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Team Sheet

Salford City FC
12
Kyle Letheren
2
Scott Wiseman
3
Ibou Touray
7
Luke Armstrong
8
Lois Maynard
Yellow card for Lois Maynard
9
Adam Rooney (c)
1 goals for Adam Rooney (c)

Dieseruvwe 88'

13
Sam Hughes
15
Cameron Burgess
17
Richie Towell

Threlkeld 84'

25
Joey Jones
44
Craig Conway
Cambridge United
1
Dimitar Mitov
2
Kyle Knoyle

Dallas 90'

4
George Taft (c)
7
Luke Hannant
8
Liam O'Neil

Dunk 12'

10
George Maris
16
Harry Darling
18
Marc Richards
20
Sam Smith
22
Paul Lewis
34
Elliott Ward
Substitutes
33
William Evans
4
Oscar Threlkeld
6
Carl Piergianni
10
Danny Lloyd
18
Danny Whitehead
20
Mani Dieseruvwe
34
Alex Doyle
Substitutes
25
Callum Burton
5
Greg Taylor
9
Andrew Dallas
11
Harrison Dunk
15
Louis John
17
Leon Davies
26
Harvey Knibbs
Managers
Manager - Graham Alexander
Managers
Head Coach - Colin Calderwood
Match Officals
Referee - Carl Boyeson
Assistant Referee - David Avent
Assistant Referee - David Plowright
Fourth Official - Lisa Rashid

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Match
Report

Adam Rooney’s second-half goal proved the conclusive moment of an often low-key afternoon at the Peninsula Stadium. It’s probably fair to say that the first-half will not live long in the memory as both sides provided some neat football without looking particularly penetrative. Things perked up after the interval and after soaking up some pressure from the visitors, Salford snatched a late win that leaves them just 4 points outside the play-off places.

There were a couple of changes from the side that won so impressively at Walsall last week, with Sam Hughes replacing Nathan Pond in the centre of defence. In midfield Richie Towell was back following injury, slotting in for Jake Jervis.

This one would take some time to warm up and the first opportunity summed the first-half pretty accurately. Salford midfielder Joey Jones had a go on the half-volley from distance, but the effort cleared Dimitar Mitov’s crossbar by some distance.

There was an early problem for the Us as Liam O’Neill suffered what looked like a hamstring injury and was replaced by Harrison Dunk.

Neither side seemed able to string together attacking moves during the opening quarter, and the two keepers didn't have much to do. Jones was wide with another shot from distance before Craig Conway cut inside from the left before hitting an 18-yarder straight at Mitov.

A few corners were cleared without much fuss before Cambridge had their first real chance, in the 28th minute. The move started with keeper Mitov and ended with Kyle Knoyle swinging in a cross, with Marc Richards’ header deflected wide for a corner. Luke Hannant’s delivery was cleared as far as Knoyle who knocked the ball back to the edge of the box. George Maris entertained the crowd with some impressive ball juggling before turning to volley just over from the edge of the box.

Another Jones effort was blocked for Salford and at the other end Hannant’s cross was headed wide by Paul Lewis.

There wasn’t much more to record and a disappointing first half ended without a goal.

HALF-TIME: SALFORD CITY 0 CAMBRIDGE UNITED 0

The second half couldn’t help but be livelier and the afternoon’s first good save was forced within a minute of the restart. Rooney picked out Conway whose ball into the left-hand side of the Cambridge area was chased – and caught – by Luke Armstrong. The former Boro man hit a decent rising shot from an angle but Mitov was equal to it, clutching the ball above his head.

Cambridge responded as Knoyle’s pass found Lewis and his fine pass into the right-hand side of the box looked certain to find Sam Smith in a scoring position until Hughes got across in the nick of time.

The Us would have a good spell after that and in the 56th minute Dunk’s cross from the left found Maris on the edge of the 6-yard box. He was leaning back slightly when contact was made and the downward header was scooped up by Ammies’ keeper Kyle Letheren.

There would be a string of chances for the visitors during their time on top. Maris passed inside from the right barely a minute later with Hannant hitting a low shot from right-of-centre that had to be pushed away by Letheren. After that Kyle Taft nodded on Hannant’s lobbed pass to the edge of the box, with Richards getting in a header that was gathered by Saford’s suddenly busy keeper. A surging Knoyle run was finished off by a pass out to the left where Hannant advanced to crack in an angled drive that Letheren pushed away at the near post and then Hughes punted away from right in front of goal

Salford had been quiet since Armstrong’s effort but just past the hour he was involved again, chasing Ibou Touray’s ball up the left. This time he did well to pull a low ball back to the near post but there were more amber shirts around than red.

With 20 minutes left Towell was nudged over in the box as he awaited a Scott Wiseman cross from the right, but the referee ignored his appeals for a penalty. For Cambridge Hannant’s shot from right-of-centre was well hit but a foot too high to bother Letheren.

Rooney tried to nod down a cross from Armstrong in the 76th minute only for Elliott Ward to get in a clearance. Frustrating for the Irish striker and his teammates but they would enjoy better luck in front of goal within 60 seconds.

Wiseman nudged a pass inside for Conway to launch a cross from the right that looked destined to be cleared by Darling.ROONEY had other ideas, using his strength to get his head to it in front of Darling, with the ball bouncing one before spinning off the inside of the far post and into the net.

Cambridge had less that quarter-of-an-hour to rescue something from the game and might have had a penalty within a minute of Rooney’s opener. Lewis tried to play a ball inside from tight to the line on the right and there was a big shout as contact appeared to be made with Touray’s arm. The referee’s assistant indicated nothing more than a corner, the referee agreed and the visiting supporters behind Letheren’s goal vented their collective spleen.

Salford’s lead was a fragile one, but Rooney had a great chance to double his tally – and his team’s lead - with 10 minutes left to play. A long ball from the back deceived Taft & Lewis, with the Salford striker capitalizing to get a clear run on goal. Into the right-hand side of the box he went, but Mitov had advanced quickly to make a good, blocking save when the shot came in.

A big chance that could have settled the game, but Salford would defend intelligently during the time that remained. A number of substitutions broke up the play and Cambridge simply couldn’t find a way through to goal. The attacking threat they had carried more or less since half-time had dissipated and the Ammies had their second successive league win, for the first time as an EFL club.

FULL-TIME: SALFORD CITY 1 CAMRIDGE UNITED 0

Not as good a performance as last week, but three points and another clean sheet is a very acceptable return for Graham Alexander and his team. They worked hard, defended well and kept their concentration despite having to absorb quite a bit of pressure after the interval.

Cambridge will feel that they should have taken some reward from this game, having been on top for a fair chunk of the second half. Had they converted one of their chances, things might have been different yet despite a smart save or two, Letheren wasn’t particularly tested.

A couple of weeks ago the EFL was looking a rather daunting place for the Ammies – it’s still not easy, or anything like it, but a couple of wins have made a big difference. Nothing breeds confidence like winning games and we can now face back-to-back away games with plenty of optimism.

Attendance: 3,026 (656 Cambridge United)

https://salfordcityfc.co.uk