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Salford City football Club

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Team Sheet

Salford City FC
1
Tim Erlandsson
2
Michael Nottingham
3
Josh Askew
4
Lois Maynard
5
Carl Piergianni
Yellow card for Carl Piergianni
6
Liam Hogan
1 goals for Liam Hogan
7
Richie Allen

Dudley '30

8
Gus Mafuta
Yellow card for Gus Mafuta

Shelton '79

9
Mani Dieseruvwe
10
Nick Haughton
1 goals for Nick Haughton

Burton '79

11
Tom Walker
1 goals for Tom Walker
Blyth Spartans
1
Peter Jameson
2
David Atkinson
3
Michael Liddle
4
Damen Mullen
5
Nathan Buddle
Yellow card for Nathan Buddle
6
Ryan Hutchinson
7
Jarrett Rivers

Wrightson '68

8
Ben Liddle

Langstaff '87

9
Sean Reid
1 goals for Sean Reid
10
Dale Hopson

Laidler '66

11
Robbie Dale (c)
Substitutes
12
Mark Shelton
14
Scott Burton
16
Mike Phenix
17
Jack Redshaw
18
Anthony Dudley
1 goals for Anthony Dudley
Substitutes
12
Macauley Langstaff
14
Jordan Laidler
15
Adam Wrightson
16
Ian Watson
17
Shaun MacDonald
Managers
Joint Manager - Bernard Morley
Joint Manager - Anthony Johnson
Managers
Manager - Alun Armstrong
Match Officals
Referee - James Oldham
Assistant Referee - Stuart Richardson
Assistant Referee - Jamie O'Connor

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Match
Report

For the second game in succession Salford City came from behind and scored four goal in the process. This time it was enough to claim all three points as Blyth Spartans were overwhelmed during an eventful second half at the Peninsula Stadium. The Ammies are now 4 points clear at the top of the division as Harrogate lost at home to Spennymoor this evening.

Despite that most dramatic of comebacks at Aggborough on Saturday there were changes for this evening’s vital National League North game. With Ibou Touray starting a three match ban following his sending-off at North Ferriby last week, Josh Askew slotted into the left-back position. Gus Mafuta replaced Scott Burton in midfield while further upfield Nick Haughton & Mani Dieseruvwe stepped in for Jack Redshaw and Anthony Dudley.

Every game has the feel of a cup final at the moment and this one would be no exception. The Ammies put in a powerful defensive performance at Blyth in December to record a 1-0 win and the Northumberland side arrived in Salford today looking to put a two-game losing run to an end.

Salford meanwhile had their own run of six unbeaten games to extend and looked encouragingly sharp during the opening exchanges. Blyth defender Ryan Hutchinson got in a good early challenge to thwart Dieseruvwe and in the 7th minute Haughton hit a low left-of-centre 22-yarder wide of Peter Jameson’s right-hand post. The former Fleetwood Town man was at it again seconds later, twisting his way into space before hitting a low shot from a similar position straight at the keeper.

Tom Walker had a shot blocked by David Atkinson after that and with 12 minutes played Lois Maynard’s fine, lofted ball to the left sent Dieseruvwe galloping into acres of space on his way into the penalty area.There were red shirts arriving in support but Dieseruvwe chose to cut inside only to be dispossessed by Atkinson.

Decent for Salford but the early breakthrough hadn’t materialised and for a time they tried long balls that were over-hit or gobbled up by the visiting defence.

Blyth had ventured forward on occasion so far without carrying too much menace but they snatched the lead in the 20th minute. Dale Hopson's pass to the right found Jarrett Rivers and he moved the ball onto his left foot before clipping a into the middle. The ball came back off Michael Nottingham's chest and although the full-back did his best to get in a blockSEAN REID pounced to slide in a low finish between Tim Erlandsson and his right-hand post.

Not the first time the Ammies have had to chase a game of late but they could have levelled the scores within a couple of minutes. Mafuta’s forward ball was cleverly held up by Maynard who managed to turn a short pass into the path of Haughton. For the 3rd time he lined up a shot from about 20 yards and left-of-centre but again failed to trouble Jameson, hitting another low effort that the keeper gathered easily.

Haughton’s sights would be in later on but for now Salford still needed to get back onto level terms. Allen was the next to threaten, curling in a cross to the far post but Walker couldn’t get there and Atkinson was able to usher the ball out for a goal-kick.

The Ammies were still seeing much more of the ball and 18 minutes before the break Maynard launched a lobbed ball towards the edge of the box where Dieseruvwe shrugged off a defensive challenge. A lob a short pass to the right followed and Haughton got there to hit a volley only to see the effort soar high over Jameson's crossbar.

The home side were pressing with a fair degree of determination and just before the half-hour Askew’s quickly taken free-kick up the left sent Walker on a run to the line. The cross that followed dropped to the far side of the box from where Richie Allen clipped a ball back into the near post. This was a chance but Nathan Buddle did excellently, getting to the cross before Dieseruvwe to head over his own crossbar.

That contribution marked the end of Allen’s evening – he’d picked up a knock and was replaced by Anthony Dudley.

Twelve minutes before the interval a towering Carl Piergianni header was collected by Dieseruvwe who moved the ball out left for Walker. Another run to the line followed and the cross towards the far post was a good one. Dudley was racing in and had the chance to make an immediate impact but from close range could only direct a header into the side netting.

Blyth had more defending to do after that and to be fair did a good job. The home side struggled to find a final ball for a while and it looked as if Spartans would hold on to their lead until the break.

Salford stepped up the pressure during the half’s last few minutes and Walker whipped in a left-footed cross from wide on the right. Skipper Liam Hogan flicked on a header but the ball dropped just outside the far post with the referee ignoring claims for a corner.

In the 44th minute The Ammies put together a sequence of short passing with Haughton, Maynard and Mafuta involved before the latter stroked the ball out to Askew on the left. There were options in the middle but after scoring at Kidderminster on Saturday the former Blackburn man slammed in a rising drive that Jameson saved at his near post.

It looked as that was it for the first half but Walker had other ideas, chasing a long ball out to the left, catching it almost at the corner flag. A quick dart inside took him past Atkinson but his low cross into the middle was prodded out by a defender. HAUGHTON controlled the dropping ball with panache then switched onto his right foot and from left-of-centre and 15 yards out clipped a low right-footed finish wide of Jameson and inside the far post.

A great bit of individual from Haughton who, with Walker and Askew, had been involved in most of Salford’s better moments so far. During the first minute of time added on he almost turned the game completely on its head, trying a left-of-centre effort that wasn’t too far off target.

HALF TIME: SALFORD CITY 1 BLYTH SPARTANS 1

A deserved stroke of half-time equaliser for Salford and after about 15 minutes of the second half they had effectively wrapped up the points.

The Ammies restarted on the front foot and within a couple of minutes Walker’s cross from the left found Dudley who headed back inside. Nobody in a red shirt could get a touch and soon after that Haughton met a clearance only to fire over from the edge of the penalty area.

Blyth were already being pushed back and in the 51st minute were on the wrong end of a contentious decision. Haughton hooked on a dropping forward ball and Dieseruvwe was away through the inside right channel. Blyth’s Buddle went with him and as the pair got into the area the Spartans’ defender slid in with what appeared to be a ball-winning challenge. There were penalty claims from the home supporters but initially the referee waved play on only to have his attention caught by the North Stand side assistant. A discussion ensued with players from both sides attempting to have their views heard and upon its conclusion the referee pointed at the penalty spot.

Cue outrage from visiting players, officials and supporters and in truth from my viewpoint it was difficult not to have some sympathy for them. The match highlights should clear up the validity of that decision but penalty it was and WALKERWalker stepped up to place the ball on the spot. Last Saturday the same player had taken responsibility for the injury time penalty that completed a remarkable 4 goal comeback. On that memorable occasion he’d needed second bite of the cherry after the initial shot was saved but this evening he produced a more clinical finish. Jameson guessed correctly, diving to his right but was given little chance as the ball flashed inside the post.

Blyth manager Alun Armstrong was sent to the stands after making his feelings clear to the referee but after all that controversy the Ammies were incontrovertibly a goal to the good.

Spartans were fired by a strong sense of injustice yet they could have gone further behind almost from the restart. Walker played a pass down the left and Askew was away, using his pace to make space for a cross. It was a good one too, but Dudley in the middle could only head wide of Jameson’s right-hand post.

The pressure continued as Dieseruvwe passed inside from the left with Mafuta switching play to the far side. Nottingham’s low cross was cleared only as far as Haughton whose chipped effort from the edge of the box was plucked out of the air by Jameson.

Within another minute Maynard advanced on the left before playing in Askew but Dudley couldn’t quite get to his low ball to the near post.

Spartans seemed to have been rocked by the penalty and since half-time had contributed very little in the way of attacking football. Not entirely dissimilar to the start of the first half when they emerged from a spell under the cosh to score a goal and the trick was nearly repeated in the 57th minute. The nippy Hopson reacted quickly to a Robbie Dale flicked pass over the top and had the pace to stay ahead of the Salford defence as he headed towards goal on a right-of-centre run. Erlandsson advanced and although Hopson steered a low shot past the keeper he also sent it an inch wide of his left-hand post.

A big chance missed and another key moment as within 5 more minutes Salford would be just about out of sight.

A bare two minutes after Hopson’s miss Dieseruvwe embarked on a swift left flank run and topped it off with a great low cross into the middle. Neither Jameson nor his defenders could get anywhere near the ball but DUDLEY certainly did, sliding in to make it 3-1 from a few yards out. It got even worse for Spartans just past the hour after Walker swung a free-kick into the box from deep on the left. Hogan rose high to get in a header that seemed destined to drop wide of Jameson’s right-hand post but the ball took a wicked deflection off BUDDLE that spun it just inside the upright.

More bad fortune for Blyth but luck hasn’t exactly been in plentiful supply for Salford lately and they had played some good football since the restart.

The visitors tried to find a response and down at the school end Reid turned to lash a shot past Erlandsson only to be denied by the assistant’s raised flag.

As Kidderminster found out last weekend, healthy late leads cannot guarantee victory but the Ammies had this game by the scruff of its neck. In the 64th minute Blyth managed to clear following Dudley’s foray and Mafuta latched onto the loose ball before driving in a low effort from distance that went wide of Jameson’s right-hand post.

The visitors were struggling to find a way back into contention but they did create a chance with 19 minutes left. Substitute Jordan Laidler’s free-kick from deep and right-of-centre dropped to the edge of the box but Hutchinson’s header fell high and wide of the target.

Haughton was still looking dangerous and his left-of-centre run was finished off by a 20-yard shot that bounced wide of Jameson’s right-hand upright.

Salford managers Anthony Johnson & Bernard Morley made a couple of changes after that as Scott Burton & Mark Shelton replaced Mafuta and Haughton. The substitutions didn’t disrupt Salford’s flow and it was Shelton who swung in a cross from the right with Dieseruvwe just failing to get a touch at the far post.

Askew had enjoyed a productive evening, defending well and causing problems for Blyth when he pushed forward on the left. In the 83rd minute he surged into space on that flank before crossing low to the near post where Dieseruvwe, under pressure from Jameson, clipped an effort just wide of the target.

Dudley went close soon afterwards as his deflected shot was tipped over the bar by the Blyth keeper.

There was a chance apiece before the final whistle with Maynard firing over for Salford and Laidler getting into the penalty area for Spartans. It was a decent opening but a late consolation was denied as Hogan got across to his right to put in a great blocking challenge.

FULL TIME: SALFORD CITY 4 BLYTH SPARTANS 1

Blyth Spartans will doubtless look back on the penalty decision and claim that the course of the game changed from that point on. Partly true of course but Salford richly deserved the three points this evening. There was a real energy and creativity about the Ammies and they could have added further goals to their final tally of 4.

The key moments – and decision – went against Blyth, undeniably. Haughton’s equaliser just before half-time, the penalty and Hopson’s miss at 2-1 were all potentially game-changing moments but overall we shouldn’t forget that Salford were extremely good value for their win.

A proper team performance with some great individual contributions. A word is certainly due for big striker Mani Dieseruvwe who put in a real shift today in his first National League North start since the trip to Curzon Ashton in September. A frustrating wait but he took his chance with a goal on Saturday and has done himself no harm with an all-action display and a couple of assists thrown in for good measure.

This win means that Salford’s destiny is now – very nearly – back in their own hands. Harrogate, beaten at home tonight by Spennymoor Town, trail by 4 points with a game in hand. Brackley Town are 9 points behind but have 3 games in and a better goal difference. Good Friday could well turn out to be a crucial day for all three clubs as Harrogate visit Brackley and Salford entertain local rivals Curzon Ashton.

Nothing can be taken for granted, as well we know. With 90 seconds of normal time to play on Saturday the Ammies were 3 goals down on the back of a disappointing draw at North Ferriby. A game and a very little bit later the title race has swung back in their favour.

It’s all about application and hard work from now on, as well as nerve. It’s fair to say that Salford City have had some rocky times over the past couple of months but the unbeaten run stands at 7 games and tonight we were back to something approaching our best.

Here’s to a happy Easter…

GOALS:
0-1 Sean REID (20th min)
1-1 Nick HAUGHTON (45th min)
2-1 Tom WALKER (51st min, pen)
3-1 Anthony DUDLEY (59th min)
4-1 Own Goal (61st min)

Attendance; 1,104

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