S a l f o r d
C i t y
F o o t b a l l
C l u b

Salford City football Club

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Team Sheet

Northampton Town
1
Liam Roberts
3
Aaron McGowan
4
Jack Sowerby
5
Jon Guthrie
6
Fraser Horsfall
7
Sam Hoskins

Rose 87'

8
Paul Lewis
1 goals for Paul Lewis

Magloire 71'

11
Mitch Pinnock
14
Ali Koiki
17
Shaun McWilliams
19
Idris Kanu

Eppiah 71'

Salford City FC
1
Tom King
4
Jason Lowe
Yellow card for Jason Lowe
5
Ash Eastham (C)
6
Corrie Ndaba
Yellow card for Corrie Ndaba
7
Ryan Watson
10
Ash Hunter

Loughlan 79'

16
Jordan Turnbull
18
Conor McAleny

Kelly 79'

19
Matt Smith
32
Liam Shephard
42
Theo Vassell

Lund 79'

Substitutes
26
Jonny Maxted
2
Michael Harriman
10
Dylan Connolly
16
Jordan Flores
20
Tyler Magloire
21
Josh Eppiah
32
Danny Rose
Substitutes
31
Joel Torrance
8
Matthew Lund
17
Stephen Kelly
22
Tylor Golden
33
Liam Loughlan
42
Theo Vassell
Managers
Manager - Jon Brady
Managers
Manager - Gary Bowyer
Match Officals
Referee - Tom Nield
Assistant Referee - Stuart Butler
Assistant Referee - Grant Taylor
Fourth Official - Daniel Cook

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Match
Report

An early goal from Paul Lewis was just enough for The Cobblers on an afternoon where Salford City found clear-cut chances difficult to come by. A strong wind made good football difficult for both sides but Northampton took the points that consolidate their position in the play-off places. For The Ammies, those heights remain firmly unticked on the ‘to do’ list.

A couple of changes from the side that started Tuesday’s win at Barrow, starting in defence where Theo Vassell was restored to the right- back berth. That allowed Liam Shephard to push forward to the right side of midfield, with Donald Love dropping to the bench. Also amongst the substitutes was Matty Lund, replaced by Conor McAleny.

On a bright but blustery afternoon in Northamptonshire Salford started quite well, pressing their opponents back and earning a number of early set pieces. Within 2 minutes Ash Hunter delivered a teasing corner from the left, with Matt Smith almost getting on the end of it before the ball was knocked behind beyond the far post for another. Hunter took this one too, and this time the stooping Smith got his head to it, only to direct the effort straight at Town keeper Liam Roberts.

There would be another corner, and a free-kick but Northampton’s defence stood firm.

The Cobblers were struggling to adapt to the conditions, with a few early balls forward caught by the wind to go behind or be collected by Tom King. That situation changed in the 12th minute, and after being forced to defend those Salford set pieces The Cobblers went ahead courtesy of one of their own.

Ash Eastham looked favourite to clear a ball played out to Northampton’s left, but after getting there first was closed down and dispossessed by the busy Sam Hoskins. The cross that followed was headed behind by former Cobbler Jordan Turnbull and it was Hoskins who lined up the corner, from the left. Salford didn’t deal with it well, with nobody tracking Jon Guthrie's run beyond the far post. The big central defender angled in a low shot that King got down to keep out, with Jason Lowe hooking away from the line - or maybe just over it. Only as far as LEWIS however, who lifted his left foot to guide the ball home from 3 yards out and despite the some confusion regarding the scorer, Northampton Town were certainly a goal up.

With that cold breeze doing its best to disrupt, we had to wait until the 19th minute for the next real opportunity, and it too went to The Cobblers. Mitch Pinnock guided a low forward pass into the left-hand side of the area and Eastham was forced to bundle behind at the near post after Lewis got in a low cross.

At the other end a long throw from the right caused concern in the Town defence but from 17 yards McAleny didn’t get enough on an effort that rolled through to Roberts. A couple of minutes later Shephard whipped in a cross from the right with Smith the target at the far post. Home skipper Fraser Horsfall got in a clearing flicked header with Smith penalised for a foul as he stretched to reach the ball.

Set pieces looked to be both sides’ best bet and on 26 minutes a Pinnock corner from the right dropped to the far post. Guthrie stretched out a leg but it wasn’t an easy chance and he could only lift the ball clear of the crossbar.

Just before the half-hour there was a half-chance for The Ammies after Smith nudged a long ball forward into the path of McAleny. There was a bit of time and space for the former Oldham man, and he will be disappointed with an always rising 25-yarder that cleared the bar by a fair distance.

Neither side could apply persistent pressure at this stage but it was Town’s turn to threaten 12 minutes before the interval. Pinnock did well to turn away from his man before hitting a venomous low drive from 30 yards. Not straightforward for King as the ball skidded off the turf but the keeper did well, getting down to touch the ball around his left-hand upright.

The half continued in much the same way as both sides had little spells of possession before creating a half-chance. For Salford Shephard drilled in a low ball from the right that Roberts did well to smother at the near post. Pinnock’s free-kick from distance dropped outside King’s left-hand post but to be fair the keeper had it covered.

The lively Pinnock was at it again during the half’s final minute, floating in a left-footed corner from the right that eventually dropped to the far side. Jack Sowerby hit a low, angled effort that was blocked, with the ball dropping for Aaron McGowan on the right-hand corner of the 6-yard box. The full-back swivelled nicely enough only to lift a shot high and wide of the goal.

During time added on Horsfall was tempted to have a go from 30 yards out, but although he got pace on the shot, he couldn’t keep it down enough to trouble King.

HALF-TIME: NORTHAMPTON TOWN 1 SALFORD CITY

The second half wasn’t quick to provide goalmouth action although Salford saw plenty of the ball early on. Roberts wasn’t troubled though, and it was The Cobblers who could have snatched a second goal in the 54th minute. Idris Kanu darted in to meet a low cross, yet neither he nor King could get a decisive near-post touch and it was left for Turnbull to clear Salford lines.

The Ammies went close on 57 minutes after Hunter’s free-kick from a deep position on the right. Smith’s close-range header was instinctively pushed away by Roberts before a scramble ensued on the edge of the 6-yard box. One of those situations where the ball could have ended up anywhere and in the event Turnbull had a shot blocked before Town managed to clear.

Almost a leveller, but that would be as close as Salford would come on what would turn out to be a frustrating afternoon. Just past the hour Smith got up to flick on to the left but Hunter didn’t make great contact with a shot that bobbled across the face of goal.

Neither side could find the quality to break through, but Northampton had that precious goal in the bank and were content to get men behind the ball. In the 70th minute Hunter lofted in a cross from the left but there was no black shirt anywhere near and Roberts watched it bounce harmlessly wide of his left-hand upright.

Town manager Jon Brady made a double-change after that and within a minute or two more his side carved out another chance. Sowerby’s rising shot from the left-hand side of the box came back off a Salford head and Guthrie’s nod back into the danger area ran through to King,

The Ammies needed to make something happen and manager Bowyer used all 3 substitutions with a dozen minutes left. On came Lund, Stephen Kelly and Liam Loughlan, making his league debut. Making way were Hunter, McAleny and Vassell.

A bold move and it could just have paid off straight away. Loughlan’s corner from the right was a decent one with Roberts forced to tip away and Guthrie to nod behind. There was a similar incident at the other end 7 minutes from time as King stretched to push away Hoskins’ corner from the left, then managed to gather up the loose ball.

Time was running out, but Town weren’t inclined to take any late risks and The Ammies seemed short on ideas during the closing stages. The game’s final two attacks of any note went Northampton’s way as Pinnock lifted a pass into the box for substitute Josh Appiah to chase, only for the advancing King to snuff out the danger.
During the 2nd of 4 largely uneventful minutes added on Ali Koiki darted into the area on the left, hitting a low shot from a tight angle that King deflected wide for a corner.

There would be time for little more and the final whistle confirmed a disappointing afternoon – and result – for Salford City.

FULL-TIME: NORTHAMPTON TOWN 1 SALFORD CITY 0

It seems to be the case of a step forward followed by a step back for Salford City at the moment. They rebounded from that defeat at the hands of Colchester last Saturday with midweek victory at Barrow, only to end up empty handed today.

Five points separate Salford City from the play-off places, but most of the clubs above them have one, two or even three games in hand.

This afternoon we saw the usual application and effort but it simply didn’t translate into activity in and around the Northampton penalty area. The home side weren’t too much more potent, but they did manage to tuck away that all-important goal. In the final analysis, Salford simply didn't do enough in the right areas today.

The Ammies need to find an attacking spark and maybe the return of Brandon Thomas-Asante might see the start of an effective partnership with Smith.

We may well see that develop on Tuesday when Carlisle visit the Peninsula, before Port Vale provide the opposition next Saturday. There are still plenty of points to win…

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