S a l f o r d
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Salford City football Club

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Team Sheet

Harrogate Town
1
James Belshaw
2
Ryan Fallowfield
Yellow card for Ryan Fallowfield
6
Warren Burrell (c)
Yellow card for Warren Burrell (c)
7
George Thomson

Kerry 73'

10
Aaron Martin
12
Jake Lawlor
14
Brendan Kiernan
15
Connor Kirby
Yellow card for Connor Kirby
18
Jack Muldoon
20
Connor Hall
22
Edward Francis

Miller 85'

Salford City FC
1
Vaclav Hladky
3
Ibou Touray
4
Jason Lowe
5
Ash Eastham (c)
Yellow card for Ash Eastham (c)
6
Tom Clarke
10
Ash Hunter
12
Di'Shon Bernard
18
Oscar Threlkeld
19
James Wilson
1 goals for James Wilson

Dieseruvwe 84'

37
Brandon Thomas-Asante

Andrade 74'

40
Ian Henderson
Substitutes
13
Joe Cracknell
16
Jon Stead
17
Lloyd Kerry
19
Calvin Miller
26
Kevin Lokko
Substitutes
21
Nick Hayes
9
Tom Elliott
11
Bruno Andrade
16
Jordan Turnbull
20
Mani Dieseruvwe
39
Mo Touray
Managers
Manager - Simon Weaver
Managers
Manager - Richie Wellens
Match Officals
Referee - Trevor Kettle
Assistant Referee - Richard Bartlett
Assistant Referee - Kevin Mulraine
Fourth Official - Andy Haines

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Match
Report

James Wilson’s clinically taken first-half goal proved enough to give Salford City a deserved win at Harrogate Town’s EnviroVent Stadium. The division’s meanest defence were relatively rarely troubled, although a late chance or two for the home side had Ammie pulses racing a little. Even so, three away points and a 9th clean sheet in 18 league games make this another eminently satisfactory day.

Unsurprisingly there were no changes from the side that started Tuesday evening’s draw with league leaders Newport County, and once again the bench had an attacking look about it.

Simon Weaver’s side started the game quite promisingly and the first opening went their way as early as the 3rd minute. Aaron Martin met a free kick from the right with a header that looped into the air, then down into the arms of Václav Hladký.

Town would see more of the ball during the early stages but struggled – as they would for much of the afternoon – to find their way through a well-drilled Salford defence. The possession quickly became more even, but there wouldn’t be much in the way of goalmouth action until the Ammies went ahead during the 17th minute. There seemed to be relatively little danger as Brandon Thomas-Asante picked up possession just inside his own half and well right of centre. The forward had spotted movement ahead and launched a lofted left-foot pass that dropped into the left-hand side of the penalty area. James Wilson reacted fast to get onto the end of it, ahead of chasing defender and former Ammie Jake Lawlor. There was plenty of work to do yet, but from the angle of the 6-yard box WILSON clipped a low effort past James Belshaw and into the far bottom corner.

A great finish and a 5th league goal of the season from Wilson who has only just returned from injury.

Harrogate looked to respond and a couple of minutes later Jack Muldoon collected Martin’s pass in space on the left before squaring a ball into the danger area. Jason Lowe whacked that one behind for a corner that was delivered from Harrogate’s left. A partial clearance fell for Muldoon but from 15 yards out he could only screw a shot wide of Hladký’s left-hand post.

A previously rather quiet encounter had opened up and soon afterwards Lowe switched play from right to left, allowing Di’Shon Bernard to carry possession forward. A tucked ball inside found Ash Hunter whose low 20-yarder clipped off a defender before rolling harmlessly through to Belshaw.

The Ammies started to apply a bit of consistent pressure and Wilson picked up the ball wide and deep on the left. Clever feet took the former Manchester United man past a couple of challenges and his diagonal run took him to a central position just outside the box. The low shot would not live up to the approach play on this occasion, with Belshaw relatively untroubled as he scooped up the ball.

This was proving to be a decent spell for Salford and on 27 minutes Ibou Touray played a ball up the left flank for Hunter. A typical twisting run inside was followed up by a pass nudged inside for Lowe who hit an 18-yarder that deflected off a defender and wide of the keeper’s right-hand post. Hunter took the corner and it dropped temptingly across the face of goal without getting a touch from anybody.

A Harrogate corner just before the half-hour led to a couple of half-chances that were blocked and 12 minutes before half-time Ryan Fallowfield tucked a pass inside for Brendan Kiernan. There was a sight of goal for the midfielder he struck the ball well only to see his right-of-centre 20-yarder crash into Lowe.

Connor Kirby was booked 8 minutes before the break after a flailing arm caught Hunter in the face. Warren Burrell would follow him for a foul on Thomas-Asante as Salford frustrated Town’s attempts to get hold of the ball.

Lowe had another attempt on goal during the half’s penultimate minute, with his 30-yarder from a central position flicking off a defender and over the bar. During first half time added on Hunter’s cross from the right was cleared as far as Touray whose left-footer from outside the ball flew high over the crossbar.

HALF-TIME: HARROGATE TOWN 0 SALFORD CITY 1

A good first half for the Ammies who had started quietly – yet firmly – before asserting themselves to score a goal of some quality.

Both sides pushed forward as the game got back underway and Hunter’s corner from the left had to be punched away by Belshaw at the near post. Harrogate countered, with George Thomson slipping a forward pass into the right-hand side of the area for Fallowfield. The low, pacey cross that followed had to be hacked behind by Ash Eastham from inside the 6-yard box, but the corner was gathered by Hladký.

Once again the balance of play tipped in Salford’s favour and in the 51st minute Hunter’s corner from the left was cleared, with Oscar Threlkeld hitting a 20-yard first-time daisy cutter that struck a Town defender before being cleared.

Hunter was in a creative mood again within another minute, trying a low 20-yard curler from left-of-centre that was gathered by Belshaw at his left-hand post.

On 55 minutes Muldoon went down inside the Salford area, but lightning didn’t strike twice in a week for the Ammies as the referee ignored the hopeful appeals for a penalty.

Otherwise, Salford were looking strong and composed, yet that one goal lead wasn’t enough for them to be comfortable. They went looking for the second that would probably seal the points, and on the hour Hunter delivered a great cross from the left. Wilson was moving forward to meet the ball at the far post, only to be thwarted as Burrell got back to flick a header behind for a corner.

Town were struggling to exert consistent pressure and it was the visitors who looked more likely to add to the scoring. In the 62nd minute a neat spell of passing ended with Threlkeld sliding a good pass to the left for Hunter to hit an 18-yarder that was blocked by Lawlor.

A chance did present itself for Harrogate midway through the second half as Thomson lofted a free kick from halfway and wide on the left. The ball fell for Hall who got in a looping header that Hladký had to grasp just underneath his crossbar.

A modest opportunity for the home side, but a timely reminder that the 3 points weren’t wrapped up for the Ammie Christmas stocking just yet. Another Salford goal was overdue and it could well have arrived just a minute or so after Hall’s chance Thomas-Asante collected a long ball up the right flank before heading for the line then cutting inside. An unselfish pass was played back for Hunter to hit an angled effort that Belshaw pushed around his left-hand upright. Hunter delivered the corner, from Salford’s right, with a couple of red-shirted players having a prod at it as a 6-yard box scramble ensued. Finally the ball dropped for Henderson at the far post but he was left disappointed as a close-range effort was charged down.

Harrogate were still in the game, despite being second best for a considerable chunk of it. They almost took advantage 18 minutes from time as Muldoon’s pass into the box was held up by Kirby. A return ball gave Muldoon chance to shoot and from 18-yards and right-of-centre he drilled in a low shot that Hladký managed to stop, dropping to his right. The ball squirmed loose but Salford’s in-form keeper recovered quickly to gather as Martin closed in.

That was Harrogate’s best opening so far and there would be another decent one just 5 minutes later. A corner from Town's left dropped to the edge of the 6-yard box where Kiernan could only lift a first-time effort over the crossbar. Not an easy chance but the Londoner would be disappointed at not getting that one on target.

Bruno Andrade had only been on the pitch for 5 minutes when he broke through the inside right channel before hitting a powerful effort, with Belshaw pulling off a tremendous stop to keep his side in the game.

After that the Ammies tightened their grip again, largely denying Harrogate the opportunity to put them under real pressure. The tactic worked admirably up to the end of the 90 minutes, but with Town committing men forward there would be a moment or two of concern during time added on. During the 1st of 4 extra minutes a long ball forward was headed on, falling for Muldoon on the edge of the box. The striker didn’t have too long to set himself and in the event could only direct a shot wide of the keeper’s right-hand post, with Hladky getting across to cover.

Harrogate kept going – they had no choice – and right at the end of the time added on a cross from the left dropped towards Lawlor at the near angle of the 6-yard box. A real chance to put one over on his old club beckoned, but Lawlor was left in despair as his flicked header dropped across the face of goal and outside the far post.

FULL-TIME: HARROGATE TOWN 0 SALFORD CITY 1

A good win for the Ammies and they deserved them, despite a number of opportunities for the home side during the final quarter of the game. If you’re going to find fault with today’s performance, it would be the failure to get a second goal on the back of all that possession.

That will be something for Richie Wellens and his staff to ponder, but other than the win and clean sheet, there was plenty to appreciate. Salford City have become very difficult to break down over recent weeks, and that’s down to players knowing what they need to do and being prepared to do it. There's also a good chance that one of the forwards will produce the type of quality that won this afternoon's match.

With the transfer window looming, the manager will have his opportunity to fine tune his squad, and with nearly two-thirds of the league season yet to play the next few months might well turn out to be very interesting indeed.

Next up is Walsall on Boxing Day at the Peninsula Stadium, with the last game of a year that will not be missed due to be played at Mansfield Town on the 29th. Six points from those might just make 2020 a little bit more palatable…

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