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Salford City football Club

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Team Sheet

Oldham Athletic
1
Ian Lawlor
2
Harry Clarke
Yellow card for Harry Clarke
3
Cameron Borthwick-Jackson
4
Sido Jombati
11
Bobby Grant
16
Brice Ntambwe

Keillor-Dunn 63'

18
Conor McAleny
21
Marcel Hilßner
23
Nicky Adams (c)
24
Dylan Bahamboula
1 goals for Dylan Bahamboula

Piergianni 90+3'

25
Alfie McCalmont
Salford City FC
1
Vaclav Hladky
2
Tom James

Andrade 90+4

3
Ibou Touray

Hunter 90+4'

5
Ash Eastham (c)
6
Tom Clarke
16
Jordan Turnbull
17
Richie Towell

Lowe 68'

18
Oscar Threlkeld

Thomas-Asante 81'

24
Robbie Gotts
25
Paul Coutts
Yellow card for Paul Coutts
40
Ian Henderson
1 goals for Ian Henderson
Substitutes
33
Laurence Bilboe
5
Carl Piergianni
8
Callum Whelan
10
David Keillor-Dunn
1 goals for David Keillor-Dunn
14
Dylan Fage
20
Andrea Badan
27
Vani Da Silva
Substitutes
31
William Evans
4
Jason Lowe
10
Ash Hunter
11
Bruno Andrade
12
Di'Shon Bernard
15
Luke Burgess
37
Brandon Thomas-Asante
Managers
Manager - Harry Kewell
Managers
Manager - Richie Wellens
Match Officals
Referee - Thomas Bramall
Assistant Referee - Stephen Wade
Assistant Referee - Kevin Mulraine
Fourth Official - Graham Salisbury

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Match
Report

Salford’s players must have been shaking their heads in disbelief after contriving to lose a game that could have been wrapped up before half-time. The Ammies mastered difficult Boundary Park conditions during the first half, dominated the attacking possession almost entirely and might well have scored 3 or 4 goals. In the event Ian Henderson’s 9th minute strike was all they had to show for their considerable efforts, but even so there was no indication of the late second-half turnaround to come.

There were four changes from the side that started last Friday’s 2-2 draw with Harrogate Town at the Peninsula Stadium. Skipper Ash Eastham and Tom Clarke were restored to the line-up, forming a back three with Jordan Turnbull. Paul Coutts was drafted into the midfield three for his first Salford start and Richie Towell slotted alongside Robbie Gotts behind loan striker Ian Henderson.

A robust breeze would have quite an effect on this game, but it was the visitors who adapted best during the opening half. With the wind at their backs, Salford were soon stroking the ball around and putting a jittery looking home defence under pressure.

That pressure soon translated into chances, and as early as the 4th minute Henderson squared to the right for Towell. The Irish midfielder would be unlucky not to get onto the scoresheet a little later, but here he could only blast a 24-yarder high over the target. Towell would have a volley charged down by Harry Clarke soon afterwards, and the pattern of the half had been set.

The Latics would struggle to make much of an impression before the interval, yet almost created an opening in the 7th minute. Alfie McCalmont’s lofted diagonal pass from the left dropped nicely for Bobby Grant on the edge of the box, but before he could take control of the ball Eastham got across to tidy up.

Otherwise it was Salford on the front foot and it was no surprise when they snatched a 9th minute advantage. Tom James advanced into Oldham’s half on the right before dropping a super lobbed pass into the penalty area. HENDERSON was on the end of it, controlling on his chest before sliding in a low angled shot that the frantically retreating Harry Clarke could only help into the net.

An early goal, but already deserved and the Ammies set about the task of extending their lead. After Harry Clarke gave the ball away inside his own half Towell nudged a pass to Gotts who hit a low right of centre 25-yarder. The effort took a clip on its way through and in the end didn’t prove too much of a problem for home keeper Ian Lawlor.

Oldham’s best moments came from set pieces, with McCalmont trying to curl a right of centre free-kick inside Václav Hladký’s right-hand post. It looked as if the effort was going wide, but Salford’s keeper took no chances as he pushed the ball out for a corner.

Such was the disruptive effect of the blustery wind, German midfielder Marcel Hilßner had to play a corner short in the 15th minute after a couple of attempts place the ball for a long delivery. The enforced change of plans could have paid dividends had McCalmont’s fiercely hit shot from the left-hand angle of the box not crashed into Towell.

A half-chance or two for the home side, but Salford countered after McCalmont’s blocked shot, moving possession swiftly to the other end of the pitch. After picking up a square pass from Gotts to his left, Towell advanced before hitting a thunderous right of centre 20-yarder that crashed off the underside of the bar before bouncing down onto the line. With Lawlor stranded it was Henderson and Harry Clarke who challenged for the ball, with the Oldham man managing to nod over for a corner.

The Latics were looking shaky and on 20 minutes Lawlor’s pass was picked off by Henderson who pushed forward before clipping a pass inside from the right. Towell moved the ball left for Gotts whose low shot was blocked by Sido Jombati, with the loose ball dropping to Salford’s left. Oscar Threlkeld curled a teasing cross towards the far post, yet despite an acrobatic attempt James couldn’t quite get to it.

There was another great chance for the Ammies midway through the first half after after Gotts and Towell linked up again outside the box. The latter slid a clever diagonal ball into the right-hand side of the area, behind Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and into the path of the overlapping James. The Welsh full-back was desperately unlucky to see his low, angled shot come back off the far post, with the ball bouncing back into the arms of a doubtless relieved Lawlor.

The Ammies were very much in the ascendancy, and if the lead didn’t yet reflect their superiority there was certainly no cause for concern yet. Oldham’s rare forays forward didn’t produce much of a threat, although after Hilßner did well to win possession in midfield his neat pass to the left picked out Conor McAleny. The former Everton man delivered a decent cross, although the ball dropped over Dylan Bahamboula in the middle.

Henderson did well in the 28th minute, controlling a ball into the box before playing a pass back for Gotts. There was a sight of goal for the Leeds loanee but he could only hit a rising effort over the crossbar.

The Latics steadied a little from around the half-hour and when Hilßner’s corner from the right was missed by Hladký in the swirling wind, James had to nudge the ball behind beyond the far post. Nicky Adams delivered the subsequent corner, with a white-shirted defender managing to glance away from within a crowd of challengers.

The tricky Bahamboula did well to retain possession before playing a low ball to the edge of the 6-yard box where Grant couldn’t quite get a shot in. A clearance dropped to the edge of the area where McCalmont could only scoop a first-time effort over the bar.

Oldham were rallying after spending quite a bit of time on the ropes, but the home side still looked vulnerable at the back. James made his way to the line on the right 12 minutes before the break, then launched a dipping cross towards the far post. Ibou Touray was beaten to it by a defender, but no corner was awarded as the visiting full-back was harshly penalised for a foul.

James was involved again, whipping in a right-footed corner from the left that was missed by a crowd of players at the near post. The ball fell for Coutts, 10 yards out and just right of centre, but he could only lift a left-footed shot over the bar.

That one goal lead was almost doubled during the half’s penultimate minute after Towell threaded a forward pass into the right-hand side of the box. Henderson was on the end of it, but this time he couldn’t find a finish as Lawlor pulled of a good blocking save.

HALF-TIME: OLDHAM ATHLETIC 0 SALFORD CITY 1

A very satisfactory 45 minutes from Salford’s perspective, with the only disappointment being a single goal lead that could have been much more.

The wind had lessened a little by now, but still wasn’t doing any favours for the team facing into it. That would be Salford in the second half and the balance of play was more even almost from the restart.

The Latics looked more composed and in the 50th minute McAleny set off on a direct run through the inside-left channel. More than one challenge was evaded before he made it into the area where a first attempt on goal was blocked by Turnbull. The second – a low right-footer – forced Hladký to go full length to push it away to the far side, and right into the path of Adams. The former Northampton stalwart powered in a low 12-yarder that Hladký’ saved with his feet at the base of the near post, and the keeper was on hand to deflect Adams’ close-range follow up effort wide too.

Encouragement for the home side, but they still didn’t look all that comfortable at the back when Salford committed men forward. Threlkeld won a midfield challenge before sending Gotts away on a run that took him deep into Oldham territory. The Leeds loanee already looks to be a quality acquisition and his ball into the box was inches away from finding Henderson.

The Ammies were having to defend more this half and after Bahamboula wriggled his way into the box on the right Hladký had to push his low shot wide for a corner. The inswinging corner that followed was caught by the wind with Hladký reacting quickly to tip the ball over the crossbar.

Oldham manager Harry Kewell made a change in the 63rd minute, bringing Davis Keillor-Dunn on for Brice Ntambwe. The former Ross County midfielder almost made an immediate impact, nudging a pass to Bahamboula who drilled in a low shot from almost 30 yards out. It was an ambitious effort that Hladký probably had covered, yet it flashed only a foot or two wide of the keeper’s right-hand post.

The home side, aided by the still awkward wind, were edging possession but at this point Salford’s defence was remaining a hard nut to crack. The Ammies were still looking keen to get a 2nd goal and on 68 minutes Henderson forced an error wide on the right but was just beaten to the loose ball by the rapidly advancing Lawlor.

Jason Lowe replaced Towell for the game’s final quarter and his ball to the left that sent Touray into space. The left-back fizzed a low delivery into the danger zone, but nobody could get a touch and the ball went behind beyond the far post.

Despite a much-improved Oldham performance in the second half, Salford still deserved to be ahead and on another day might have been home and dry already. With 15 minutes to play the home side were awarded a free kick, wide on the right and a good 45 yards out from goal. Hilßner had won the free-kick and duly powered in a tremendous effort that a surprised Hladký could only push back out. Eastham had a flick at the loose ball but couldn’t divert it away from BAHAMBOULA, who took a touch to the right before drilling in a low 17-yarder. Hladký went full-length to his right and got fingers to the ball yet not enough to prevent it from nestling into the corner of the net.

Being pegged back late on was frustrating for Salford and they looked determined to restore their lead at the next opportunity. Within a minute of the equaliser another storming Gotts run seemed destined to take him into the area until Harry Clarke slid in to bring him down. A couple of covering defenders restricted the punishment to a yellow card, yet James almost added to the severity. From 20 yards out and just to the right of centre the Hibernian loanee got pace on a dipping effort, only for an airborne Lawlor to get both hands to the ball, pushing it wide for a corner.

Richie Wellens brought Brandon Thomas-Asante on for Threlkeld with 9 minutes to play and the tide seemed to be turning back towards Salford. Gotts was still full of running and this time he dispossessed and Oldham player on halfway before scampering towards the penalty area. An unselfish low pass inside set up Lowe for a low shot that was bravely blocked by Borthwick-Jackson with the loose ball spinning into the path of James. After being denied by the woodwork during the first half, he was out of luck again as a low 20-yarder rebounded to safety off the foot of the keeper’s left-hand upright.

An injury to one of the referee’s assistants saw the fourth official pressed into service, and when the game got underway it seemed that a little bit of Salford’s previously mounting momentum had dissipated. Even so the home defence had plenty of work left to do, and to be fair seemed to be a slightly more cohesive unit than had been the case earlier in the afternoon.

It seemed as if the Ammies might have to settle for a point, but two minutes into time added on even that reward was pushed out of reach. There seemed to be relatively little danger as Bahamboula advanced on a right of centre run before a heavy touch pushed the ball away from him. Turnbull could only prod the ball back, with KEILLOR-DUNN moving forward before trying a chipped 30-yard effort that dropped beyond Hladký’s despairing reach and just inside his left-hand post.

There had been 6 minutes of time added on and Salford spent most of what remained hoisting the ball into Oldham’s penalty area. The home defence were living on their nerves yet somehow managed to hold firm, and the referee’s whistle brought a disappointing Ammie afternoon to an end.

FULL-TIME: OLDHAM ATHLETIC 2 SALFORD CITY 1

Salford’s players and staff will be devastated at losing a match that they could have won at a canter. During a largely one-sided first-half the Ammies scored a goal, struck the woodwork twice and forced a good save from Latics keeper Lawlor. On a number of occasions they almost prised open a beleaguered home defence, and the only surprise at half-time was that the score was still only 1-0.

The wind ensured a second half that was more evenly matched, and in fairness Oldham improved after the break. Even so, Salford created a number of decent opportunities and once again struck the woodwork.

In the cold light of day, it might be considered that both of Oldham’s goals could have been prevented, but the overriding feature of this afternoon was Salford enduring some pretty rough luck.

A blow undoubtedly, but the recovery has to be quick and effective. There are plenty of pluses to take from today, despite the result and with 3 consecutive home games to come there are points to put on the board.
We go again on Tuesday…

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