S a l f o r d
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Team Sheet

FC Halifax Town
1
Sam Johnson
2
Michael Duckworth
4
Nathan Clarke
5
Matty Brown (c)
7
Matty Kosylo
8
Cameron King

Tomlinson '87

9
Dayle Southwell

Preston '64

18
James Berrett
31
Niall Maher
Yellow card for Niall Maher
37
Scott Quigley

Edwards '64

39
Joe Skarz
Salford City FC
1
Chris Neal
2
Scott Wiseman
3
Ibou Touray
6
Carl Piergianni
7
Matt Green

Dieseruvwe '75

9
Adam Rooney (c)
10
Danny Lloyd

Gaffney '54

11
Tom Walker
16
Joe Muscatt
Yellow card for Joe Muscatt
18
Danny Whitehead
23
Nathan Pond
Substitutes
21
Shaun Rowley
10
Jonathan Edwards
14
Ben Tomlinson
19
Jordan Preston
25
James Ferry
Substitutes
12
Max Crocombe
20
Mani Dieseruvwe
21
Devante Rodney
26
James Jones
30
Rory Gaffney
Managers
Manager - Jamie Fullarton
Managers
Manager - Graham Alexander
Match Officals
Referee - James Oldham
Assistant Referee - Stuart Richardson
Assistant Referee - Dale Baines
Fourth Official - Jamie Rhodes

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Match
Report

A goalless draw at The Shay marks a dramatic improvement on previous league visits to Halifax Town’s home, even if the performance was short of Salford’s City’s best. Halifax looked the livelier side for much of the opening hour with The Ammies applying pressure during the closing 30 minutes. Even so, the chances that came along weren’t exactly gilt-edged and although Chris Neal was the busier of the keepers, the saves he needed to make were fairly routine. A point and a clean-sheet on the road is never a bad result and as manager Graham Alexander observed, there a lot more points to play for.

There were changes from the side that drew at home to Gateshead last week, starting at the back where Liam Hogan’s unavailability saw a return to a 4 man defence. Three midfielders were strung across the middle of the park, with Tom Walker on the left, Joe Muscatt in the middle and fit again Danny Whitehead on the right. Danny Lloyd took the free role, behind strikers Adam Rooney & Matt Green.

Roared on by in excess of 400 supporters Salford would take some time to settle, with Halifax creating the afternoon’s first opening within 25 seconds of the start. Carl Piergianni’s clearance fell temptingly Niall Maher whose left-footed 25-yarder cleared the bar by a yard.

Matt Kosylo and Cameron King almost played their way into the box on the right, only for the latter to hit a low effort that was deflected behind for a corner. Within a minute King left fly with another low shot, from distance, but this went straight through to Neal in the visitors’ goal.

Salford had to wait until the 11th minute for their 1st moment of any attacking promise as Walker’s cross dropped to the edge of the 6-yard box. Matty Brown headed behind for Halifax and they broke from the corner courtesy of the ever-lively Kosylo. A good pass picked out Dayle Southwell but his shot from just outside the area was too close to Neal to cause the keeper any undue concern.

This had been a good start from The Shaymen although the lack of cutting edge that would mark their afternoon was already making its presence felt. Salford meanwhile had produced nothing more than a couple of decent balls into the box, although these were dealt with simply enough by Sam Johnson and his defenders.

A spell of Halifax pressure in the 22nd minute ended with possession contested by Kosylo on the right-hand edge of the Salford area. Defender Nathan Clarke spied his chance as the ball went loose, slamming in a low 20-yarder that was once again straight at Neal.

There was an opening for Salford soon after that after Danny Whitehead’s free-kick was helped on inside the box by Rooney. There were blue shirts in front of goal and Lloyd couldn’t keep his 15-yard left-of-centre snapshot down, lifting the chance high over the crossbar.

Scott Wiseman’s headed a cross from the right back towards Neal, but despite the keeper’s best efforts the ball went out for a corner. James Berrett’s delivery from the left found Clarke byond the far post but it was a difficult chance and he could only head wide of the post.

The Ammies were struggling to find much in the way of attacking rhythm, yet at the other end they were defending diligently to restrict their opponents to half-chances.

Llloyd had a shot charged down next but generally it was Halifax who were looking to crack open the opposing defence. They created a good opportunity 10 minutes from half-time as King played a pass inside from the right with Southwell threading a ball into the left-hand side of the box. Maher had a clear sight of goal but once again Halifax couldn’t find a convincing finish as the low shot was easy for Neal to smother. The Shaymen went closer 2 minutes later after they were awarded a free-kick, 25-yards out and centrally positioned. Kosylo stood over the ball and when the effort came in Neal had to spring to the left to push it around his upright.

Down at the South Stand end Piergianni challenged for Walker’s free-kick, delivered from deep on the left. The ball fell for Lloyd but again he was being closed down and could only hit a rising 15-yarder high over the target.

Scott Quigley had a go from distance after that but failed to trouble Neal.

Defensively strong, Salford hadn’t set the world alight when attacking, with their afternoon so far summed up 2 minutes before the break. Green’s approach play was promising as he cut in from the left but the shot, when it came in, went out of play on the far side for a throw-in.

The half’s final moment of note came during it’s final minute as Halifax right-back Michael Duckworth advanced into space before striking a firm, angled 22-yarder that spun off Neal as he got down to guard his near post. Fortunately for The Ammies a defender got in to clear up the danger and the game was without a goal as the half-time whistle blew.

HALF-TIME: FC HALIFAX TOWN 0 SALFORD CITY 0

The 2nd half initially slipped into the same pattern as the 1st, with Halifax pressing and The Ammies forced to get men behind the ball. King went close for The Shaymen as his well-struck effort from outside the box was deflected just wide. Salford had made no real impression on the half so far and Lloyd was replaced by Rory Gaffney in a tactically like-for-like switch.

The change was quickly followed by The Ammies' best chance so far as Whitehead's near 30-yard effort flashed just wide of Johnson’s left-hand post.
Close, but Halifax were still on top and some of Salford’s play – especially in their own half – had become a little bit careless.

The Shaymen thought they had won a penalty in the 61st minute as Kosylo’s run on the left took him between 2 Salford players. Contact saw the Halifax man go down but the referee upset the home support by awarding a free-kick on the left-hand edge of the area, instead of a spot-kick. Berrett whipped in the set-piece but Piergianni was there to head behind from the edge of the 6-yard box.

Halifax manager Jamie Fullarton made a couple of changes for the game's final quarter but his side’s influence on the game would wane from this point on.

Duckworth sent another low effort from distance wide of the target but the tide had turned to a certain extent as Salford began to look more consistently threatening. From a corner on the left Gaffney found space to shoot on the right-hand side of the area, drilling in a low effort that was blocked by a blue-shirted defender. Kosylo embarked on a lung-bursting break but was short of support and the attack fizzled out before there was any real danger to Neal’s goal.

Gaffney again found space inside the area, on the right, but once more he couldn’t hit the target, sending a low effort wide of the far upright.

Mani Dieseruvwe came on for Green with 15 minutes left and soon after that Gaffney had another effort, low from 25 yards but straight at Johnson. The Irishman turned creator next, cleverly leaving the ball for Walker only for his well-struck 25-yarder to be blocked inside the area.

The Ammies were finally producing a serious test for the Halifax defence and Nathan Pond met Whitehead’s cross from the right, only to see his header cannon off a defender. Rooney did well to head a dropping ball back towards Gaffney who once again elected to shoot, but this time the effort was high and wide of Johnson’s left-hand post. Time was running out as Touray’s pass down the left found Walker whose cross was a good one. Piergianni went up to meet the ball in the middle only to be thwarted as a defender inched ahead of him to get there first.

Salford might just have snatched a winner during the closing stages of the game, but the final opportunity went to Halifax. In the last of 3 added-on minutes Ben Tomlinson’s corner from the right was met by Brown whose header dropped just over the bar and onto the roof of the net.

FULL-TIME: FC HALIFAX TOWN 0 SALFORD CITY 0

Not a classic Salford City performance by any means but they displayed enough in terms of effort, organisation and resilience to hold Halifax at bay during those opening 60 minutes. The Shaymen certainly had the majority of the game’s chances but didn’t come particularly close to beating Neal. Salford might have grabbed a goal themselves but that would have been rough justice on their hosts, with a point apiece probably not too unfair an outcome.

Graham Alexander will be looking for more from his side during the coming weeks, particularly in the final third but those recent performances against Orient and Wrexham showed just what they are capable of.

An honourable draw then, and it’s back to FA Trophy action next Saturday as Maidstone United travel to The Peninsula Stadium for a 3rd Round tie. In a fortnight it’s off to Braintree Town as Salford’s National League programme resumes.

Attendance: 2,115 (including 423 from Salford)

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