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F o o t b a l l
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Team Sheet

Morecambe
1
Barry Roche (c)
3
Luke Conlan

Buxton 72'

5
Steve Old
6
Andrew Tutte
7
John O'Sullivan
8
Lewis Alessandra
1 goals for Lewis Alessandra

Ellison 84'

12
Ritchie Sutton
15
Aaron Wildig

Cranston 81'

16
Sam Lavelle
24
Shaun Miller
1 goals for Shaun Miller
27
George Tanner
Salford City FC
12
Kyle Letheren
2
Scott Wiseman
6
Carl Piergianni
8
Lois Maynard
9
Adam Rooney (c)

Rodney 76'

10
Danny Lloyd
2 goals for Danny Lloyd 2 goals for Danny Lloyd
16
Jack Baldwin
17
Richie Towell

Hughes 88'

20
Mani Dieseruvwe

Jones 76'

22
Dan Jones
32
Jake Jervis
Substitutes
21
Mark Halstead
2
Adam Buxton
9
Cole Stockton
11
Kevin Ellison
18
Rhys Oates
23
Tyler Brownsword
33
Jordan Cranston
Substitutes
31
Ewan McFarlane
13
Sam Hughes
15
Cameron Burgess
21
Devante Rodney
25
Joey Jones
29
Jake Beesley
Managers
Manager - Jim Bentley
Managers
Manager - Graham Alexander
Match Officals
Referee - Josh Smith
Assistant Referee - Kevin Mulraine
Assistant Referee - Billy Smallwood
Fourth Official - Nik Barnard

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Match
Report

That second league win of the season continues to evade Salford City, although Graham Alexander’s men must be wondering how they managed to avoid taking all three points from this one. The Ammies were the better side before the interval, lost concentration at the start of the second half and missed a brace of penalties at Christie Park on an eventful, yet ultimately frustrating afternoon.

A busy transfer deadline day had seen 3 new faces arrive at The Peninsula Stadium, with 2 of these starting at Morecambe. Jack Baldwin (on loan from Sunderland) formed a central defensive partnership with Carl Piergianni. Dan Jones started at left-back in place of Ibou Touray (on international duty with The Gambia). Danny Lloyd and Luton Town loanee Jake Jervis would patrol the flanks, with Lois Maynard and Richie Towell in the middle. Skipper Adam Rooney assumed striking duties with current top-scorer Mani Dieseruvwe.

A fine September afternoon on the Lancashire coast and a football match in the sun was just the thing to divert attention from the stress of the stressful events at Old Trafford.

The game gut underway in brisk yet largely uneventful fashion, yet that did not deter the ever-expanding ranks of travelling supporters from serenading their team right from the start.

Defences were on top early on but that was a state of affairs that wouldn’t persist. The first opening of any note came in the 7th minute when Lloyd made ground on the left following good work from Rooney and Dieseruvwe. The cross was aimed at the far post but sailed over the head of Rooney and was just too high for Jervis to get to.

A couple of minutes later the Ammies put together a quick counter, with Dan Jones getting a low ball into the box from the left. Lloyd turned sharply to hit a low first-time effort that had sting but was straight at home keeper Barry Roche. Lloyd was involved again soon afterwards delivering a testing cross from the right that caused problems at the far post. A half-clearance was picked up by Jervis inside the area and he found a little bit of space before hitting a low left-of-centre shot that was blocked.

Plenty of encouragement for the vocal Ammies behind Kyle Letheran’s goal but Morecambe would go close in the 11th minute. Right-back George Tanner found himself in space at the right-hand angle of the area, unleashing a rising drive aimed at the far top corner. Letheran marked his Salford league debut with an excellent save, flinging himself to the right and turning the ball wide of the far upright.

The corner was dealt with by Salford’s defence and the visitors went ahead on the quarter-hour. Maynard slid a short pass out to the right for Jervis whose deflected cross was headed out by Steven Old. Towell met the dropping ball with a first-time placed effort from 22-yards that might have been on target itself. LLOYD, stationed just to the left of the penalty spot got the faintest of touches that made sure, directing the low shot wide of Roche’s despairing dive and inside his right-hand upright.

First blood to Salford and they could have doubled their lead within a couple more minutes. A mighty kick from Letheran was glanced on by Rooney deep inside Morecambe territory. Lloyd picked up possession before squaring for Jervis to hit a 22-yarder that didn’t quite dip enough to trouble Roche.

A good spell for the Ammies who were on top, but an eye had to be kept on the home side’s patient build-ups. At the end of one of these Lewis Alessandra drifted inside from the left, with a sight of goal opening up for him. The former Oldham Athletic forward has been in decent scoring form so far this season but this time he couldn’t keep his shot from distance down.

Restored to the league starting line-up after a lengthy absence, Lloyd was involved in most of Salford’s best moments and his 29th minute free-kick from the left was headed on. The ball fell for Rooney and he tried to hook an effort home, but the angle was tight and Roche positioned himself at the near post to make a save.

Plenty of chances for the Ammies and they were handed the opportunity to make it 2-0 on the half-hour. Central defender Carl Piergianni’s run to the near post was intended to meet Lloyd’s corner from the left, but he was beaten to it by tracking defender Ritchie Sutton. Unfairly as it turned out – Sutton leapt with an arm raised above his head and the referee had little option other to award a penalty. Lloyd had converted a spot-kick in midweek and shimmied up for this one before slamming in a rising effort of considerable power. Roche had committed himself to his right, yet his services would not be needed as the ball rattled the crossbar before dropping behind for a goal kick.

A golden chance not taken but Salford continued to press as the half progressed. Eleven minutes from the interval Towell hoisted in a free-kick from very deep on the right, with Piergianni getting in a header that appeared to be going wide of Roche’s left-hand post until Old made sure by nodding clear.

The Shrimps had been quiet for a while but almost prised open Salford’s defence in the 38th minute. Aaron Wildig slid a nicely judged pass into the left-hand side of the box but Shaun Miller had been closed down quickly and could only lash an angled effort over the bar. Alessandra was the next to have a go, meeting a dropping clearance outside the box only to scuff a harmless effort that bounced through for Letheran to collect.

The last chance of the half went to its better side after Jervis delivered a cross from the right. Dieseruvwe headed forward for the under pressure Rooney who had to try a first-time volley that lacked sufficient power to beat Roche.

HALF-TIME: MORECAMBE 0 SALFORD CITY 1

A satisfactory first half for Salford who deserved their lead and could have added to it. We will probably never know the content of the half-time talk from Graham Alexander but it was probably not along the lines of "I'd like you to lose focus for the first 10, lads".

That’s what happened though as a previously solid Salford side conceded two goals within 5 minutes of the restart. Morecambe pressed forward from the referee's whistle and in the 48th minute Wildig was given time on the ball and the space to turn, outside Salford’s area and left-of-centre. A great through-ball into the box followed, with Miller arriving from the left, getting away from Wiseman then placing a deft, low finish past Letheran and inside the far post.

A touch of ball-watching from the Ammies and Alessandra had another go for the Shrimps seconds after the restart, slamming in an effort from wide on the right that was taken by Letheran at his near post.

A shaky start to the second half from Salford’s point of view and there was worse to come. In the 50th minute Miller’s low forward pass from deep on the left got between two Salford defenders to send Alessandra away on a run. A decent shot was pushed away to his left by Letheran, with Dan Jones appearing to be in pole position to make a clearance as he chased the loose ball. A crafty shirt-pull from the pursuing ALESSANDRA was missed by the officials and the Morecambe man was able to get in a sliding challenge seven yards out that propelled the ball just inside Letheran’s left-hand upright despite a desperate attempt from the retreating keeper to claw it away.

The goal was allowed to stand, and Morecambe had turned the game on its head within half-a-dozen minutes of the restart.

The Ammies responded positively to that double setback with Lloyd’s corner form the left headed back into the mix from beyond the far post by Piergianni. Maynard got in a close-range shot that was blocked and his next effort, from outside the area, suffered the same fate.

Morecambe, with an advantage to protect, looked to tighten things up but Salford were awarded a free-kick wide on their right just before the hour. Lloyd’s delivery was a good one with Rooney getting a headed flick in the crowded box, forcing Roche to make a save. Another free-kick from much the same position followed quickly and Lloyd delivered this one too. Jervis got up highest and Roche had to drop to his left and push the ball wide for a corner. The set-piece wasn’t cleared, eventually falling for Rooney on the far side who’s ambitious 15-yard overhead kick was on target but clutched by the keeper.

The Ammies won yet another free-kick wide on their right flank in the 66th minute. Ironically this initially appeared to be one of LLOYD’S less effective deliveries until Roche, moving to his far post raised his hands to make the catch only to let the ball drop through them and into the net.

The glaring sun may have played some part to play in the goal, but Roche will not be proud of that bit of keeping and a gloom settled around the home areas of the stadium in its aftermath.

All to play for then, but the game became condensed into midfield for a while, fractured by a number of substitutions for both sides. Salford replaced their striking duo with Joey Jones and Devante Rodney, switching to a 4-3-3 formation with the new arrival on his own up front, flanked by Jervis and Lloyd. Joey Jones slotted into the midfield alongside Towell and Maynard.

As the game entered its final 10 minutes the respective defences seemed to have got back on top and goalmouth incident was relatively rare. With 5 minutes left a neat sequence of Salford passing ended disappointingly as Maynard took a swipe from nearly 30 yards out only to see it pass well wide of Roche’s left-hand post.

It seemed as if the match might drift its way to a draw but there would be a little bit more drama before the end. With just over 2 minutes to play Dan Jones lofted a pass up the left for Lloyd to chase. The Salford man got to the ball, tight to the goal-line only to be bundled over by a wholly unnecessary barge from Adam Buxton. The referee had little hesitation in awarding Salford their second penalty of the afternoon, despite protestations of innocence from the Shrimps’ defender.

There seemed to be a difference of opinion between Towell and Lloyd over who should take the spot-kick and it was the former who came out on top. It’s never comforting for supporters to see this sort of thing and it does seem to increase the pressure on the one who ends up placing the ball on the spot.
Towell looked confident enough, striking a low shot to Roche’s right, but it was a little lacking in power and a bit too close to the keeper. Roche secured a measure of redemption for his recent blunder, getting down smartly to his right and extending a strong arm that pushed the ball behind for a corner.

Piergianni got up to meet Lloyd’s corner from the left but under pressure could only head wide of the target.

To miss one penalty in a game could be viewed as unfortunate to waste a second has to be considered careless.

Leicester City loanee Sam Hughes came on for Towell and Salford set about claiming the 3 points that really should already have been theirs.

In the penultimate minute of the 90 Rodney got into the right-hand side of the box, holding off a challenge before driving in a low angled effort that deflected off Roche and behind. Into 5 minutes of time added on Rodney pushed a pass out to Joey Jones on the right and he – characteristically – did well to keep possession under pressure. A squared return ball to the left for Rodney followed but the substitute could only lift a first-time 20-yarder over the crossbar.

Joey Jones pushed forward on the right once more and a good cross into the middle was met by Rodney. Once again though there was defensive pressure to contend with and a nodded header dropped into the arms of Roche.

FULL-TIME: MORECAMBE 2 SALFORD CITY 2

You have to say, despite a decent overall performance those two missed penalties make this a disappointing result. Salford were the better side for considerable stretches of the game, playing some good stuff and creating a host of chances. That dodgy 10 minutes after half-time spoiled what had been a controlled performance before half-time, although to their credit Salford recovered to get back on top again.

That late penalty offered a great chance to break the sequence of 4 league draws, yet Towell could not convert and we have to be content with another single point.

Plenty of positives - along with the frustrations - and we now have two home games (Cheltenham on Saturday 14th and Grimsby on Tuesday 17th) – hopefully those games will usher in a return to winning ways.

Final word goes to the travelling Ammies who roared their side on throughout – a great turnout and fantastic backing.

Attendance: 2,778 (628 Salford)

https://salfordcityfc.co.uk