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Salford City football Club

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Team Sheet

Mansfield Town
1
Marek Stech
3
Mal Benning
5
Ryan Sweeney
6
Farrend Rawson
7
Harry Charsley
8
Ollie Clarke (c)
9
Jordan Bowery
1 goals for Jordan Bowery
10
George Maris
14
James Perch
19
Jamie Reid
32
George Lapslie
1 goals for George Lapslie
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

Elliott 46'

10
Ash Hunter
Yellow card for Ash Hunter
12
Di'Shon Bernard
1 goals for Di'Shon Bernard
18
Oscar Threlkeld
19
James Wilson

Andrade 61'

37
Brandon Thomas-Asante

Turnbull 46'

40
Ian Henderson
Substitutes
31
Aidan Stone
2
Corey O'Keeffe
4
Rollin Menayese
11
Andy Cook
15
Aaron O'Driscoll
20
Stephen McLaughlin
27
Tyrese Sinclair
Substitutes
31
William Evans
9
Tom Elliott
11
Bruno Andrade
15
Luke Burgess
16
Jordan Turnbull
28
Alex Denny
39
Mo Touray
Managers
Manager - Nigel Clough
Managers
Manager - Richie Wellens
Match Officals
Referee - Will Finnie
Assistant Referee - Robert Atkin
Assistant Referee - Bradley Hall
Fourth Official - Samuel Brown

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Match
Report

Salford City’s disappointing start to 2021 continued with a 2-1 defeat to Mansfield Town at their One Call Stadium. A mediocre first half performance from the Ammies allowed the hosts to establish a two-goal lead at the interval. Richie Wellens shuffled his pack during the break but an improved showing during the second half didn’t really produce enough to threaten Mansfield’s lead. Di’Shon Bernard bundled home a consolation goal during injury time, but it was to prove a classic case of too little, too late as far as Salford were concerned.

There was a single change to the XI that started Saturday’s defeat at Leyton Orient, with Ash Hunter returning after suspension to replace Luke Burgess.

Nigel Clough’s Stags set the pace within the game’s opening minute, pushing forward with intent and forcing the visiting defence to clear a dangerous cross. It wasn’t long before Mansfield created their first chance of the evening as George Lapslie’s pass found Jordan Bowery. The home No.9 moved inside to get a yard on Tom Clarke before hitting a low shot that was blocked by a combination of Bernard and Jason Lowe.

The opening minutes would prove eventful for referee Will Finnie, who first hit the deck following a collision with Salford’s Hunter. A couple of minutes later he clashed with Mansfield defender Melvind Benning, with both requiring treatment before the game could continue.

The Stags looked the more enterprising side, yet Salford did have a sight of goal in the 11th minute. Tom Clarke moved the ball inside from the right, with Brandon Thomas-Asante cutting towards the edge of the area before trying a low left-footer that proved simple for Mansfield’s Czech keeper Marek Štěch.

Some encouragement for the Ammies, but Mansfield were soon on top. On 13 minutes Jamie Reid squared a pass to the right, tempting Harry Charsley into a 22-yarder that soared high over the bar. A couple of minutes later the Stags took the lead, although it has to be viewed as preventable goal from Salford's point of view.

Benning’s cross from the left was headed to the edge of the area by Ibou Touray. The stretching Oscar Threlkeld’s attempt to control the ball succeeded only in prodding it to LAPSLIE, 25 yards out and centrally positioned. The low shot that followed didn’t seem to have too much pace in it, but although Václav Hladký stretched to his right the ball nestled into his bottom right-hand corner.

The Ammies tried to find an instant response with Hunter dropping a free-kick from deep on the left towards the far post. Thomas-Asante got there, but the angle was tight and his header was taken by Štěch.

A modest opportunity and otherwise it was Mansfield in the ascendancy. In the 20th minute they nearly unlocked Salford’s defence again as a James Perch pass from the right found Charsley in space inside the box. A 10-yard angled effort could well have doubled Town’s lead had Hladký not advanced then spread himself to make a good blocking save.

Within a minute the Ammies were under pressure again after Reid and Charsley exchanged passes on the right-hand side of the area. Reid’s advance to the line was followed by a pacey low ball played across the 6-yard box without anybody getting a decisive touch.

Mansfield had adapted better to a heavy, rough playing surface and Bowery got a touch onto Benning’s cross from the left, only to direct the ball wide.

The Stags got their 2nd goal on the half-hour, and once again Salford's defending wasn’t of the highest quality. Perch crossed from the right with Reid flicking on a header that dropped into the 6-yard box. Both Bowery and Charsley contested possession right in front of goal and as the ball spun away to the left it was BOWERY who got there to slide home a finish at the far post.

The Ammies were up against it, but a bit of individual skill from James Wilson almost got them right back onto the game. Mansfield dithered in possession inside their own half and wide on the left. Wilson did well to dig out possession, before turning smartly to embark on a diagonal run that took him into the angle of the area. There were white shirts arriving in support, but with a portfolio of fine finishes this season you can’t blame Wilson for trying a low left-footer. It was a decent attempt but not good enough to beat Štěch who got down to smother the ball.

Salford’s best chance so far and for a little while they would dominate possession and look composed in possession. Ian Henderson nudged a pass to Hunter on the left and his curling cross bounced in front of Thomas-Asante before dropping just outside the far post.

The action switched to the other end, with Reid chasing a long ball into the left-hand side of the area. For a second it seemed as if the Mansfield forward had got in front of Ash Eastham until Salford’s skipper did enough to allow Hladký to gather.

Seconds later Town were exerting more pressure and when the ball fell for Reid he lashed an effort wide of the target.

The Ammies would have more defending to do before the half came to an end. Hunter’s attempt at a cross-field ball from the left was picked off by Charsley who promptly sent Bowery on a run through the inside-left channel. A low cross was the result but fortunately Bernard was on hand in the middle to whack the ball clear.

The final chance of the half went the home side too. A flicked header from the right fell for Bowery who brought the ball down, turned and lifted an effort over the crossbar.

HALF-TIME: MANSFIELD TOWN 2 SALFORD CITY 0

Mansfield were worthy of their 2-goal advantage and after what was surely an animated discussion in the dressing room Salford manager Wellens replaced Tom Clarke with Jordan Turnbull as well as bringing Tom Elliott on for Thomas-Asante.

Those substitutions ushered in a change of formation as the Ammies switched to 3 at the back.

Initially those changes looked promising, despite a relatively quiet start to the second half. Certainly the Ammies looked more positive and in the 51st minute Touray’s short pass into the left-hand side of the area found Elliott.
The big striker turned smartly only to lift a 15-yarder high over the bar. Touray decided to have a go himself soon afterwards, picking up the ball on the left before drilling in a nicely struck effort that just cleared the crossbar.

This was better from Salford whose forays into Mansfield territory carried more menace, yet the home defence was doing well to largely hold them at bay.

The Stags would continue to look dangerous themselves and just before the hour Charsley’s forward pass found Reid. A left-of-centre effort from just outside the area was deflected wide of Hladký’s left-hand post. The corner came in from Mansfield’s right with defender Farrend Lawson rising high beyond the far post to get in a looping header. Hladký did very well to acrobatically tip the ball over the bar, at the expense of a corner that came to nothing.

A good save from Salford’s keeper and there was another change in personnel after it as Bruno Andrade replaced Wilson.

Despite a marked improvement the Ammies hadn’t really caused Štěch too many problems and a touch of frustration began to show. Midway through the second half Hunter – just back from a one-game suspension for accumulated bookings – kicked the ball away to pick up a needless yellow card.

Salford were struggling to break a resolute home formation down and time was beginning to run short. There was plenty of effort from the Ammies but little in the way of real opportunities to trim Mansfield’s lead.

In the 72nd minute Bowery swapped passes with Charsley on the left before advancing almost to the line, on the edge of the area. A rolled pass back inside picked out Benning who could only scoop an effort over the bar.

The game continued in a similar pattern, with Salford trying to find a way through the yellow and blue ranks, without much in the way of tangible success. With 8 minutes left Hunter was floored by a heavy Lapslie challenge and he took responsibility for the centrally positioned free-kick. The effort on goal was decent but failed to trouble Štěch as the keeper moved to his right to gather the ball.

Salford needed far more than that at this stage, but in the penultimate minute it was Mansfield who threatened as Reid and Bowery saw efforts blocked in quick succession.

During the first of 3 minutes added on Hunter lofted a cross from wide on the left towards the far side of the penalty area. Henderson nodded back inside where Lowe got in a shot that was deflected over for a corner.

Hunter delivered to the near post where Štěch failed to cut out a cross that dropped into the 6-yard box. A grounded defender prodded the ball to Touray who nudged it to the right. BERNARD arrived to bundle home from very close range at the far post and the Ammies had a late lifeline.

The visitors sensed a point that had seemed very unlikely and spent the minutes that remained trying to force a way through. Mansfield defended solidly yet could have been undone as the game drifted into the 4th minute of injury time. A long ball forward from Hladký was nodded out to the right by Elliott. Hunter launched a tremendous deep cross towards the far post and there must have been a few Mansfield hearts in mouths as Touray arrived to meet it. In the event he did well to get his left-foot to the dropping ball, but it was a very difficult chance and his attempt spun harmlessly away for a goal kick.

That would be the final action of the game and the Ammies were nursing a second successive defeat.

FULL-TIME: MANSFIELD TOWN 2 SALFORD CITY 1

An evening to forget for Salford City who never really got into their stride during a disappointing first half and left themselves too much to do during the second. Credit is due to Mansfield for this 3rd win on the run – the Stags started well, contested every ball and took their chances. The home side defended as a team and despite a better second half and that late drama the Ammies didn’t do enough to earn a reward from this game.

Following on from Saturday’s lack-lustre defeat, Richie Wellens demanded a response from his side this evening. That response didn’t materialise, and it would be no surprise to see some changes for Saturday’s game with Colchester.

Two off-days do not sink a season, but the manner of these defeats will be of concern. These things happen of course and football can be a fickle game – it would be no surprise to see a return to the impressive form that saw out the old year.

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