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Salford City football Club

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Team Sheet

Grimsby Town
1
James McKeown
3
Daniel Preston
5
Ludvig Ohman
Red card for Ludvig Ohman
7
Matt Green

Mohsni 70'

10
George Williams

Starbuck 78'

15
Harry Clifton
20
Owura Edwards
21
James Tilley
Yellow card for James Tilley

Gibson 58'

22
Elliott Hewitt
26
Terry Taylor
32
Duncan Idehen
Salford City FC
1
Vaclav Hladky
3
Ibou Touray
Yellow card for Ibou Touray
4
Jason Lowe
5
Ash Eastham (c)
9
Tom Elliott
10
Ash Hunter
Yellow card for Ash Hunter

Andrade 86'

16
Jordan Turnbull
17
Richie Towell
1 goals for Richie Towell Yellow card for Richie Towell
18
Oscar Threlkeld
37
Brandon Thomas-Asante
40
Ian Henderson
3 goals for Ian Henderson 3 goals for Ian Henderson 3 goals for Ian Henderson

Smith 90'

Substitutes
23
Sam Russell
4
Danny Rose
12
Montel Gibson
14
Luke Spokes
18
Bilel Mohsni
29
Joe Starbuck
34
Louis Boyd
Substitutes
31
William Evans
7
Luke Armstrong
11
Bruno Andrade
19
James Wilson
24
Martin Smith
28
Alex Denny
32
Tylor Golden
Managers
Manager - Ian Holloway
Managers
Manager - Graham Alexander
Match Officals
Referee - Martin Coy
Assistant Referee - Andrew Dallison
Assistant Referee - Simon Clayton
Fourth Official - Garreth Rhodes

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Match
Report

Three converted penalties, with a hat-trick from Ian Henderson helped Salford City to a resounding 4-0 win at a sunny, breezy Blundell Park. A first three-pointer of the season, and although that scoreline is a touch flattering, this was a thoroughly professional performance on a ground where Graham Alexander’s side were beaten on the first day of this topsy-turvy year.

There was a single change from the side that started the Carabao Cup tie at Goodison Park on Wednesday, with Tom Elliott drafted into the attacking trio in place of James Wilson.

The Ammies put together their first attack of the afternoon during the game’s opening minute, with Elliott getting his head to a cross from the right, with the dropping ball had to be bundled behind for a corner.

Nothing came of that set-piece and The Mariners were soon looking to create chances for themselves. Terry Taylor’s pass to the left sent Danny Preston on a galloping run and the left-back hit a shot that clipped off Ash Eastham’s head before dropping over the bar and onto the roof of the net.

This game would have an open start, and in the 7th minute Ibou Touray’s left-footed free-kick from deep on the right took a touch off a Grimsby head before dropping toward the far post. Jordan Turnbull stretched to make left-footed contact from 6 yards out, but under defensive pressure could only lift an effort high over the bar.

Former Salford striker Matt Green was behind Grimsby’s next opportunity, finishing off his run with a threaded pass that picked out Owura Edwards’ advance on the left. Vaclav Hladky has made an impressive start to his Salford career and saved well, with a defensive colleague on hand to get the loose ball clear.

Green had a go himself soon after that, getting onto the end of George Williams’ free-kick from a deep position, just wide of centre. An acrobatic hooked effort followed but the ball dropped harmlessly wide of the far post.

An entertaining first quarter-hour finished with another chance for the home side after Richie Towell’s back-pass from wide on the left put Eastham under pressure. A free-kick was duly conceded for a foul on Edwards but Williams’ 22-yard free-kick bounced inside the 6-yard box before rising into the waiting arms of Hladky.

There was a penalty shout for the home side next as Edwards made progress into the box before hitting the turf. The referee had a quick look but decided – probably correctly – that no foul had taken place.

Swedish defender Ludvig Öhman would not enjoy the happiest of afternoons and he was knocked over by Elliott and then Brandon Thomas-Asante in relatively quick succession. Free-kicks were awarded for both but the referee contented himself with a word of warning for the Thomas-Asante.

Play had become a touch scrappy as the midpoint of the first-half arrived but Grimsby were still doing most of the pressing. In the 24th minute Edwards and James Tilley swapped passed on the right with the former getting almost to the line before attempting a low cross. There had been black-and-white striped shirted options, yet it was Hladky who got there first to smother the danger.

The home side went close 60 seconds or so later after Preston made ground on the left before crossing towards the near post. Green was on the end of it but was left disappointed as Hladky dived right to push his 8-yard header around the post. The Ammies put together a counter after the corner was cleared, with Touray attacking down the left before crossing into the area. Elliott’s header dropped back across the goalmouth for Henderson to try a back-to-goal flick from 6-yards that was comfortably picked up by Grimsby keeper James McKeown.

A decent effort from Salford, but in truth it had come against the run of play as did their opening goal in the 32nd minute. A cross was cleared away to Grimsby’s right, with Henderson looking to cut into the box as he picked it up. A trip from Elliot Hewitt brought his progress to an abrupt halt, but there was a happy ending for the Ammies as the referee pointed to the spot. HENDERSON seems to have no problem keeping his cool in these situations and he hit the spot-kick down the middle with McKeown committed to his right.

Having resisted a fair amount of pressure before going ahead, the Ammies could have rubbed salt into Grimsby’s wounds with a quick second goal. Touray’s short pass down the left found Henderson who turned inside onto his right foot before delivering a tempting cross into the box. Elliot used his strength and size to get up and meet the ball, placing a downward header between McKeown and his right-hand post. The celebrations didn’t even begin before the referee indicated that the Salford striker had been penalised for foul, although that decision did seem a trifle harsh.

Having very nearly gone two up, Salford could have been pegged back 9 minutes from half-time as Williams pushed forward on the left before getting into the box. A low, angled 15-yarder followed, but the perfectly positioned Hladky was able to get in a blocking save, with a red-shirt on hand to get the ball clear.

The pressure was on again and it was Hewitt’s turn to surge forward, on the right. The cross dropped for Green, level with the near post and 12-yards out but it was a difficult chance and he couldn’t get the header on target.

The Mariners were intent on restoring parity before the interval and the impressive Edwards worked hard on the left to win possession then drill a cross-field pass over to Hewitt. When the cross came in Edwards was on the end of it, on the far side of the box and unselfishly placed a first-time pass back inside and into the path of Harry Clifton. The midfielder took a touch before launching a left-footer from just to the left of the penalty area, only for the ball to take a nick off a defender on its way over the crossbar.

The Ammies pushed forward themselves after that, with Hunter’s free-kick from deep on the left just evading the stretching Elliott’s head before bouncing inches outside the far post. After that Hunter slammed in 20-yard shot that was stopped by McKeown before Grimsby constructed a swift counter-attack that very nearly earned them an equaliser. A long ball forward was chased by Williams and a moment’s hesitation from Turnbull allowed the Grimsby man to flick the ball over the advancing Hladky. Unfortunately for the home side Salford skipper Eastham was in full flight and he caught the rolling ball in time to clear punt the ball away to his right.

More frustration for Grimsby, and they will have felt a little aggrieved to go in behind after an enterprising first-half showing.

HALF-TIME: GRIMSBY TOWN 0 SALFORD CITY 1

The Mariners emerged in determined mood for the second half, winning a free-kick within its opening minute. Williams delivered it from the left, with Touray forced to head behind at the far post.

Salford’s first attack of note came along 5 minutes later after Hunter swapped passed with Thomas-Asante on the left before drilling a low 20-yarder just wide of McKeown’s right-hand upright.

On an afternoon when penalties were to be awarded, Salford might well have had their 2nd after Oscar Threlkeld’s long ball from wide on the right dropped into the penalty area. Öhman let the ball bounce in the belief that it would reach McKeown, but Thomas-Asante nipped in to get a foot to it. An emergency challenge from the Mariners’ defender seemed to trip his opponent but the referee agreed with Öhman’s claim that he got a touch on the ball first.

A bit of an escape for Grimsby perhaps, but their luck would take a turn for the worse later on. In the meantime Ian Holloway’s charges were still looking for a leveller, with Green nudging a pass back for Preston to cross into the area. Clifton got a header in but was obviously, and understandably, disappointed as the ball soared high over Hladky’s crossbar.

Towell conceded a free-kick on Grimsby’s left in the 57th minute, with Williams whipping in a delivery that was headed wide of the far post from just inside the penalty area.

Minutes later home substitute Montel Gibson played a one-two with Clifton on the right before heading to the line and getting in a low cross. There were team-mates arriving but once again the final ball was lacking as the alert Hladky dropped smartly to claim possession for himself.

At this point of the game the Mariners could still consider themselves unlucky to be trailing, but the final half-hour would belong to Salford City.

The Ammies doubled their lead courtesy of another penalty, awarded in the 63rd minute after Touray’s cross from the left spun off Hewitt right on the edge of the area before being knocked behind by Öhman. Most of the players seemed to think the outcome would be a corner, but the referee surprised us all by pointing at the spot. Close scrutiny of the footage suggested that Hewitt did turn his arm into the cross, but even so it has to be said that this might well be viewed as a harsh decision.

If HENDERSON felt any sympathy for Grimsby Town, he kept it well hidden, with an emphatic low finish inside McKeown’s left-hand post with the keeper going the other way.

A two-goal cushion for Salford to defend, and they did so with resolution during the time that remained. Grimsby continued to press when they could, but most of their better work was done outside the box as the visiting rearguard held very firm.

The Ammies went close to a 3rd goal 19 minutes from time after the busy Towell got in a cross from the right. Henderson’s touch helped the ball on, and under pressure from Hunter, Taylor fluffed his chance to clear. Thomas-Asante had the chance to fire in a low, angled effort from the left, with McKeown doing well to push it around his right-hand upright.

Grimsby needed a goal quickly, and Edwards had a go from outside the box after cutting inside from the left. The former Bristol City and Newport man had put in a very decent shift but was left frustrated again as his rising effort flew a yard or so over the crossbar. Gibson tried his luck next, from 19-yards out and left-of-centre but the low effort was saved and held by Hladky.

A couple of half-chances for the home side to haul themselves back into contention, but their hopes of a comeback were effectively dashed with 15 minutes left. Hunter teased a couple of defenders on the left before advancing to just outside the box before dropping a great cross into the 6-yard box. The ball fell between Öhman and Duncan Idehen, who could only watch in dismay as the predatory HENDERSON glided in to glance a 5-yard header down to McKeown's left, completing his his hat-trick and effectively deciding the match.

A lovely bit of play from the Ammies and the next opportunity went their way too as Hunter tried a 20-yarder that he couldn't keep down.

Grimsby’s afternoon was summed up 10 minutes from time when Gibson picked up a throw-in on the left before cutting into the box and trying a shot that limped out for a Salford throw on the far side. The same player went for goal from a right-of-centre free-kick soon after, only to see his effort deflect off a Salford head in the defensive wall for a corner.

The Mariners stuck to their task and an Edwards corner from the right went short before being hoisted into the box. Öhman got up on the edge of the 6-yard box to get in a downward header, only to be denied as Hladky extended a leg to deflect the ball to safety.

Another good save from the Czech keeper and with 5 minutes left his side almost got a 4th. Thomas-Asante muscled his way past Preston on the right before hoisting in a cross that Henderson nodded back for Hunter. A powerful shot followed but this once crashed into Öhman and away to safety.

Next up to threaten was Touray, whose free-kick from the left almost found the stretching Henderson, only for the ball to find its way safely to McKeown.

The game was up for Town, but they had a late chance to bag a consolation, only for Öhman to lash a shot over the bar from among a crowd of players.

Martin Smith came on for Henderson in the last minute to record his first Salford appearance since the EFL Trophy win over Aston Villa’s Under 21s just over a year ago. Good to see ‘Smudger’ again, but his appearance probably deprived the departing Henderson of a 4th goal.

Two minutes into time added on Elliott’s overhead kick from a deep central position allowed Towell to break into the area, only for him to be manhandled by the desperately retreating Öhman. Another penalty, and this time it was accompanied by a straight red card for the unfortunate Grimsby defender.

With Henderson off the field, it was TOWELL who assumed responsibility for the spot-kick, and although McKeown got close, the ball buried itself into his bottom right-hand corner.

FULL-TIME: GRIMSBY TOWN 0 SALFORD CITY 4

A great start to Salford City’s away league campaign and this result will raise a few eyebrows among the other teams in EFL League Two. The score probably doesn’t fit the balance and statistics from this game, but you have to be ruthless to win football matches – The Ammies were, and Grimsby Town were not.

Two of the 3 penalties looked pretty much nailed on, and although the 2nd might have been a tough decision for the home side, Öhman getting away with that challenge on Thomas-Asante probably balances it out.

An increasingly steady defensive performance baulked Grimsby’s efforts to get back into the game, particularly after the 2nd goal and Graham Alexander will be pleased with his team’s attitude and industry.

We will probably play better than this and not win games, but who can complain at 4-0 away from home ?

The race for a place in League One is on…

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