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

Oldham Athletic
20
Zeus De La Paz
2
Zak Mills
8
Filipe Morais

Eagles 64'

10
Mohammed Maouche
19
Desire Segbe-Azankpo
1 goals for Desire Segbe-Azankpo
24
Mohamad Sylla
25
Chris McCann

Wilson 62'

26
Jonny Smith
29
Tomas Egert

Fage 23'

31
David Wheater (c)
34
Tom Hamer
Salford City FC
1
Chris Neal
3
Ibou Touray
4
Oscar Threlkeld
Yellow card for Oscar Threlkeld
5
Liam Hogan (c)
9
Adam Rooney

Whitehead 82'

15
Cameron Burgess
17
Richie Towell
25
Joey Jones

Maynard 45+3'

28
Brandon Thomas-Asante
2 goals for Brandon Thomas-Asante 2 goals for Brandon Thomas-Asante
32
Jake Jervis
2 goals for Jake Jervis 2 goals for Jake Jervis
44
Craig Conway

Armstrong 88'

Substitutes
1
Gary Woods
16
Scott Wilson
18
Dylan Fage
Yellow card for Dylan Fage
27
Kielen Adams
28
Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro
33
Chris Eagles
53
Zac Emmerson
Substitutes
12
Kyle Letheren
6
Carl Piergianni
7
Luke Armstrong
8
Lois Maynard
13
Sam Hughes
18
Danny Whitehead
Managers
Head Coach - Dino Maamria
Managers
Manager - Graham Alexander
Match Officals
Referee - Darren Handley
Assistant Referee - Simon Clayton
Assistant Referee - Craig Taylor
Fourth Official - Gareth Mellor

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Match
Report

This is turning out to be a festive season to remember for Salford City and their supporters. As if the 3-1 Boxing Day win over Crewe Alexandra wasn’t good enough, the Ammies turned in a classic ‘away’ performance to crush Oldham Athletic at their Boundary Park home. Brandon Asante and Jake Jervis weighed in with a brace apiece as Graham Alexander’s side recorded 4 goals in one game for the first time as an EFL club.

Unsurprisingly there were no changes to the starting XI from the Crewe game, with the only tweak coming on the bench where Sam Hughes stepped in for Danny Lloyd.

Considering what was to come, Oldham started the game in brisk fashion and within the game’s opening minute had forced a corner. Filipe Morais had a shot charged down just inside the area and when Jonny Smith delivered another corner in the 5th minute Desire Segbe Azankpo could only head over from close range.

The Latics were neat in possession, but Salford’s defence had settled quickly into its stride and were coping well. The match turned - irrevocably as it turned out - in the Ammies’ favour during a two-minute spell centred around the game’s quarter-hour mark. Mohammed Maouche’s twisting run inside from the right took him past 3 players before he went down inside the penalty area. The referee was unimpressed, allowed play to continue and seconds later the visitors had countered to go ahead.

The goal came out of the blue as JERVIS cut inside from the left before drilling in a low shot. Oldham keeper Zeus De La Paz got a hand to it yet couldn’t stop the ball from finding his bottom left-hand corner.

De La Paz probably should have done better, but Salford tails were up and they doubled their lead within another minute’s play. Craig Conway lofted a ball in from the right, with possession falling for ASANTE, on the edge of the box. Afforded too much space by the home defence, the birthday boy's finish was unerring, with De La Paz given no chance as the ball fizzed past him and inside his left-hand upright.

Perfect play away from home from the Ammies who had soaked up a bit of pressure before landing a couple of hammer blows to put themselves firmly in the driving seat.

There was another blow for Oldham when Tomas Egert couldn’t continue after on-field treatment and was replaced by Dylan Fage. The Frenchman made an impact almost straight away, although not a positive one from his perspective as he picked up a yellow card for a heavy challenge.

The Latics huffed and puffed, played the odd bit of nice stuff, but would never look like blowing the Ammie house down. On 27th minutes Morais looked to latch on to a Chris McCann’ pass, only to be thwarted as a lively bounce delivered the ball into Chris Neal’s arms.

The home side were pressing, and the lively Smith turned on the right-hand angle of the box, but his attempt to curl one into the far top corner dropped just over the bar. The Latics put together a smooth passing move 12 minutes before the interval as Zak Mills found space to attack on the right. His square pass into the box was a good one, allowing Morais to slam in a powerful effort that Threlkeld did brilliantly to block. There were half-hearted appeals for a penalty, but these were made more in hope than expectation, with the referee taking no notice.

In the 36th minute Azankpo had a shot blocked, and when possession fell for Maouche his attempt to hook in an effort from a tight angle on the left didn’t even go out of play as it dropped beyond the far post. Once again Oldham were caught on the break and possession was moved to the right for Conway who dropped a perfect cross to the far post. The Oldham defence were nowhere as JERVIS arrived to nod the ball down and past De La Paz.

Three up and in total control of the game, Salford suffered their first setback of the afternoon during first half injury time as Joey Jones had to retire with a knock, replaced by Lois Maynard.

In the 6th and final minute of time added on Tom Hamer delivered a decent cross from the right but Mohamad Sylla could only head high over the bar from 7 yards out at the near post. Not good enough from Oldham, and they had Everest to scale after the break.

HALF-TIME: OLDHAM ATHLETIC 0 SALFORD CITY 3

The Latics came into this game on the back of two straight wins and pushed forward from the restart in the hope of a comeback. There was a little flurry of attacks in front of the Rochdale Road end, but any realistic chance of finding a way back into the game disappeared entirely in the 48th minute. A left-wing run from Ibou Touray was finished off by a great cross to the far post where ASANTE had acres of space to squeeze a close-range finish past De La Paz, whose spirited attempt to keep the ball out ended up with him sprawled in the netting beside it.

There would be no way back, but to their credit the home side didn’t throw in the towel. They’d had a lot of possession so far, played some decent football but lacked anything like a punch in the final third.

In the 53rd minute Oldham were awarded a penalty after Morais was fouled, and took responsibility for the spot-kick himself. The little pause during the run-up seemed to distract Morais more than Neal, with the keeper dropping to his right to push ball wide of the upright. Not the best of efforts from the former Chelsea man, especially with his team in pretty desperate need of a goal.

Salford’s 4-goal advantage remained intact, although it wouldn’t stay that way for long. In the meantime, the Ammies threatened to score a 5th as Richie Towell’s pass picked out Jervis in space on the left. The Luton loanee was on a hat-trick but this time could only blaze high and wide of the target.

In the 58th minute Oldham did get onto the scoresheet, with Mills delivering a great cross from the right. For the first time this afternoon the Ammies’ defence had lost a little concentration, with AZANKPO unmarked as he expertly placed a header out of the reach of Neal.

Dino Maamria made a couple of changes after that in a bid to launch an unlikely comeback during the final quarter of the game. It never really threatened to materialize and in fact it was Salford who looked more likely to add to the scoring.

In the 72nd minute Asante, who had been a thorn in Oldham flesh all afternoon, was played into space on the left as the visitors countered yet again. De La Paz advanced at speed to put in an ill-advised sliding challenge on the right-hand angle of the box that failed to connect significantly with ball or speedy Ammie. Asante turned the ball inside from the line with Conway arriving just outside the box to hit a rising 20-yard drive that flicked off the top of the bar and behind.

At the other end Azankpo found space to hit a low effort from the edge of the area, but the shot went straight to Neal who stooped to gather the ball.

Towell was the next to menace Oldham’s goal, crossing low from the right. Adam Rooney, sliding in, almost made contact but in the end, Mills was able to carry the ball clear of danger.

The game was long over as a contest, with the Ammies serenaded to the final whistle by the near 800 strong travelling support. Seven minutes from time Asante advanced to the right of centre before dropping a cross to the far post. Jervis was still after his 3rd of the afternoon, but forced to hit a first time shot from a tight angle, could only lift the ball high and wide.

It didn’t matter though – Salford City had taken three points from their derby-day visit to Boundary Park.

FULL-TIME: OLDHAM ATHLETIC 1 SALFORD CITY 4

If you look at the statistics alone from this game, you might not anticipate what the score turned out to be. Oldham had 58% of the possession, 22 attempts on goal (as opposed to Salford’s 10) and won the corner count by 9 to 1.

If ever the old adage “Lies, damned lies, and statistics” held true though, it would be today. There’s no point having so much of the ball if you can’t find a way through the opposition defence. Very few of those 22 attempts troubled Neal unduly and the corners largely came to nothing. On the other side of the coin Salford were efficient to the point of ruthlessness, exploiting Oldham’s defensive weakness and finding the quality to finish their chances off.

Textbook play away from home, it must be said. Quite a few games this season have yielded disappointing results largely due to a failure to convert chances into goals. It looks like the Ammies might have addressed that problem and with one game short of half a season yet to play, that 6-point gap to the play-off positions looks eminently bridgeable.

A word or two for the supporters today – almost certainly the highest number following Salford City to an away game (Wembley being neutral, of course). They were magnificent throughout today’s game, with the only discernable sound from the home fans being a drum. Great stuff, and the players’ appreciation at the end was plain to see.

Another promotion campaign then? Why not – next stop is Grimsby Town on first day of 2020. Certainly 2019 has ended on a high note…

Attendance: 5,278 (773 Salford City)

https://salfordcityfc.co.uk