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Salford City football Club

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Team Sheet

Salford City FC
Chris Neal
Scott Wiseman
Ibou Touray
Gus Mafuta
Liam Hogan (c)

Walker '72

Carl Piergianni
Lois Maynard
1 goals for Lois Maynard
Adam Rooney

Gaffney '64

Devonte Redmond
Mani Dieseruvwe

Green '64

Nathan Pond
1 goals for Nathan Pond
David Gregory
Frankie Sutherland

Wiredu-Sarpong '60

Roger Johnson
Jack Holland (c)
Frankie Raymond
Reeco Hackett-Fairchild

Bugiel '82

Sam Wood
Richard Brindley
Luke Coulson
George Porter

Okoye '53

JJ Hooper
1 goals for JJ Hooper Yellow card for JJ Hooper
Max Crocombe
Matt Green
Tom Walker
Danny Whitehead
Rory Gaffney
Brendan Sarpong-Wiredu
Omar Bugiel
Alan Dunne
Jordan Higgs
Marc-Anthony Okoye
Manager - Graham Alexander
Manager - Neil Smith
Match Officals
Referee - David Richardson
Assistant Referee - Adam Burgess
Assistant Referee - Nicholas Hawksby
Fourth Official - Luis Griffiths

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A perfect example today of why we love the compulsive game of football so much. Salford City lifted their supporters from despair to triumph in nine short minutes at The Peninsula Stadium, shrugging off a late Bromley penalty to snatch the most dramatic of victories. There were just five minutes left when JJ Hooper slotted a spot-kick past Chris Neal – Bromley’s first shot on target all afternoon – and it seemed as if a disappointing home defeat was on the cards. The Ammies had other ideas, levelling in the penultimate minute of the ninety, courtesy of Lois Maynard. Graham Alexander’s in-form side weren’t finished there, and in the fourth minute of time added on Nathan Pond crashed home a header right in front of a delirious West Stand.

There was a single change from the side that started Wednesday’s win at Harrogate Town. Adam Rooney was included in the opening eleven for the first time since the goalless draw at FC Halifax Town a little over two months ago, with Rory Gaffney back among the substitutes.

A game that would finish in memorable fashion had almost started with an early Salford City goal. Rooney was bundled over just outside the Bromley box in the third minute, with Ibou Touray taking responsibility for the free-kick. From just right of centre he elected to shoot, curling an effort around the wall only to see it smack off the crossbar before dropping behind for a goal-kick.

A very promising start for The Ammies but it’s probably fair to say that this game would be a little slow bursting into life. The home side would dominate possession for most of the afternoon, but a well-organised, determined and defensive-minded Bromley would not prove easy to break down.

Home keeper Neal was a virtual spectator during the opening fifteen minutes but had to be sharp when George Porter broke into space. The race was on, but Neal had anticipated the danger and was able to collect the ball.

Mani Dieseruvwe found time and space on the right-hand side of the box but when he cut a low pass inside there was no red shirt on hand to take advantage. In the twenty-third minute Liam Hogan lofted in a cross from wide on the right, but despite pressure from Dieseruvwe Ravens’ keeper David Gregory would get up to make a composed catch.

Plenty of possession in decent positions for Salford yet the end product had been very modest so far. The twenty-sixth minute produced a better chance after Hogan was chopped down tight to the goal-line on the right. Touray touched the free-kick to Devonte Redmond whose cross dropped to the far post. Carl Piergianni rose to get in a firm downwards header but was denied his tenth goal of the season as Bromley defender Sam Wood hooked the ball clear from just in front of the line.

Hogan needed treatment for a while but was able to continue, creating Salford’s next change just past the half-hour. A cross from wide on the right was flicked on by Dieseruvwe and the ball fell for Piergianni, again positioned just beyond the far post. A low, angled eight-yarder followed but Gregory had his angles worked out and was able to make a good blocking save.

Piergianni was involved again soon afterwards, touching a pass to the left where Touray’s speed was too much for Richard Brindley. A cross to the near post followed, but from a very tight angle Dieseruvwe’s flick of the foot could only direct the ball wide.

Not exactly a siege from Salford but they were well on top and before half-time Redmond’s twenty-five yard free-kick went wide of Gregory’s left-hand upright.

Bromley had contributed virtually nothing in terms of attacking intent, but they did win a free-kick with four minutes of the first-half left. From more that twenty-five yards out midfielder Frankie Raymond had a go, only to see his shot drift wide of Neal’s left-hand post.


A low-key first-half had produced just one effort on target and the second would continue in much the same vein for a while. Four minutes after the restart Gus Mafuta touched a pass to Touray whose effort from fully thirty yards flew wide of Gregory’s right-hand post.

Redmond was the next to post a threat, advancing through the middle before failing to keep down a shot from twenty-five yards out.

Two early opportunities for The Ammies but there wouldn’t be any more for a little while. Bromley were showing some signs of attacking life as the second half progressed and carved out a bone-fide chance in the fifty-eighth minute. From Wood’s throw-in on the left the ball fell nicely for Luke Coulson, but he could only hit a fifteen-yarder wide of Neal’s right-hand post. Seconds later Frankie Sutherland pounced on a loose ball outside Salford’s penalty area to hit a would-be thunderbolt that crashed into the unfortunate Pond.

At the other end Touray’s cross from the left gave Gregory a nervous moment, with the keeper forced to punch clear at the far post.

The Ammies were making little headway in their search for a goal and with just over twenty-five minutes left Dieseruvwe & Rooney made way for Gaffney and Matt Green.

One of those substitutes almost made a very early impact after Redmond’s free-kick from deep on the left was nodded down by Piergianni. Gaffney was there but his attempt to turn the ball goalwards was thwarted by a smart block from Marc-Anthony Okoye.

The changes for Salford seemed to usher in a rise in the tempo and their forays forward were certainly carrying a bit more menace. With twenty minutes to play Redmond’s cross from the right had to be nodded behind at the far post by Brindley. The former Manchester United midfielder trotted across to take the corner, swinging in a delivery that Pond could only head high and wide of the target. The big defender looked disappointed, but he would do much better from a similar position before the afternoon was over.

For now Salford laboured away in their attempt to conjure a much-needed goal. Tom Walker replaced Hogan – still affected by that first-half knock – and the Ammies switched to a 4-4-2 formation.

Piergianni instigated an attack with sixteen minutes left, nudging a pass out to Gaffney who was making ground on the left. His cross – played off the outside of the right boot - was aimed to the far post where Walker was agonisingly close to making contact with his head. The winger was soon involved again, swinging a left-footed cross from the right towards the far post. Gaffney stretched to get his head to it, but the delivery was a few inches too high and he could only direct the ball high and wide.

Bromley were only rarely providing any sort of threat to Neal’s goal but with ten minutes left Brendan Sarpong-Wiredu’s cross from the right almost fell for Woods. The full-back slid to make contact but the ball spun off his foot and behind.

Back at the other end Touray’s cross from the left found Piergianni inside the area but his header bounced into the arms of Gregory. For Bromley, Wood found space twenty-five yards out only for his left-footed shot cleared the crossbar.

This was shaping up to be a frustrating afternoon for Salford and it would get worse before it got better. Bromley manager Neil Smith introduced his final substitute with seven minutes left and Omar Bugiel would soon make his presence felt. A throw-in from Bromley’s left dropped into the area and Bugiel tried to turn Maynard. The Salford midfielder appeared to drag his opponent to the ground and the handily placed referee pointed to the spot. Maynard pleaded his innocence but the decision was made and JJ HOOPER made no mistake, driving a low finish to Neal’s left with the keeper committed the other way.

Extremely rough justice for Salford who had made virtually all of the attacking running without reaping any reward. Hooper’s penalty had been nicely tucked away, but that had been Bromley’s first effort on target all afternoon.

There were five minutes left, plus what the referee might see fit to add on and Salford needed a quick response. They got one too and Bromley’s lead was only three minutes old when Walker nudged a pass to Scott Wiseman on the right. The cross that followed was a beauty and MAYNARD rose high to get in a six-yard downward header that dropped between Gregory and his right-hand post.

The referee indicated a minimum of five minutes to be added on and The Ammies, as well as their fans – scented blood. Mafuta unleashed a powerfully struck effort from about thirty yards out during the first minute of injury time although Gregory was behind it all the way.

Walker was the next to try his luck, initially slipping as he cut inside from the right. Having recovered his footing the substitute hit a twenty-two angled effort that was always rising.

Salford had their opponents pinned back and Mafuta hoisted in a deep cross from left-of-centre that seemed to be dropping under the bar until Gregory hastily touched it over. Walker took the corner, left-footed from the right and POND met it on the edge of the six-yard box with a thumping header that gave Gregory no chance whatsoever.

Rest assured that the celebrations behind Gregory’s goal were worthy of the occasion and three sides of the stadium were rocking. There was little time for Bromley to find a response, yet they did have manage to win a corner. Raymond took the set-piece, from the right, but Gaffney was there to head clear and the referee’s whistle brought the game to an end.


It’s not unfair to suggest that for most of this game such a breathless ending seemed a remote possibility. Mid-table Bromley set out their stall not to concede goals and although they carried some threat on the counter, it wasn’t often exercised.

The Ammies have, of course, been rock solid at the back of late and until the penalty Bromley’s strikers had been given very little chance to show what they could do. At the other end they struggled to break down well organised opposition and although there were chances, Ravens’ keeper Gregory wasn’t called upon to do much more than pluck a succession of crosses out of the air.

In the end that penalty for the visitors might have done Salford a favour. The Ammies responded to a real setback with admirable determination, and having waited all afternoon for a goal two came along in quick succession. That speaks volumes about a group of players who work for each other and never throw in the towel.

A great end to the afternoon and nobody could argue that Salford didn’t deserve all three points.

Not for the first time, results elsewhere went well but this time we took full advantage. Graham Alexander’s side are now in second place in the table just one point behind Leyton Orient, held this afternoon to a goalless draw at Barnet. The Os have two games in hand of course – starting with a trip to Bromley on Tuesday – but they will certainly be wary of Salford City’s return to form.

There’s plenty of life in this title race yet…

Attendance: 2,314 (@125 from Bromley)