide of the near post.

Salford were looking composed and solid despite Exeter gradually increasing their share of possession. The home side had made little attacking impact and the next opportunity went to the Ammies.

On 27 minutes Henderson slid a pass out to Hunter on the right, and his shot flicked off the heels of Page. The ball dropped inside for Henderson whose attempt to get in a bicycle kick was foiled by a strong defensive challenge.

At the other end impressively fancy footwork from Josh Key took him past 3 or 4 defenders and to the line on the right. Great approach play, yet a clipped short cross to the near post was knocked behind by Ibou Touray.

Good play from Key as he almost unlocked the visiting defence, but the Grecians had yet to trouble Václav Hladký unduly. That changed 11 minutes before the break as Exeter mustered their first shot on target after a move that spanned the entire pitch. A long ball forward from the left-back position dropped for Clarke and Robbie Wilmott to contest, on the halfway line. It was the Exeter man who came away in possession and he advanced before cutting inside, just outside the penalty area. A square ball to skipper Jake Taylor was followed by a 20-yard shot that took a deflection, falling into the path of Jay on the right. The angle was tight, but JAY managed to squeeze home a low, angled effort that Hladký got hands to without being able to keep out.

A first effort on target from the Grecians, but that’s the way it’s been going for Salford City recently. They tried to find a quick response and in the 37th minute Touray squared inside for Thomas-Asante who jockeyed for an opening before hitting a low, left of centre 22-yarder wide of Andrésson’s right-hand post.

Exeter had more defending to do before half-time, but they did it competently enough. The visitors weren’t able to conjure a threat during the time that remained and survived a stronger penalty shout in the 45th minute when a Taylor shot appeared to strike Eastham’s hand. You see those given – quite often – but on this occasion the referee decided against the award of a spot-kick.


Trailing at half time for the 3rd away game in succession, this was a big half for Salford City and they certainly looked prepared to put the necessary shift in. Exeter had to concentrate on defensive duties almost from the restart and could have conceded an equaliser in the 48th minute. A foul on Wilson earned a free-kick, with Hunter curling his delivery from a deep position on the left. Andrésson advanced with intent yet got nowhere near the ball. Turnbull kept his eyes on it, getting in a header from 15 yards out that dropped over the bar.

The Salford central defender got a bit too much on his effort and appeared to be the victim of heavy and unnecessary contact from the keeper after the ball had gone.

Exeter wouldn’t pose too many problems for the Ammies’ defence for the rest of the game, although a 51st minute free-kick from Sparkes on the left dropped just over McArdle at the far post.

Otherwise, it was the visitors who did most of the pressing and with 53 minutes on the clock Hunter did well to dispossess Page, on the halfway line and wide on the right. A lofted ball forward was claimed by Henderson whose cross dropped over Thomas-Asante as he arrived at the far post.

A couple of minutes after that Turnbull did well to turn a ball inside from the right, with Thomas-Asante on the end of it. The Salford striker was positioned on the edge of the area and just right of centre, yet after teeing himself up for the volley could only lift it high and wide of the target.

Lot’s of endeavour from Salford yet once again the little spark of creativity was evading them in the final third. Manager Bowyer made his first Ammies’ substitution on the hour as he replaced Wilson with Richie Towell.

A familiar enough pattern ensued as Salford kept possession well, without being able to crack open an organized defence. Exeter’s central defenders in particular were doing their job and opportunities to worry the shaky looking Andrésson were rare.

In the 71st minute a ball into the left-hand side of the box found Thomas-Asante, although the offside flag went up straight away. A low, angled shot followed anyway and the Ammies’ afternoon was summarised neatly as Andrésson deflected it away off his foot.

Mani Dieseruvwe replaced Hunter in an attempt to add height and physical presence to the Salford attack, and the big man looked keen to put himself about. With 15 minutes left he did well to wrestle possession away from an opponent before pushing a pass back for Jason Lowe. A lifted, diagonal ball to the left dropped for Thomas-Asante on the edge of the box and with back to goal he deftly turned a pass inside to the right. For a second it seemed that Towell would find the space to perhaps level the game but tremendous defending from Hartridge saw the midfielder closed down and then dispossessed.

Thirteen minutes from time Henderson and Thomas-Asante combined on the left-hand side of the area, with the former nudging a pass back to the latter. The former MK Don needs to add goals to his game and here he drilled in a low, angled 15-yarder that Andrésson managed to block with his left leg.

Exeter were offering little in the way of an attacking threat at this stage of the game but they looked solid everywhere else and time was running out for Salford. The game would get a touch tetchy during its closing stages, kicked off by a yellow card for Wilmott following a heavy challenge on Touray.

Try as they might, Salford simply couldn’t break their hosts down during the time that remained and frustration was beginning to show. Hladký was clattered by Exeter substitute Ryan Bowman as he claimed a long ball, and when the referee failed to produce a yellow card the Salford keeper earned one for himself as he protested the official’s leniency.

Turnbull followed him into the book during time added on after disputing a decision that had gone against him. Bowman eventually picked up his own caution after shoving Turnbull and leaving a foot in on Hladký as he chased a long ball into the Salford box.

The Ammies hadn’t been able to take a firm grip on the game as time ran out for them and in the 5th of 4 added minutes Towell lifted an angled 20-yarder from the right high over the crossbar.

There was time for little more and the Ammies had been beaten for the 3rd time in 4 league outings.


Another busy week for Salford City F.C. and hopes had been high that a managerial change of direction would pay off with an immediate improvement in results. There were points today that would have encouraged new manager Bowyer, but unfortunately none of them were the kind that can be added to the promotion pot.

Exeter City came into this game on the back of 4 consecutive league defeats, and in truth they were fortunate to emerge from this one with 3 points. The Grecians defended well and pinched a win courtesy of their sole effort on target over the course of the 90 minutes.

The Ammies improved in the sense that they recorded a very respectable number of shots on goal yet without being able to make any of them count. That double chance during the first half represented their best opportunity to score, but when a little bit of fortune was needed, it failed to materialise.

With 10 games left to play, Salford find themselves 12 points adrift of the automatic promotion places and that route to promotion is probably now little more than a remote possibility. Even the top 3 play-off places – at 11 points away – look like a formidable challenge. That leaves one last place, currently occupied by Newport County who have 6 points more than the Ammies.

There are 30 points up for grabs and technically anything is still possible, but that 7th placed spot looks like Salford’s most realistic route to success. Plenty of other clubs fancy their chances of snatching it, so it’s time for the players to stand up and be counted. The Ammies have upset odds before and need to do it again.

Bottom of the table Grimsby Town visit the Peninsula on Good Friday and they’ll be scrapping for points to preserve their league status. There are no easy game in League Two, but this one really needs to be won…