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Team Sheet

Gateshead
23
Aynsley Pears
2
Robbie Tinkler (c)
4
Jack Hunter
5
Fraser Kerr
8
Greg Olley
9
Luke Armstrong
2 goals for Luke Armstrong 2 goals for Luke Armstrong
11
Cameron Salkeld

Devitt '90+4

12
Jon Mellish
14
JJ O'Donnell
15
Tom White
19
Scott Boden
Salford City FC
1
Chris Neal
2
Scott Wiseman
3
Ibou Touray
5
Liam Hogan (c)

Shelton '86

6
Carl Piergianni
7
Nick Haughton

Mafuta '73

8
Lois Maynard
9
Adam Rooney
1 goals for Adam Rooney
11
Tom Walker
18
Danny Whitehead
30
Rory Gaffney
Substitutes
1
Mark Foden
7
Connor Thompson
16
Lewis Maloney
17
Elliot Forbes
18
Tom Devitt
Substitutes
4
Gus Mafuta
12
Max Crocombe
16
James Hooper
19
Mark Shelton
23
Nathan Pond
Managers
Manager - Steve Watson
Managers
Manager - Graham Alexander
Match Officals
Referee - Martin Woods
Assistant Referee - Elliott Heward
Assistant Referee - Joseph Pettitt
Fourth Official - Mark Ryan

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Match
Report

Salford City suffered their first defeat of the new season and in truth can’t complain too much about the outcome of this game. A less than wholly convincing second-half performance allowed Gateshead to take control of the match for an extended spell and the Heed could have won by a greater margin. It had all started so well for Salford too, with striker Adam Rooney heading them into an 11th minute lead. That would prove to be the highlight of the Ammies’ evening although despite that disjointed second 45 minutes they could have snatched a late point.

Graham Alexander was forced into one change for this match as injured Danny Lloyd was replaced by Nick Haughton. That left a gap on the bench, filled by recent signing James Hooper.

The Gateshead International Stadium is an imposing venue and the home side, encouraged by their noisy and vociferous support, started the game well. The Heed sounded out Salford’s defence during the early minutes, winning a corner without managing to create a scoring opportunity.

The Ammies bared their attacking teeth for the first time in the 7th minute. Rory Gaffney picked up Haughton’s nudge to the left, then checked inside to make the half-a-yard necessary to pick out a pass. Lois Maynard was the recipient, a couple of yards outside the area and centrally positioned, but despite making good contact his low effort was blocked by a defender.

Salford keeper Chris Neal had an uneasy moment, allowing Jack Hunter’s long ball forward to slip out of his grasp but regained composure and possession quickly.

Modest attacking efforts from both teams so far but Salford would soon draw first blood. In the 11th minute Gaffney did well wide on the left to hold on to possession, despite close attention from Cameron Salkeld. A short pass back to Ibou Touray gave the left-back a chance to cross and he did so to very good effect indeed. The delivery dropped to the back of the 6-yard box where ROONEY planted a header back across Aynsley Pears and inside the far post.

A quality finish from the Irishman to score his first Ammie goal and for a little while Salford looked capable of pushing on. There was plenty of possession and some neat passing play as they waited patiently for gaps to appear in the home defence. A few decent build-ups were let down only by the final ball while athan the other end Gateshead failed to make any attacking inroads.

All going to plan for the Ammies but the pattern of the game began to shift midway through the first half. In the 23rd minute Greg Olley nicked possession away from opposite number Maynard before sliding the ball through to Scott Boden. A short pass back to Hunter was followed by a lofted ball into the box, with Scott Wiseman only just getting there before JJ O’Donnell.

Minutes later Boden won a slightly soft free-kick and the Ammies could have paid a hefty price for the referee’s generosity. O’Donnell elected to shoot from right-of-centre and over 30 yards out with Neal moving smartly to his left to make his catch look easy.

The home side were working up a heed of steam and Salkeld’s surging run on the left won a corner. O’Donnell swung in the set-piece but despite taking a good position Luke Armstrong couldn’t get direction on his header.

Not a bad opportunity but the current pattern of the game was Gateshead having possession without too much end result and Salford struggling to hold onto the ball. Even so the Ammies might have extended their lead 13 minutes before half-time. Gaffney worked hard to win a corner and Rooney met Haughton’s delivery from the right with a header that flicked off the woodwork and out of play.

Better from Salford’s point of view but in the 36th minute their lead was cancelled out. Olley’s pass played Salkeld into the area on the right and he appeared to ride a couple of challenges before poking a ball into the middle. Salford appeared to have survived when the ball was cleared but the referee had seen a foul – possibly a shove on Salkeld – and pointed to the spot. ARMSTRONG placed the ball and made absolutely no mistake, slotting a cool finish into Neal’s bottom left-hand corner with the keeper committed the other wbuay.

Suitably encouraged, Gateshead pushed forward again and Salkeld’s ball in from the right appeared to be hit off one Salford defender by another before going out for a corner.

As the first half moved into time added on the Ammies moved possession from left to right via Touray, Haughton and Danny Whitehead. Wiseman picked up possession and when his cross was headed out Haughton slammed in a low 20-yard effort that was blocked by Hunter. At the other end Boden advanced into space before hitting a shot from some distance, rising high into the evening air and signalling the end of the first half.

HALF-TIME: GATESHEAD 1 SALFORD CITY

An interesting first half had the game finely balanced and the second initially promised to provide more of the same. The first threat came along in the 51st minute as Walker delivered a left-flank corner just beyond the far post. Former Gateshead defender Liam Hogan did well, diving in to steer a header back into the centre but Maynard wasn’t able to nod home.

Soon after that Haughton twisted his way into Gateshead’s penalty area only to be crowded out by defenders.

Some attacking joy for Salford yet slowly but surely the Heed were gaining the upper hand. In the 58th minute Tom White’s cross from the right was controlled by O’Donnell whose snap-shot was bravely blocked by Hogan. The loose ball fell kindly for O’Donnell and this time he changed tack, attempting to lift an effort over Neal from 15 yards out.

The Salford keeper was equal to that one and there was the sniff of a chance for his side moments later. Carl Piergianni’s long ball from deep on the left was chested down by Rooney but Robbie Tinkler anticipated well, getting in to mop up the danger.

Of course, Gateshead still had plenty of attacking ambition and Olley’s cross into the box from the left was headed clear by the stooping Hogan. Jon Mellish picked up possession then tricked his way into the area on the left before having a low shot blocked by Hogan, once again in the right place at the right time.

Gateshead were soon rolling forward again and on the hour White’s pass found Olley on the right. The lively Salkeld got onto the end of a neat ball into the box only for his diagonal advance on goal to be thwarted by the well positioned Neal.

The pressure on Salford’s goal was building and Mellish picked out Salkeld on the right. A low cross whipped its way towards the near post where Armstrong could only poke an effort wide. The Gateshead number 9 may well have thought he should have done better, but within a couple more minutes most certainly did. Olley was the architect, turning in the inside left position before bisecting Salford’s defence with a beautifully judged pass. ARMSTRONG burst through into space and from 20 yards and left-centre beat Neal with a low shot to record his second goal of the evening.

Gateshead had taken hold of the game by the scruff of its neck and now it was up to the Ammies to find a response. Haughton made way for another former Heed player – Gus Mafuta – but the change didn’t have any real impact.

Gateshead continued to carry more threat, winning a couple of corners before O’Donnell’s cross was headed narrowly wide by Armstrong in the 75th minute. The Ammies were struggling to find a foothold and could have gone further behind 10 minutes from time. White hoisted in a cross from the right and the ball fell for Boden who showed a deft touch before drilling in a firmly hit 15-yarder.Hogan did enough to defect the ball wide of Neal’s left-hand upright but seemed to pick up a strain in the process. Salford’s skipper was off the field when the corner came in and when he returned to action he wasn’t moving too freely.

Salford attacking efforts hadn’t amounted to too much for a little while but they went agonisingly close to an out-of-the-blue leveller with 6 minutes left. Gaffney found some space on the left before playing a ball inside and into the path of Maynard. The midfielder steadied himself before placing a low shot wide of Pears but luck was against him as the ball came back off the post, to be cleared by the home defence.

Hogan – in obvious distress – was replaced by midfielder Mark Shelton with 4 minutes left. The Ammies went to 3 at the back as they chased a late equaliser and 2 minutes from time it almost materialised. Gaffney floated in a cross from outside the right-hand angle of the area and Maynard got up highest to meet the ball. Some of the Salford supporters accommodated in the East Stand were up and celebrating but the ball had bounced just outside Pears’ left-hand post.

Close for Salford but their hosts battened down the hatches after that, emerging unscathed from 5 minutes of time added on having secured 3 impressive points.

GATESHEAD 2 SALFORD CITY 1

On another day Maynard’s late shot – or even later header – goes in and we would now be looking back on a solid point. As it is we are left to reflect on what can only be described as a disappointing result and performance.

A deal of this game was even, often tight, with relatively few chances. Roared on by their supporters the Heed had the energy, movement and intensity to make the most of their spells on top and in the end reaped a deserved reward for their considerable efforts.

The second half was especially underwhelming from an Ammie viewpoint. They hardly ever got into anything like full flow yet could quite easily have scored an equaliser during those closing stages.
“Must do better” is the inescapable verdict but with games coming thick and fast there’s a chance to put this right very soon. With lessons learned Saturday’s visit to Sutton United could well get Salford’s season up and properly running.

Attendance 1,243 (98 Salford City)<.strong>

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