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Salford City football Club

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Team Sheet

Leamington
13
Tony Breeden (c)
2
Junior English
3
Connor Gudger
4
Callum Gittings
5
Jamie Hood
Yellow card for Jamie Hood
6
James Mace
7
Matt Dodd

Magunda '57

8
Kieran Dunbar
Yellow card for Kieran Dunbar

Nicholson '80

9
Kurtis Revan

Taundry '57

10
Jack Edwards
11
Ahmed Obeng
Salford City FC
1
Max Crocombe
2
Jake Beesley
3
Ibou Touray
4
Scott Burton
Yellow card for Scott Burton
5
Danny Livesey
6
Liam Hogan (c)

Doyle '58

7
Richie Allen
8
Mark Shelton
9
Mike Phenix
2 goals for Mike Phenix 2 goals for Mike Phenix

Walker '65

10
Anthony Dudley
2 goals for Anthony Dudley 2 goals for Anthony Dudley
11
Josh Askew

Ogunrinde '58

Substitutes
12
Richard Taundry
Yellow card for Richard Taundry
14
Joe Magunda
15
Shay Nicholson
16
Liam Canavan
17
Stefan Moore
Substitutes
12
Tom Walker
14
Nick Haughton
15
Alex Doyle
16
Mani Ogunrinde
17
Jack Redshaw
Managers
Manager - Paul Holleran
Managers
Joint Manager - Anthony Johnson
Joint Manager - Bernard Morley
Match Officals
Referee - Aaron Jackson
Assistant Referee - Liam Corrigan
Assistant Referee - Richie Watkins

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Match
Report

Salford City’s 2017-2018 campaign, already impressive enough, finished on a real high as Leamington were brushed aside at their Phillips 66 Community Stadium home. Having secured promotion last week the Ammies revelled in their release from pressure to put on a scintillating display that pushed them over the 90 point mark. A brace apiece from strikers Mike Phenix and Anthony Dudley made this another afternoon to remember for the 400 supporters who travelled to acclaim the Vanarama National League North champions.

There were changes from the side that started last week’s defeat –vs- Boston United and a tweak of formation too. Max Crocombe was handed the goalkeeper’s jersey for the first time since 17th March and Danny Livesey was recalled to play in a three-man defence alongside Ibou Touray and skipper Liam Hogan. Scott Burton and Mark Shelton were brought into central midfield, with Richie Allen operating in front of them. On the flanks were wing-backs Jake Beesley and Josh Askew with Dudley and Phenix sharing the striking duties.

Within the opening minute the game’s first corner went to Salford, with the first yellow card following shortly afterwards. Brakes striker Kurtis Revan broke into space on the left in the 3rd minute only to be caught by a mistimed challenge from Burton. Had that contact occurred ten yards further inside the Salford midfielder could have been facing a ‘last man’ red but fortunately the offence was deemed worthy of just a yellow card.

A lively start but it was followed by something of a lull as play became largely condensed into the middle of the park. Neither keeper had much to do during a quiet quarter of an hour but the game burst into life during its 19th minute. Hogan advanced on Salford's right before clipping a forward ball that dropped towards the penalty area. DUDLEY timed his run to beat the offside trap and just managed to guide the ball past advancing Brakes keeper Tony Breedon. There was little pace on the effort but even though Leamington’s Junior English almost managed to get there the ball made it across the line.

Leamington looked to hit back immediately and from Kieran Dunbar’s throw-in from the right possession was worked back to Callum Gittings, via English. A hoisted cross fell beyond the far post where Jack Edwards got up to head a looping effort towards goal. Fortunately for the Ammies Livesey was on hand to head clear from virtually on the line but the danger had not yet dissipated. The ball fell nicely for Dunbar, on the edge of the box and right-of-centre, but although his rising effort was out of Crocombe’s reach Burton was in just the right position to head away from right in front of goal.

Something of an escape for Salford there and soon afterwards English got up high to challenge for Dunbar’s free-kick from the right only for Crocombe to pluck it out of the air.

Salford were definitely finding their attacking feet and after Touray’s free-kick was cleared Burton advanced towards goal. Space opened up and a first goal of the season beckoned but an effort with the outside of his right boot curled just outside Breedon's left-hand post.

Just past the half-hour Touray had a go with a left-footer from almost 30 yards out but the ball bounced harmlessly through for the home keeper to collect.

The Ammies had been playing some good football and Leamington's defence was carved open 8 minutes before half-time. Shelton’s diagonal ball to the left was picked up by PHENIX who cut inside before launching a perfectly struck exocet from the edge of the box that gave him his 10th goal of the season and Breedon no chance whatsoever.

This time Leamington couldn’t construct a response and Livesey’s header from a corner was deflected behind 3 minutes before the break. Phenix met Touray’s corner from the left with a glancing header at the near post but Breedon was able to gather the ball before it dropped out of play.

The half entered its final minute and Beesley’s pass picked out Dudley on the edge of the area, just right-of-centre. A ferocious rising drive followed but Breedon was equal to it, springing to his left to push the ball out for an Allen corner that the keeper claimed with some aplomb.

Great goalkeeping and that impressive save from Breedon had just about kept Leamington in contention.

HALF TIME: LEAMINGTON 0 SALFORD CITY 2

A more than satisfactory half for the Ammies and any real doubt about the destination of the points was swept away within 3 minutes of the restart. Beesley’s run on the right took him into acres of space and his low ball across the edge of the 6-yard box was a very good one. Leamington defenders were perhaps guilty of ball-watching as PHENIX arrived to slam a finish past the bemused Breedon.

Salford’s travelling support, many of them resplendent in fancy dress, enjoyed that one and there was more to come from their side.

Phenix and strike partner Dudley were terrorising the home defence and the latter went on a couple of driving runs that were only halted by last ditch tackles. In the 55th minute it was Phenix’s turn again and after being forced wide he slammed in a great effort from outside the box on the left. It would have been a memorable way to claim a hat-trick but Breedon had positioned himself intelligently to take the ball at his near post.

Both sides made a couple of substitutions after that, with Salford introducing academy players Mani Ogunrinde and Alex Doyle for Askew and Hogan. A change in personnel but not in formation as Doyle tucked into the right-hand side of the back 3 and Ogunrinde moved to the left-hand side of midfield.

The Brakes has struggled to make an attacking impact for a while but in the 62nd minute Gittings hooked in a left-footed 20-yarder that was comfortably stopped by Crocombe. A modest effort and Salford demonstrated how to do it within another minute of play. DUDLEY'S right-of-centre run carried menace from the start and after swapping crisp passes with Shelton he drilled in a low, angled shot that beat Breedon on its way inside the far post.

Great play and a fitting finish from the Ammies who now looked to be home and dry. As we know, 4 goal leads are certainly not unassailable but there seemed to be no way back into this one for the Brakes. Behind Breedon’s goal Zippy, a fair proportion of the Legio VI Victrix, assorted dinosaurs, a hot dog et al celebrated fittingly and the strains of ‘Dirty Old Town’ and other Salford favourites drifted into the unseasonably chilly Warwickshire afternoon.

Phenix was denied his chance of a third goal when he was replaced by Tom Walker with 25 minutes to play but Salford’s grip on the game was undiminished. In the 69th minute Walker’s chipped pass forward dropped into the left-hand side of the box where Dudley - himself on a hat-trick, controlled deftly before hitting a low effort that fizzed across goal and just wide of the far post.

A few minutes later Walker was creating again, this time slipping a pass to Allen on the edge of the area and right-of-centre. The shot that followed was powerful but in the event flashed a foot or so over the crossbar.

The Brakes were finding possession of the ball hard to come by but they did manage to trouble Salford from a couple of set pieces. A free-kick from the left fell for substitute Joe Magunda but from a few yards out he could only head the pacy delivery over the bar. The same player got onto the end of Connor Gudger’s corner from the left 12 minutes from time but on this occasion could only plant his header narrowly wide of Crocombe’s right-hand post.

Richard Taundry sent an effort from distance high over the target with 8 minutes left but Salford resumed their quest for a 5th goal during the game’s closing stages. Walker’s square ball to the left found the rapidly advancing Touray whose stinging 30-yarder was saved by Breedon, diving to his right. The ball went loose and Dudley had his eyes on that third goal until he sent a snap-shot into orbit from about 12 yards out.

Walker had done well since coming on and from just inside the right-hand angle of the box he lifted a good cross to the far post. Dudley appeared to power in a close-range header but Breedon was there again, producing another good save as he pushed the ball wide of the upright.

During the final minute of the 90 Allen showed some sublime skill to control the ball then play a diagonal pass to the left for Ogunrinde. The Salford substitute got into the penalty area before unleashing a rising drive that smacked off the outside of Breedon’s right-hand post before dropping back into play.

No fifth goal then but it didn’t really matter. Salford City had signed off their season in impressive fashion and they looked every inch the divisional champions.

FULL TIME: LEAMINGTON 0 SALFORD CITY 4

A suitable full-stop at the end of a marvellous campaign for Salford City. At times over the past 9 months the performances have been dogged rather than subtle but that is a case of “needs must” in this hugely competitive division. When push came to shove the Ammies had the quality and courage to string together a promotion winning run and it cannot be doubted that they are very worthy champions.

The final haul of 91 points represents an average of more than 2 per game and is the highest total in this division in 5 years. The Ammies have won 3 promotions in 4 seasons, two as divisional champions and will take their place among non-league’s elite clubs next season. We are, unbelievably, one step away from the English Football League.

A huge vote of thanks is due to managers Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley, who along with their backroom staff have put together a fantastic run of success. Every player has contributed to the cause this season and with the pressure off them today proved –if any proof was required – what a talented bunch they are.

The National League is a big step up but today’s showing suggests that Salford City might well be in the mix again this time next year. The quality and spirit is there, along with a track record of adapting to each new level as it comes along.

The supporters who have provided such fine backing all season will need to cover a fair number of miles during 2018-2019....see you all in August for the next exciting chapter of football's most compelling story.

GOALS:
0-1 Anthony DUDLEY (19th min)
0-2 Mike PHENIX (42nd min)
0-3 Mike PHENIX (48th min)
0-4 Anthony DUDLEY (63rd min)

Attendance: 1,275

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