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Team Sheet

Salford City FC
1
Chris Neal
2
Scott Wiseman
3
Ibou Touray
6
Carl Piergianni
9
Adam Rooney (c)

Rodney '78

10
Danny Lloyd

Hogan '78

11
Tom Walker
1 goals for Tom Walker

Maynard '70

18
Danny Whitehead
Yellow card for Danny Whitehead
19
Mark Shelton
1 goals for Mark Shelton
23
Nathan Pond
30
Rory Gaffney
1 goals for Rory Gaffney
Boreham Wood
1
Ryan Huddart
2
Danny Woodards

Thomas '46

3
Femi Ilesanmi
4
Mark Ricketts (c)
6
Dave Stephens
7
Ricky Shakes
8
Tom Champion
Yellow card for Tom Champion
9
Josh Umerah
1 goals for Josh Umerah
10
Kieran Murtagh
12
Jamal Fyfield
Yellow card for Jamal Fyfield
20
Justin Shaibu

Ugwu '46

Substitutes
5
Liam Hogan
7
Nick Haughton
8
Lois Maynard
12
Max Crocombe
21
Devante Rodney
Substitutes
21
Ellery Balcombe
5
Manny Parry
14
Sorba Thomas
15
Gozie Ugwu
16
Connor Smith
Managers
Manager - Graham Alexander
Managers
Manager - Luke Garrard
Match Officals
Referee - Andrew Miller
Assistant Referee - Nicholas Hawksby
Assistant Referee - Alan Hull
Fourth Official - Bradley Hall

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Match
Report

A world-class strike from Mark Shelton helped Salford City to their 4th consecutive National League win as last season’s play-off runners-up were beaten 3-1 at The Peninsula Stadium. The Ammies had established a 3-0 lead within 10 minutes of the start of the second half but Boreham Wood pulled a goal back quickly. The visitors would dominate the remainder of the afternoon but couldn’t turn pressure and possession into the goals required for what might have been a memorable comeback.

Boreham Wood had only arrived at the ground at 2pm due to motorway congestion and a truncated preparation might have contributed to the early goal they conceded. In truth it was also down to some great play from a Salford side who started off in fine attacking form.

Inside 3 minutes Ibou Touray’s pass up the left sent Danny Lloyd off on a run that almost took him to the line. A good cross beyond the far post was headed back inside and for a moment it looked as Shelton might have a shot at goal. The ball wouldn’t quite sit up for the midfielder so he nudged an unselfish pass to the right. TOM WALKER was the recipient and his low, side-footed effort found its way through a crowd of players and past Wood keeper Ryan Huddart.

A 3rd goal in 4 games for crowd favourite Walker and the Ammies were off to a flying start. The home side would have plenty of possession during the 1st half and another chance came along with 8 minutes played. Scott Wiseman’s run on the right won a free-kick and Danny Lloyd’s left-footer dropped into the penalty area. Central defender Carl Piergianni is always a threat in the air and this time he got up to power in a downward header that bounced once on its way just wide of the keeper's left-hand post.

It was Shelton’s turn to have a go next as he swapped passes with Adam Rooney before scooping a 22-yarder high over the crossbar. A disappointing finish but there would be rather better to come from the former Alfreton Town man before too long.

Salford were looking for a 2nd goal and almost had it in the 18th minute. Gaffney’s pass fell for Lloyd on the left and he got into the area before delicately lifting an effort out of the advancing Huddart’s reach. The summer signing from Peterborough is yet to score from open play this season and was frustrated here as the ball dropped just outside the far post.

Lloyd would go closer before the afternoon was over but for now his side continued to make all the running. There was an isolated opportunity for Wood in the 19th minute as Kieran Murtagh – who had fired well over minutes earlier - found a little space on the edge of the area but Nathan Pond reacted to the danger and got in a great block.

The action switched immediately to the school end of the ground and Salford extended their lead courtesy of a stunning strike from Shelton. Boreham Wood’s defence cleared a long ball into their box and their seemed to be relatively little danger as possession fell for SHELTON, 25 yards out and well right of centre. The shot that followed was an astonishing one – hit at pace it rose, curled outside the reach of Huddart then dipped back inside the far post. Words can’t do it justice – make sure you see the footage of this one when it’s available.

The Ammies were two goals ahead, well on top and looking for more. Midway through the first half Piergianni’s low ball forward was flicked on by Rooney, back to goal. Lloyd was in again but this time his rising drive from an angle on the left crashed into the side-netting.

Boreham Wood had offered little attacking threat so far but this time they countered and Murtagh met Piergianni’s headed clearance with a 25-yarded that clipped off a defender on its way over the bar.

The corner came to nothing but a couple of minutes later another Murtagh delivery led to a handball shout inside the area only for the referee to wave away Wood’s claims for a penalty.

Boreham Wood’s best spell so far yet it hadn’t really yielded a decent effort on goal. Salford were soon back on the offensive and Nathan Pond’s first-time lofted pass from halfway dropped nicely into the path of Lloyd. Once again he pushed forward, getting past Danny Woodwards before drilling a low cross towards the near post. There were red shirts buzzing around but big defender Dave Stephens was well positioned to get the ball clear.

The intensity of Salford’s attacks had diminished a little by now but as the interval approached, pressure was cranked back up. In the 38th minute Rooney met Walker’s left-flank corner at the near angle of the 6-yard box but couldn’t keep his header down.

Five minutes before the break Lloyd was left cursing his luck as he was somehow denied the goal his performance had deserved. A neat touch from Rooney moved possession on for Gaffney and he slotted a great ball out to the left for Lloyd. Again he powered his way into the box before slamming in a low effort that hit the inside of the far post. The ball spun back across the goal line, hitting the inside of the other post before rebounding virtually along the line again. Everyone in the ground was waiting for the liner to indicate a goal but a defender got in to hack clear and the score stayed at 2-0.

Undeterred by the laws of physics apparently being flaunted the Ammies rolled forward again and Wiseman’s lofted left-footed cross from the right dropped towards the far post.
Lloyd got the ball under control, jockeyed for position and when no opening presented itself, laid the ball back into the path of Shelton. From somewhere around the left-hand angle of the box the shot was well-hit but too high to trouble Huddart.

Another surging run from Lloyd was stopped by a sliding challenge from Stephens but appeals for a penalty were turned down with a free-kick going to the Wood instead.

HALF TIME: SALFORD CITY 2 BOREHAM WOOD 0

A powerful and enterprising first-half performance from Salford and they were good value for a two-goal lead as the sides trooped off at half-time. Boreham Wood manager Luke Garrard shuffled his pack before the teams re-emerged, replacing Danny Woodwards & Justin Shaibu with Sorba Thomas & Gozie Ugwe.

The changes – and doubtless words of managerial encouragement from the animated Garrard – seemed to invigorate the Wood and they looked a different side almost from the restart. The visitors were soon playing some good football and fired an early warning shot across Ammie bows as Thomas attacked on the left before driving a low cross towards the near post. Fellow substitute Ugwu almost got a touch but the ball ran through for Chris Neal to smother.

Real encouragement for the Wood fans gathered behind Neal’s goal but it seemed that all hope of taking something back home to Hertfordshire had evaporated minutes later. It was another impressive sequence of play from Salford as Touray’s pass down the left flank gave Lloyd another chance to drive forward. The invitation was accepted and the low cross that followed was a beauty. GAFFNEY arrived at the far post at exactly the right time and from a few yards out made no mistake, recording his 2nd goal in 2 games.

Even with 38 minutes to play that appeared to be game over, but Boreham Wood were by no means finished just yet. Within a minute Josh Umerah rolled away from Piergianni’s challenge then hit a 25-yarder from right-of-centre that cleared the bar by a foot. Within a couple of minutes more he had received Murtagh’s pass on the left-hand angle of the box but again couldn’t keep the shot down.

It would turn out to be a case of 3rd time lucky for the Charlton Athletic loanee UMERAH. In the 55th minute he picked up a pass from Ricky Shakes before slamming in a rising effort from just inside the box on the right. The power in the shot beat Neal and Boreham Wood were suddenly very much back in the game.

Wood certainly give it their all and from coasting along fairly smoothly Salford now had plenty of defending to do themselves. Tom Champion met Murtagh’s corner in the 59th minute but was unable to direct an effort on target.

The Ammies were finding it difficult to get out of their own half at times now and Danny Whitehead was booked for a foul on Ugwu after his own pass had been deflected to the Wood striker off the referee.

In the 63rd minute Thomas almost latched onto a ball played through the inside-right channel but Neal anticipated impressively, racing to the edge of the area to clear for a throw-in.

Salford had been pressed back for a while yet midway through the 2nd half could have scored a 4th goal. Lloyd did well wide on the left, nudging a header into the box where Rooney got goal-side of his man. The first-time left-footer that followed was nicely struck but the ball flashed wide of the far post. The Wood countered and Thomas – influential since coming on – played a pass inside from the left. Ugwu had his back to goal when he collected but turned smartly to hit a shot that was charged down by the imposing form of Piergianni.

Boreham Wood were dominating possession and territory yet Salford’s defence – again led by the formidable pairing of Piergianni & Pond - worked hard to restrict clear cut chances. In the 74th minute another spell of Wood pressure ended when Mark Ricketts looped a header into the box and the ball fell for Thomas on the edge of the 6-yard box. It wasn’t the easiest of chances but the Wood substitute will feel he should have done better than glance a header straight at Neal.

The home keeper had to do rather better a minute or so later as Umerah used his considerable strength to bundle past a couple of challenges. Clear on goal he slammed in a low, close-range effort from the right that was well saved by Neal and the keeper held Umerah’s 2nd attempt, hooked in left-footed and low from an acute angle.

A 2nd Wood goal at this point of the afternoon would have made the closing stages of the game very interesting. They’d been knocking at the Salford door for a while, albeit without carving out too many quality openings and Graham Alexander looked to close out the game with a couple of 78th minute substitutions. Devante Rodney & Liam Hogan came on for Rooney & Lloyd and that switch in personnel and formation did the trick.

Salford were more comfortable for the rest of the game and despite a late flurry of crosses from the visitors they secured an impressive and deserved win with no further scares.

FULL TIME: SALFORD CITY 3 BOREHAM WOOD 1

That’s 9 games unbeaten for the Ammies, with 7 of them won – an impressive run of form that has taken them to 4th place in the table, just 2 points behind new leaders Leyton Orient. The quality of football has steadily increased too and during the 1st half Boreham Wood – a good side themselves – had little answer to the home side's slick attacking play.

Salford could have been out of sight by half-time but when the time came to dig in they defended very well as a team.

The season is warming up nicely and there’s another big game at the Peninsula Stadium on Tuesday evening when 5th placed Hartlepool United are the visitors. After that comes a double-header of away games with Maidenhead and distant Dover the destinations.

This is a tough division, with plenty of quality but as much as the opposition merit respect, it’s fair to say we need be afraid of nobody. It’s been good so far but I suspect there is much better to come.

All in all, a splendid team performance, but take a bow Mr. Shelton...

Attendance: 2,006 (@45 Boreham Wood)

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