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Salford City football Club

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Team Sheet

Morecambe
1
Kyle Letheren
2
Kelvin Mellor

Cooney 63'

4
Nathaniel Knight-Percival

Hendrie 50'

5
Sam Lavelle (c)
Yellow card for Sam Lavelle (c)
8
Toumani Diagouraga
9
Cole Stockton
10
Aaron Wildig
1 goals for Aaron Wildig
11
Carlos Mendes-Gomes
1 goals for Carlos Mendes-Gomes
16
John O'Sullivan
22
Liam Gibson
24
Yann Songo'o
Yellow card for Yann Songo'o
Salford City FC
1
Vaclav Hladky
Yellow card for Vaclav Hladky
3
Ibou Touray
4
Jason Lowe
5
Ash Eastham (c)
10
Ash Hunter

Threlkeld 84'

12
Di'Shon Bernard
Yellow card for Di'Shon Bernard
16
Jordan Turnbull
Yellow card for Jordan Turnbull
24
Robbie Gotts

Towell 63'

25
Paul Coutts
37
Brandon Thomas-Asante
1 goals for Brandon Thomas-Asante
40
Ian Henderson

Wilson 74'

Substitutes
12
Mark Halstead
3
Stephen Hendrie
Yellow card for Stephen Hendrie
7
Jordan Slew
15
Brad Lyons
17
A-Jay Leitch-Smith
19
Liam McAlinden
21
Ryan Cooney
Substitutes
31
William Evans
2
Tom James
15
Luke Burgess
17
Richie Towell
18
Oscar Threlkeld
Yellow card for Oscar Threlkeld
19
James Wilson
20
Mani Dieseruvwe
Managers
Manager - Derek Adams
Managers
Manager - Richie Wellens
Match Officals
Referee - Sebastien Stockbridge
Assistant Referee - Scott Williams
Assistant Referee - Geoffrey Liddle
Fourth Official - Paul Marsden

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Match
Report

Two goals conceded during time added meant a classic case of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory for the Ammies. Brandon Thomas-Asante’s goal at the end of the first half looked to have earned 3 priceless points but – it has to be said – a general collapse in concentration allowed the Shrimps to grab an unlikely win. Richie Wellens side are unbeaten at home, but a haul of just 4 points from the last 6 away games is hampering efforts to force a path into the automatic promotion places .

There was one change to the XI that started Saturday’s home draw with Carlisle as Richie Towell was replaced by Brandon Thomas-Asante in the pairing behind lone striker Ian Henderson.

A wet and windy evening in Morecambe made conditions difficult, yet both sides looked committed to getting men forward. As early as the 2nd minute Thomas-Asante’s pass to the right found Ash Hunter whose low ball into the middle was knocked behind by the sliding Nathaniel Knight-Percival. The first hint of a threat from the home side came 4 minutes later as John O’Sullivan’s cross from the right dropped just beyond the far post.
Aaron Wildig tried to head back inside, only for the ball to come off Di’Shon Bernard for a corner.

Otherwise it was a modest start in terms of attacking excitement as the Ammies were caught offside a couple of times and Morecambe relied on the odd pacey counter.

Thomas-Asante almost latched on to a long ball that dropped into the inside-left channel, only to be thwarted by a well-timed Knight-Percival sliding challenge. Ibou Touray’s surging left-flank run in the 15th minute was finished off with a lofted cross that dropped towards the far post. Ash Hunter was lurking only for Liam Gibson to get across and nod behind for a corner. Paul Coutts delivered the set piece, from the right with Jordan Turnbull getting in a 15-yard header that dropped wide of former Ammie keeper Kyle Letheren’s right-hand post.

Salford were looking increasingly dangerous and a powerful Thomas-Asante run into the left-hand side of the box took him to the line. He managed to pull the ball back too, only for Yann Songo’o to get in a block at the expense of another corner.

This was a good spell for the visitors and in the 20th minute a Coutts cross from the left was met by Bernard in the middle, but he could only head the ball downwards and a defender got in to clear.

The Ammies were looking more creative than their hosts yet hadn’t really managed to test Letheren. Similarly, Václav Hladký didn’t see too much action during the opening 30 minutes as real goalscoring opportunities were rare.

Defences were certainly on top although after Wildig dropped a free-kick from deep into the area, Bernard’s clearing header dropped for Gibson. The former Newcastle man advanced a little way before hitting a 24-yarder high and wide of the target.

A tight game, and 13 minutes before the break Robbie Gotts picked up possession about 25 yards out before hitting a dipping effort that proved simple for Letheren to scoop up. Not a particularly menacing effort, but it was the first one on target this evening.

The Ammies almost pressed the self-destruct button a couple of minutes later after Coutts failed to pick up Bernard’s diagonal backwards pass from the right. O’Sullivan carried the ball forward before slipping Cole Stockton into the penalty area on the left. Turnbull did well to recover, sliding in to deflect Stockton’s low effort wide of Hladký’s right-hand upright.

The action was picking up as half-time approached and Jason Lowe’s precision pass sent Hunter racing away on a right flank break. The low ball inside found its way to Gotts, but he couldn’t get hold of it and a defender whisked possession away.

Morecambe put together a neat build-up in the 39th minute as O’Sullivan controlled well on the right before clipping a pass inside. Carlos Mendes Gomes was on the end of it and he whipped a low ball to the near post where Stockton failed to get a touch.

A foul on Gotts set up Hunter for a just right-of-centre free-kick from distance, but although he got it on target Letheren only had a routine catch to make.

With neither keeper worked too hard, it looked very much as if the half would end without a goal being scored. That situation changed during the 1st minute of time added on as Thomas-Asante’s pass from deep found Ian Henderson on the left. Gotts picked up possession next, moving inside before sliding a pass to the far side of the box where THOMAS-ASANTE was in some space. With Gibson’s despairing challenge coming too late, a low shot was hit from a foot inside the penalty area and in all truth Letheren should have dealt with it. The effort was decently struck yet having dropped to his left and getting a good hand to the ball the keeper will be disappointed at seeing it spin up and into the net.

Thomas-Asante had little sympathy for his former teammate as he celebrated his 2nd league goal of the season, and if either of these sides deserved to be ahead at the break, it was probably Salford.

HALF-TIME: MORECAMBE 0 SALFORD CITY 1

A slightly fortuitous goal may have given the Ammies their lead, but they emerged for the second half looking determined to build on it. After a lively opening couple of minutes from the home side, Salford started to dominate possession of the ball and were soon exerting real pressure on Letheren’s goal.

In the 49th minutes Gotts’ diagonal pass to the right allowed Hunter to drill a low ball to the near post where Songo’o was on hand to block. The ball spun up into the air and although the angle was tight Hunter slammed in a volley that was blocked by the same overworked defender.

Soon after Thomas-Asante bustled his way to the ball before slipping a pass out to Henderson on the right and peeling away to the far post. The low cross that followed cut its way through the 6-yard box where despite stretching Thomas-Asante couldn’t quite make contact at the far post.

There was more neat play from the Ammies a minute later as Thomas-Asante, Gotts and Hunter combined to move the ball crisply from left to right. Lowe was on the end of the move but his shot from just outside the right-hand angle of the box soared high over the crossbar.

The pressure was almost continuous at this stage and great, determined work from Henderson saw him win possession despite the muscular presence of home skipper Sam Lavelle. Gotts took over and from the edge of the box on the left tried a cross that clipped off Wildig before dropping just outside the near post. Coutts floated in the corner and it was nodded away only as far as Gotts who slammed in a low 10-yarder that cannoned into a defender and away to safety.

There was little respite for the Shrimps at this point and substitute Stephen Hendrie was booked for a foul on Thomas-Asante. Touray lined up the free-kick, a couple of yards outside the right-hand angle of the box but couldn’t keep his effort down.

Another intense spell of pressure just before the hour mark ended when Touray headed into the left-hand side of the box, but with space running out Thomas-Asante couldn’t quite turn his left-footed effort on target.

A good 15 for the Ammies but – crucially as it turned out – they hadn’t managed to turn all that pressure into a 2nd goal. Morecambe are a good side and the balance of play evened out again as the game entered its final third.

Richie Towell came on for Gotts on 63 minutes and once again chances were at a premium for a while. That suited Salford more than the Shrimps and with 16 minutes left manager Wellens replaced Henderson with James Wilson.

The visitors were looking as composed and comfortable as they could on the back of a one-goal advantage. Morecambe were being held at arm’s length and when a Songo’o lobbed effort from 25 yards dropped wide of Hladký’s right-hand post, it was the biggest threat they’d mustered in some time.

The game entered its final 10 minutes, and the remaining time would be first worrying and then profoundly disappointing from the Ammie viewpoint. A previously good defensive performance was almost spoiled in the 81st minute when the off-balance Turnbull’s attempt to move on Lowe’s ball back was picked up by Toumani Diagouraga. A short pass to Stockton on the left sent the striker off on a run that took him to the edge of the box. After his angled effort beat Hladký it looked as if the scores would be level, only for the ball to bounce inches wide of the far post.

A big, big chance for the Shrimps, and a real escape for the Ammies. At first they responded positively to the scare as within a minute Thomas-Asante nudged a pass to Richie Towell on the left hand side of the box. There was a sight of goal for the Irish midfielder, yet he could only aim a tame, low effort right at Letheren.

Morecambe countered, winning a free-kick and once again the Ammies lost concentration as Wildig lifted a chipped delivery into the area. Mendes Gomes was underneath it but could only guide an 8-yard first-time effort wide of Hladký’s right-hand post.

Oscar Threlkeld replaced Hunter for the last few minutes but with 5 minutes left Salford were very nearly caught out again. A long, high ball dropped into the area and once again Mendes Gomes got onto the end of it. This time his effort was dragged wide of Hladký’s left-hand upright with the offside flag up as well.

The Ammies – so composed for so long – were living dangerously but they negotiated what was left of the 90 with no further scares. The referee indicated a minimum of 5 minutes to be added on, and during those the wheels came off pretty spectacularly.

The disappointments started mildly at first, as Threlkeld was harshly yellow-carded when Hendrie’s cross from the left hit his arm. As you might expect, the Shrimps were doing their best to exert pressure, winning a corner and a free-kick in quick succession. Another corner arrived during the 4th of those 5 added minutes and when O’Sullivan’s cross came in a crashing Songo’o header might have got a touch from Hladký before it came back off the bar. The ball dropped down and MENDES GOMES had the simple task of poking home from close range.

As you might expect, an ebullient Morecambe sensed that their luck was in, and they continued to get red shirts forward after grabbing that equaliser. The Ammies looked uncertain and footballing disaster struck during the 6th minute of time added on. Diagouraga picked up the ball outside the box and from just left of centre drilled in a low shot that initially didn’t look like troubling Hladký. Unfortunately for Salford WILDIG was in its way and did well to adjust his feet to direct a low 10-yard effort that squeezed between Hladký and his right-hand post.

The celebrations were what you might expect from a side who were dreaming of a single point at 90 minutes and who now seemed to have clinched all 3.

A massive body-blow for the Ammies but to their credit they came out fighting. With time ticking on they forced the ball deep into Morecambe territory and it was the home side’s turn to look nervy. A foul on Threlkeld just outside the right-hand angle of the box presented an opportunity to snatch a point right at the very death.

Touray swung the delivery in left-footed, with a crowd of players going up on the line to contest. The ball went loose and from 6 yards out and right-of-centre Wilson banged a low finish home. As he turned to celebrate, the grim realisation dawned that – with Letheren grounded following Bernard’s challenge – the referee had awarded a free-kick to Morecambe.

It looked a harsh decision, but this was a dismal end to a terrible 17 minutes for Salford and the final whistle ushered in a defeat that really should not have been allowed to happen.

FULL-TIME: MORECAMBE 2 SALFORD CITY 1

Of course, ‘disappointed’ doesn’t do justice to this result. For 80 minutes this was a well-drilled, composed and organised performance that had yielded enough attacking situations to bag the 3 points.

That those attacks hadn’t forced home keeper Letheren to make too many saves is a concern. The defensive switch-off that marked the last 10 minutes and time added on is a much bigger one.

The Shrimps had offered relatively little threat until Salford started to look shaky and in the final analysis this can only be viewed as 3 points carelessly given away.

A fourth defeat in 6 league away games since the turn of the year, and that’s a run that will need to come to an end if automatic promotion is to be secured. Once again, we need a reaction and hopefully that will come at Southend on Saturday…

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