S a l f o r d
C i t y
F o o t b a l l
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Team Sheet

Salford City FC
12
Kyle Letheren
6
Carl Piergianni
8
Lois Maynard (c)
10
Danny Lloyd
16
Jack Baldwin

Burgess 35'

17
Richie Towell

Doyle 28'

21
Devante Rodney
22
Dan Jones
25
Joey Jones
29
Jake Beesley
32
Jake Jervis

Asante 67'

Cheltenham Town
1
Scott Flinders
2
Sean Long
3
Chris Hussey
4
Ben Tozer (c)
5
Charlie Raglan
7
Conor Thomas
11
Ryan Broom
2 goals for Ryan Broom 2 goals for Ryan Broom
20
Gavin Reilly

Addai 61'

21
Jake Doyle-Hayes
26
Jacob Greaves
32
Luke Varney

Smith 88'

Substitutes
31
Ewan McFarlane
3
Ibou Touray
9
Adam Rooney
15
Cameron Burgess
Yellow card for Cameron Burgess
20
Mani Dieseruvwe
28
Brandon Asante
34
Alex Doyle
Substitutes
22
Rhys Lovett
6
Dan Bowry
8
Chris Clements
10
Tahvon Campbell
16
Alex Addai
19
George Lloyd
27
Jonte Smith
Managers
Manager - Graham Alexander
Managers
Manager - Michael Duff
Match Officals
Referee - Craig Hicks
Assistant Referee - Paul Newhouse
Assistant Referee - Ian Dudley
Fourth Official - Alan Clayton

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Match
Report

” A bad day at the office” features in the Big Book of Football Cliches, but that phrase certainly sums up Salford City’s afternoon. A considerable amount of possession, particularly during the second half, yielded only a handful of modest half-chances for The Ammies. Frustrating enough in itself, but Cheltenham Town made things worse by snapping up an opportunity in each half before heading home to Gloucestershire with all three points.

Manager Graham Alexander made three changes from the side that started last week’s fifth successive league draw at Morecambe. In came Joey Jones at right back (for Scott Wiseman) and the front two of Jake Beesley & Devante Rodney for Adam Rooney & Mani Dieseruvwe.

Another pleasant September afternoon greeted the two teams (we’ll pay for this sunshine later in the season, no doubt) and the game got off to a lively start. Chances were a little bit slow to materialise, but The Robins would be the first side to offer a real threat. In the 10th minute a Joey Jones attempted clearance very wide on the right was slammed into Chris Hussey. The hugely experienced Luke Varney took control of the ball then advanced into the left-hand side of the box before testing Kyle Letheren with a low shot. The home keeper got down to push the ball around the upright but there would be more danger from the corner. The set-piece was cleared by Salford’s defence but only as far as defender Charlie Raglan whose volley took a deflection on its way over the crossbar.

Salford took the attacking initiative for a while after that, with Jake Beesley’s run diagonal run from the right ending with a nudged pass for Danny Lloyd. There was half a sight of goal for the former Peterborough man, but he’d been closed down quickly by a pair of defenders and his shot was blocked.
Beesley chased a long ball down the middle next, controlling well only to be thwarted when his attempt to get a shot away was blocked by a Ben Tozer challenge.

The game was warming up nicely and Jack Baldwin’s long ball from wide on the right on halfway dropped for Devante Rodney just outside the box. The home striker attempted to lift a header over Scott Flinders only for the Robins’ keeper to pluck the ball out of the air.

There was a lull after that and something of a delay after Salford midfielder Richie Towell was hurt following a challenge for the ball. The summer signing from Brighton had to be stretchered from the field and we must hope that the injury is not a serious one.

Academy graduate Alex Doyle came on for his league debut, but the next incident of note was a goal for Cheltenham Town. Baldwin’s attempt to clear was charged down by Conor Thomas, with the loose ball falling Gavin Reilly. A return pass was moved on by Thomas to Varney on the left and he advanced a few strides before pulling a low ball back into the middle. RYAN BROOM had made ground into the box and was on hand to stroke in a low 12-yarder from just right-of-centre that beat Letheran and just managed to squirm away from the unfortunate Baldwin on the line.

A first away goal of the season for The Robins and there was another blow for Salford minutes later when Baldwin was forced off with an injury, to be replaced by Cameron Burgess.

There were 8 minutes of added time at the end of the first half but the Ammies were struggling to break down a composed and organised Cheltenham side. Neither keeper would be troubled unduly, and the visitors took their lead into the half-time break.

HALF-TIME: SALFORD CITY 0 CHELTENHAM TOWN 1

A response was required from Salford but the first chance of the second half went Cheltenham’s way. Gavin Reilly did well, sliding a low ball across the face of goal where Broom was only inches away from poking home from close range.

The Cheltenham man would have his brace before the game was over, yet his side had some defending to do for a while. The Ammies managed to exert a consistent spell of pressure and in the 50th minute Rodney did well to square a pass to Lloyd whose attempt hit a defender before bouncing harmlessly through to Flinders. Minutes later Carl Piergianni’s headed on a Joey Jones delivery, with Rodney nudging a pass to the left. Lloyd was onto it once again but this time his shot deflected off a defender and wide of the keeper’s left-hand upright.

Rodney was soon causing more problems for the Robins’ defence, using his strength to find space for right-of-centre 20-yarder. Not a bad effort but it proved simple for Flinders, dropping to his right to save and hold.

This was a promising spell for Salford and in the 57th minute Lloyd’s short corner from the right found Jevis whose cross dropped towards the far post. Burgess got up to power in a header but the effort struck an opponent and the referee ignored claims for a handball.

Plenty of possession for the Ammies but nothing to show for it and they had another penalty shout ignored in the 64th minute. Doyle’s lobbed pass dropped for Jervis inside the area and he appeared to be bundled over by Chris Hussey. You see these given, yet once again the referee allowed play to continue.

Brandon Asante replaced Jervis for the final quarter of the game but as time began to run out Salford were struggling to create anything clear cut. A long Dan Jones throw from the left was glanced towards goal by Beesley only for Flinders to grasp the ball on his goal-line.

Passes went astray and moves broke down for Salford, with Cheltenham looking solid at the back. The Robins had done little in terms of attack during the second half yet managed to land a decisive sucker punch 9 minutes from time. Substitute Alex Addai, back-to-goal, kept possession well despite the close attentions of Piergianni, then had the strength to get away from Lois Maynard and Dan Jones as he scampered away the left. A beautifully judged diagonal pass slipped between Piergianni and Burgess, with BROOM beating the advancing Letheran with a coolly placed low finish from 12 yards.

There was still time for Salford to rescue something from this game, but all the late huff and puff came to very little. A Doyle cross from the right carried some promise but dropped over the heads of both Rodney and Asante in the middle.

The Ammies could muster nothing more than that and Cheltenham Town held on in relative comfort to record their first away win of the 2019-2020 season.

FULL-TIME: SALFORD CITY 0 CHELTENHAM TOWN 2

An afternoon to forget for Salford City but Graham Alexander will not find that an easy thing to do. This was his side’s least effective performance of the season and one that extends the winless run to an uncomfortable 7 games. In fairness, Injuries have already taken their toll and it looks as if Towell - and maybe Baldwin - will join the list now although hopefully neither will be out of action for long.

There were positive signs again, including a promising performance from young Doyle who did well and is a credit to academy head Jamie Russell and his staff. Generally though, we cannot pretend that this was anything but a major disappointment.

There’s an early chance to put things right as well, with Grimsby Town travelling to The Peninsula Stadium for a League Two fixture on Tuesday evening.

It’s been an uneven start to life in the EFL but one good result could well get us up an running…

Attendance: 2,389 (382 Cheltenham Town)

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