S a l f o r d
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F o o t b a l l
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Team Sheet

Havant & Waterlooville
1
Ryan Young
3
Rory Williams
4
Brian Stock (c)
Yellow card for Brian Stock (c)
5
Ryan Woodford
6
Ed Harris

Robinson 66

7
Wes Fogden
8
Theo Lewis
9
Alfie Pavey
1 goals for Alfie Pavey

Rutherford 46

10
Nicke Kabamba
11
Bradley Tarbuck

Strugnell 60

17
Jordan Rose
Salford City FC
1
Chris Neal
2
Scott Wiseman
3
Ibou Touray
5
Liam Hogan (c)

Walker 87

6
Carl Piergianni
8
Lois Maynard
9
Adam Rooney
1 goals for Adam Rooney
10
Danny Lloyd
Yellow card for Danny Lloyd
18
Danny Whitehead
Yellow card for Danny Whitehead
23
Nathan Pond
30
Rory Gaffney

Rodney 55

Substitutes
2
Dan Strugnell
12
Aaron Cosgrave
14
Mike Carter
20
Alfie Rutherford
Yellow card for Alfie Rutherford
23
Paul Robinson
Substitutes
4
Gus Mafuta
11
Tom Walker
12
Max Crocombe
19
Mark Shelton
21
Devante Rodney
Managers
Manager - Lee Bradbury
Managers
Manager - Graham Alexander
Match Officals
Referee - Paul Howard
Assistant Referee - Craig Simpson
Assistant Referee - Adam Ricketts
Fourth Official - Dan Austin

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Match
Report

Salford City picked up their first away point of the season yet manager Graham Alexander will not be entirely happy with his side’s performance. The Ammies played some good stuff at times this afternoon yet too often looked a little bit disjointed in the face of typically determined and well organised opposition. It’s good not to be returning to Salford empty-handed but the feeling is that there is very much more to come from a set of players who are certainly capable of better.

There was a single change from the side that started last week’s win over Chesterfield and it brought a shift in formation with it. Liam Hogan was restored to both the starting XI and captaincy,
replacing Tom Walker. That heralded a return to the 5-3-2 formation that closed out last Saturday’s victory with Scott Wiseman and Ibou Touray operating as wing-backs around a back 3 of Hogan, Nathan Pond & Carl Piergianni.

A bright late summer’s afternoon at the neat and tidy Westleigh Park as the reigning champions of National League North and South locked horns for the first time. Both sides looked willing to get forward early on and the afternoon’s first attack of note came in the 4th minute. Touray’s lofted pass forward from the left-back position was cleverly glanced to the left by Adam Rooney. Danny Lloyd was the recipient and his lobbed pass upfield looked to send Rory Gaffney clear. The assistant’s raised flag brought this promising move to a premature end but that was encouraging for the Salford fans who had made the long journey down to Hampshire.

At the other end home striker Alfie Pavey picked up Theo Lewis’ pass then turned to hit a speculative effort from almost 30 yards. He couldn’t keep that one down but the Hawks were finding a little rhythm and could have gone ahead with 8 minutes played. Muscular striker Nicke Kabamba got away from Pond through the inside left channel then appeared to have found a yard of space inside the area. He was about to pull the trigger but Hogan got across in the nick of time to put in a tremendously well-timed challenge and the Ammies looked to counter quickly. Touray advanced on the left before crossing into the middle where Rooney got in a header that dropped gently into the hands of Hawks keeper Ryan Young.

It was Rooney’s turn to provide service in the 10th minute as he aimed a cross towards Gaffney at the far post but the delivery was a touch too high. Salford were applying a little pressure and from Danny Whitehead’s right-flank corner Hogan got in a 6-yard header that Young grasped just under the crossbar.

Play got a little scrappy for a while after that as neither side seemed able to string passes together when it mattered and the respective defences dealt comfortably with everything that came their way. That situation changed abruptly midway through the first-half after Wes Fogden broke into space on right. The Havant man had been shepherded by Whitehead but the Salford midfielder slipped, allowing Fogden to dart past him and inside, tight to the line. Visiting keeper Chris Neal palmed out the cross that followed but the ball dropped nicely for Bradley Tarbuck, right-of-centre and on the edge of the area. The subsequent shot appeared to be scuffed with the ball rising high before dropping down towards the goal-line. Neal stretched to - presumably - tip over but he could only knock the ball down to his left. PAVEY reacted quickest, getting to the ball first and bundling home from what can’t even have been a single yard out.

The Ammies were a goal down, in slightly unfortunate circumstances, but were soon on the hunt for a leveller. Havant were defending well though and didn’t concede any sort of a chance until the 26th minute. Rooney and Touray exchanged passes on the left before the latter went for the line, shadowed all the way by a defender. Having run out of space Salford's left-back poked a low effort towards the near post but Young was wise to that one, making a comfortable smothering save.

Salford weren’t exactly stamping their authority on the game and had to wait until 12 minutes before half-time for another chance to come their way. Touray slid a pass out to Danny Lloyd on the left and he played a clever lofted pass inside for Gaffney to chase. The striker’s first touch was a slightly heavy nod down and he was nearly at the goal line before he managed to turn the ball inside. Once again Young was there to gather safely and the Hawks countered almost immediately. A long pass into the left-hand side of the penalty area was headed by the stooping Kabamba and the ball bounced past Neal before clipping low off his right-hand post and behind for a goal-kick.

The Ammies could easily have gone two down there but instead they were back on terms just 3 minutes later. Salford’s Lloyd had become more influential as the half progressed and he swung a cross in from the left. Lois Maynard headed down in the middle but the ball appeared to be bouncing wide until ROONEY popped up to stab home from about 6 yards out.

That’s the type of goal instinctive strikers pick up and Salford looked energised in its aftermath. Lloyd curled in another cross from the left and this one was headed behind by a defender. The former Peterborough man made his way over to the other flank to take the corner but a stooping Piergianni could only head a difficult chance over from 16 yards out.

Lloyd was at it again 3 minutes before the break, playing a low ball forward and through the middle. It was a pass that opened up the Havant defence but unfortunately Gaffney’s first touch wasn’t great, allowing defender Jordan Rose in to clear up the danger.

This was a decent spell for Salford and after a spot of Lloyd twisting and turning failed to find an opening the ball was nudged back to Whitehead. A square pass to the left was picked up by Piergianni who cut inside before slamming in a rising effort that cleared the bar by some distance.

The final first-half chance came in its penultimate minute as Brian Stock’s curving free-kick from the right was met by the head of Kabamba. The effort bounced back across goal and despite a number of white shirts in the vicinity Salford managed to get the ball clear.

HAVANT & WATERLOOVILLE 1 SALFORD CITY 1

The Hawks were forced to make a substitution during the interval, with one Alfie replacing another as Rutherford came on for goal-scorer Pavey.

The second half started off in uneven fashion from Salford’s point of view as they conceded a number of cheap free-kicks. In the 49th minute the Hawks almost swooped after Lewis’ back-heel sent Rutherford storming into the box on a left-of-centre run . The low cross that followed was dangerous but Salford’s defence stood firm and the ball was cleared.

The Ammies took their time to conjure a threat but when they did the home defence was almost unlocked. Wiseman advanced on the right before passing to Rooney whose cross into the area was controlled by Gaffney, back to goal. A lay-off gave Maynard the chance to shoot but his left-of-centre effort from inside the box was bravely blocked. Possession fell for Touray on the left and he had a shot blocked then a follow-up saved by Young at his near post.

Not a bad chance for Salford but generally both sides had started the second half a little slowly. Ten minutes after the restart Devante Rodney came on for Gaffney as Salford boss Graham Alexander looked to freshen up his side’s attacking options.

Havant skipper Stock was booked for a foul on Lloyd after that as Salford tried to crank up the pressure on Young’s goal. Whitehead picked up a clearance outside the penalty area then advanced a little to the right before hitting a low shot that seemed to deflect off a defender on its way wide of the far post. The referee disagreed, awarding a goal-kick but the Ammies were soon back on the offensive. Touray whipped in a cross from the left and although Young was under little pressure he fumbled the catch. Fortunately for the keeper Rooney was just a little bit too far away to think about taking advantage and Young was able to reclaim the loose ball.

On the hour a tempting Havant clearance dropped for Pond but his right-of-centre 30-yarder was always rising and failed to trouble Young.

Salford were certainly seeing more of the ball at this point but had been unable to turn possession and half-chances into a second goal. With 63 minutes played Rodney and Whitehead moved the ball right for Wiseman who clipped a pass inside. Rodney was there to collect yet his low shot from the the edge of the box lacked pace, allowing Young to drop to his right to make a routine save.

The Ammies needed to score during this spell on top and came very close to doing just that in the 68th minute. Lloyd’s corner from the left was met by Piergianni whose header beat the keeper to his right only for the well positioned Lewis to head clear from virtually on the line.

So close for Salford but the cigar was conspicuous by its continued absence. Not for the first time this season they had failed to turn possession and chances into goals and almost paid a heavy price just 1 minute later. Stock’s diagonal, quickly-taken free-kick from inside his own half dropped perfectly for Rutherford wide on the right. The substitute was in acres of space and made it into the area where he was faced by the advancing Neal. It was the keeper who came out on top as he made a tremendous blocking save to deny Rutherford a goal his side didn’t particularly deserve.

Frustration due to that miss could have been a contributing factor to Rutherford’s very heavy challenge on Lloyd just a minute or so later. The Salford man reacted furiously, pushing his opponent who accepted the invitation, dropping dramatically to the turf as if poleaxed. These were anxious seconds for the travelling support as the referee collected his thoughts before yellow-carding Rutherford for the initial challenge. Lloyd had tried to drift into the background but his summons came and as he approached the referee the home crowd were baying for a red card. It could have been given too, but the official contented himself with a yellow, to the audible chagrin of the majority of those gathered within Westleigh Park.

Probably a fair enough outcome but we’ve seen red cards given for reactions like that in the past and Lloyd must have been a relieved man as the game got back underway.

With time beginning to run out neither side was looking particularly spritely in the final third. Salford played some neat stuff without looking penetrating and Havant relied on free-kicks and the odd corner.
Eight minutes from time Rory Williams’ scissor-kick dropped for Stock on the edge of the area but his powerfully struck effort was too high to trouble Neal. At the other end Rose was booked following a chopping challenge on Lloyd, wide on the right. It was Lloyd who delivered the free-kick too, aimed at Piergianni at the far post, but Young had anticipated well and made a clean catch.

With 3 minutes to go Hogan was replaced by Tom Walker and the Ammies were evidently “going for it”. Soon afterwards Lloyd teased the home defence with fancy footwork inside the area before nudging the ball out to Wiseman. The cross was decent one but Rodney’s 12-yard diving header was wide and the assistant’s flag was up in any case.

In the 89th minute Whitehead and Walker exchanged passes on the left before the former cut inside and weighed up a shot on goal. Whitehead had netted that dramatic late winner last week but this time a rising 18-yarder cleared the bar by a couple of feet.

That would be Salford’s last chance to snatch a win and during time added on Whitehead was booked after tugging back the breaking Fogden. The Ammies didn’t deserve to lose this one but breath was held in the last of 4 minutes added on as Havant created the game’s final opening. Stock, Rutherford and Williams were involved in the build-up before Fogden crossed from the left. Substitute Dan Strugnell was left unmarked beyond the far post but the angle was too tight and his lunging header went wide.

FULL TIME: HAVANT & WATERLOOVILLE 1 SALFORD CITY 1

Not a bad result for Salford, particularly in light of the two previous away games, but it probably should have yielded three points. An even first-half was followed by a second where Salford dominated possession and created a few chances that, once again, weren’t taken.

For the Ammies, away from home certainly, the whole is currently less than the sum of its parts. There are moments of real quality, as you’d expect, but they are too few and not made to count. Havant can point at a couple of good chances for them and would argue, perhaps with justification, that they deserved their point today.

Certainly the home side were determined to give a good account of themselves against one of the division’s fancied sides and in that they succeeded. Manager Lee Bradbury will be satisfied with his side’s performance but Graham Alexander will not be quite as content.

Home wins over Halifax and Chesterfield have been accompanied by much improved performances but that is yet to translate to away games. There’s a chance to put that right next week at Dagenham but in the meantime Barrow visit Moor Lane on Bank Holiday Monday as the frantic start to the season continues.

Attendance: 1,679 (@75 Salford)

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