S a l f o r d
C i t y
F o o t b a l l
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Salford City football Club

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Team Sheet

Rochdale
12
Jay Lynch
4
Jim McNulty
6
Eoghan O'Connell
7
Stephen Dooley
11
Jake Beesley
1 goals for Jake Beesley
13
Jimmy Keohane
14
Oliver Rathbone (c)
Yellow card for Oliver Rathbone (c)
16
Matty Done
17
Fabio Tavares

Morley 65'

23
Harrison Hopper

Baah 65'

24
Ethan Brierley

Dunne 84'

Salford City FC
1
Vaclav Hladky
7
Luke Armstrong

Elliott 69'

11
Bruno Andrade
1 goals for Bruno Andrade

Dieseruvwe 65'

15
Luke Burgess
Yellow card for Luke Burgess
18
Oscar Threlkeld (c)

Campbell 60'

23
Kevin Berkoe
24
Martin Smith
28
Alex Denny
32
Tylor Golden
Yellow card for Tylor Golden
35
Sam Fielding
36
Dan Hawkins
Substitutes
30
Ben Chalton
8
Aaron Morley
18
Lewis Bradley
20
Jimmy Ryan
22
Kwadwo Baah
32
Joe Dunne
Substitutes
31
William Evans
9
Tom Elliott
20
Mani Dieseruvwe
1 goals for Mani Dieseruvwe
27
Hayden Campbell
29
Matt Sargent
30
Harry Ditchfield
33
Liam Loughlan
Managers
Manager - Brian Barry-Murphy
Managers
Manager - Richie Wellens
Match Officals
Referee - Robert Madley
Assistant Referee - Graeme Fyvie
Assistant Referee - Bradley Hall
Fourth Official - Simon Mather

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Match
Report

Bruno Andrade and Mani Dieseruvwe did the trick again this evening, each netting a goal to secure progression for Salford City in a cup competition. On Saturday the pair left it until extra time to score the goals that knocked Hartlepool United out of the FA Cup, but today it was second half strikes that dumped League One Rochdale out of the EFL Trophy. The Ammie love affair with this competition continues, and Richie Wellens’ side go into the hat for the Round of 32.

Of the eleven who started Saturday’s FA Cup tie only Václav Hladký was on the pitch when this EFL Trophy group game got underway. The requirement was clear – Salford had to win to go through to the knockout stages and Rochdale just needed a draw. There were a couple of very familiar faces in the Dale team, with Jay Lynch between the sticks and Jake Beesley playing up front.

As it turned out, the Ammies would be the better team throughout, and right from the opening minutes they were knocking the ball around with confidence. The first opportunity came along in the 6th minute after debutant Kevin Berkoe did well on the left before clipping a pass inside for Andrade. A decent opening but from just inside the angle of the area could only lift an effort high over the bar.

The early possession was all Salford’s, yet they fell behind to the home side’s first attack of any real note.

Experienced defender Jim McNulty launched a tremendous long ball deep into Salford territory from the left-back position, with BEESLEY getting a yard on visiting skipper Oscar Threlkeld. The summer signing from Solihull Moors beat Hladký with a poked 12-yard finish and Rochdale had taken the lead, somewhat against the early run of play.

To their credit, Salford’s relatively inexperienced side didn’t let that early blow rattle them and were soon looking to get back on terms. After Luke Burgess was fouled on 14 minutes Andrade dipped a 22-yard right-of-centre free-kick over the wall, only to see the ball drop inches wide of Lynch’s left-hand upright.

The visitors won another free-kick after a Dale player raised a foot too high when challenging Dan Hawkins. Andrade took this one too, from the same sort of range, but this time left of centre. The result was a bit of a mirror image too as the ball flew just outside the keeper’s right-hand post.

The former Lincoln City man would get his eye in a little later in the game and his side were territorially very much on top.

Burgess was the next Ammie to try his luck, only to find it was out as his 20-yard shot from right of centre went comfortably wide of the far post.

Salford were pressing, passing neatly and moving well but were struggling to carve out clear chances against a Rochdale side that were – through necessity – getting bodies behind the ball. In the 28th minute Alex Denny’s diagonal low pass from the left picked out Hawkins on the edge of the box and he turned to drill in a low left-footer that had Lynch dropping smartly left to save.

Hawkins threatened again seconds later after being played into the left-hand side of the area by Andrade. The angle was tight and there was a defender in attendance, yet Hawkins managed to get in a powerful rising drive that Lynch had to palm behind at the near post.

The pressure was building, with Burgess moving possession to Golden on the right, and there was a handball shout as his delivery cannoned into a home defender. The referee waved away those claims and fortune failed to smile on Golden a minute or so later as he could only lift an 18-yarder high over the target.

Dale were hardly able to get a kick, apart from tackles and clearances, and 11 minutes before half-time the lively Hawkins collected possession before advancing to hit a rising 20-yard drive that almost caught Lynch by surprise. To be fair the goalkeeper did well in the end, stretching out an arm to stop the shot before scooping up the loose ball.

In terms of attacking possession the game was rather one sided and Rochdale’s undeserved advantage was very nearly cancelled out in the 38th minute. Defender Sam Fielding slipped a low ball forward from the halfway line, finding Andrade who moved through the inside left channel prior to unleashing a 25-yard stinger that clipped off the crossbar just inside Lynch’s right-hand post.

A rare Rochdale attack broke down 5 minutes before the interval, with the Ammies countering at speed. Martin Smith’s clever pass sent Andrade racing forward, with a teammate supporting on each side. Rochdale were stretched at the back but Andrade’s attempt to flick a pass to the right was cut out and the chance was gone.

The home side ventured forward a little more during the closing stages of the half and in the 43rd minute a long ball dropped over Fielding, setting Beesley off on a run. This looked dangerous but Golden was alive to the peril, sliding in with a great challenge that knocked the ball back to his keeper.

A second Rochdale goal would have been extremely harsh on the Ammies, but the last chance of the half went the way of the home side too. Dale captain Ollie Rathbone lined up a left-of-centre free-kick from 22 yards out but Hladký’ was able to watch as the ball dropped over his crossbar.

HALF-TIME: ROCHDALE 1 SALFORD CITY 0

The Ammies were unlucky to be behind as they lined up for the start of the second half and could have remedied that within a couple of minutes of the restart. Hawkins pounced on a loose ball just outside the box and from a central position drove in an effort that wasn’t far wide of Lynch’s left-hand post.

Rochdale hadn’t threatened seriously since Beesley’s opener but they went ever so close to a two-goal cushion within a minute or so of Hawkins’ chance. A cross from Dale’s left dropped into the penalty area for Jimmy Keohane to crash in a left-footed 14-yarder. It was nicely struck but at a height that goalkeepers quite like and Hladký dived to the right, pushing the effort away.

A typically great save from the Czech custodian, and a timely reminder that Salford City’s EFL Trophy prospects still hung from a thread.

As it happened the Ammies remained unruffled by conceding that chance and were soon back on the front foot. In the 51st minute Smith won a challenge inside the home half, allowing Andrade to break through the middle before hitting a rising 22-yarder wide of the keeper’s left-hand upright.

Andrade looked keen on notching a second goal of the season, hot on the heels of his first, and succeeded in some style with 53 minutes played. The Ammies won another free-kick, 23 yards out from goal and inches left of centre. ANDRADE stepped forward then lifted a sublime shot over the defensive wall, with the ball dropping inside Lynch’s right-hand post.

Nothing the keeper could do about that one and Salford richly deserved to be back on level terms.

The equaliser seemed to wake Rochdale up a little after a disappointing showing so far and on 59 minutes the Ammies introduced Hayden Campbell for his debut, in place of Threlkeld.

That meant a reshuffle, with Hawkins dropping to the right side of defence and Campbell slotting in on the left side of midfield.

Just before the hour Rochdale’s spell of pressure yielded a free-kick, with Eoghan O’Connell crashing a shot into the defensive wall. Matty Done had a go after picking up the rebound but his effort was also blocked by a Salford defender.

Of course, the Ammies still needed another goal and Berkoe’s curving, low delivery from the left didn’t get a touch as it fizzed across the 6-yard box.

Dieseruvwe replaced Andrade with 25 minutes left to play and Salford began to stamp their authority on the game again. In the 68th minute Hawkins pushed forward on the right before dropping a good cross just beyond the far post. Campbell was unlucky to see his header back inside hit Keohane’s back before it could cause any real problems for the home defence.

Tom Elliott came on for Luke Armstrong for the last 20 and Salford continued to play their football, looking for the opening that would book their place in the next round. In the 74th minute Berkoe’s cross from the left was flicked on to the far side by a Dale defender, only for Burgess to plant a header back inside. Dieseruvwe had defensive company as he got up on the edge of the 6-yard box but even so would have been disappointed with a header planted straight at Lynch.

That wouldn’t be Mani’s last contribution, but Salford had some defending to do next as Rathbone did well to cut into the box from the left before hitting an effort wide of the far post. The Ammies looked to hit on the break and a slick move was finished off by a Burgess left-footer that was deflected off target. The corner caused concern for the home defence, but in the end they managed to scramble the ball clear.

The Ammies won another corner in the 81st minute and as Dieseruvwe contested the delivery he appeared to have his shirt tugged by a Dale defender. The referee pointed at the spot and Salford had been handed a golden opportunity to grab the second goal they needed. DIESERUVWE placed the ball on the spot himself then calmly tucked a low finish inside Lynch’s left-hand upright, with the keeper committed the other way.

It was now Rochdale who needed a goal if their EFL Trophy hopes weren’t to be extinguished, and they could have snatched one 5 minutes from time. Substitute Kwadwo Baah showed quick feet as he darted inside from the left past Fielding but could only slam a low angled effort into the side netting.

Dale pressed late on – as they now had to – and in the penultimate minute of the 90 Aaron Morley’s corner from the left was flicked on by O’Connell at the near post. The ball dropped to the edge of the 6-yard box but Hladký did enough to get the ball away under pressure from a home forward.

The late Dale pressure continued and after another Morley corner was cleared, Baah again sliced his way into the box from the left before directing a disappointing effort wide of the target.

There were 5 minutes of time to be added on, but this relatively inexperienced Salford side showed intelligence and composure to keep possession away from their opponents. Other than for a corner Dale couldn’t summon a real threat and the Ammies held on to secure a win their performance very much merited.

FULL-TIME: ROCHDALE 1 SALFORD CITY 2

When Salford City’s 2020-2021 EFL Trophy campaign got underway with a 6-0 drubbing, few would have imagined them recovering to not only quality for the knockout stages, but to possibly win the group as well. Should Manchester United Under 21s lose to Morecambe next week the Ammies will indeed top their group, but their place in the Round of 32 is secured anyway.

This was an impressive performance from an experimental side who played some very good football and created a number of good scoring chances. That early Rochdale goal didn’t knock Salford out of their stride at all, and even when the equaliser took its time to materialise, they remained composed and confident. There is obviously a considerable amount of talent in the club’s development squad, and the entire team did themselves proud this evening.

The first knockout round takes place during the second midweek of December, and hopefully by then we might have some news about last season’s delayed final tie…

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