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Salford City football Club

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Team Sheet

Salford City FC
Kyle Letheren
Scott Wiseman
Ibou Touray
Yellow card for Ibou Touray
Ash Eastham

Rooney 80'

Jack Baldwin
Nathan Pond (c)
Brandon Thomas-Asante
Michael O'Connor

Gibson 46'

Craig Conway
Ash Hunter
1 goals for Ash Hunter
James Wilson

Elliott 67'

Colchester United
Dean Gerken
Ryan Jackson

Eastman 85'

Cohen Bramall
Luke Prosser (c)
Omar Sowunmi
Harry Pell
Yellow card for Harry Pell
Luke Norris
Theo Robinson

Comley 73'

Callum Harriott
1 goals for Callum Harriott

Nouble 73'

Ben Stevenson
Kwame Poku
1 goals for Kwame Poku
Chris Neal (GK)
Adam Rooney
Tom Elliott
Cameron Burgess
Richie Towell
Darron Gibson
Yellow card for Darron Gibson
Ethan Ross (GK)
Courtney Senior
Brandon Comley
Tom Eastman
Ryan Clampin
Luke Gambin
Frank Nouble
Manager - Graham Alexander
Head Coach - John McGreal
Match Officals
Referee - Andy Haines
Assistant Referee - Simon Clayton
Assistant Referee - Danny Gratton
Fourth Official - Gary Hilton

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Two first half goals proved enough in the end for Colchester United, despite them having to soak up almost continuous pressure after the interval. On one of Salford 7’s less pleasant afternoons, the Ammies suffered an 8th home league defeat of the season and once again it’s a tale of numerous attacking opportunities converted into too few goals. Graham Alexander’s side threw the kitchen sink at their opponents but although Ash Hunter halved Colchester’s lead before half-time, they couldn’t go on to force what would have been a deserved leveller.

There was a single change from the side that started last week’s narrow win at Stevenage, as Nathan Pond was restored to the centre of defence in place of Cameron Burgess.

Fortunately, the heavy rain that had fallen during the run up to this game finally took a breather on Saturday morning. It would return – with something of a vengeance – but sterling work from ground staff and volunteers made sure the game could go ahead.

The early stages of the game would be lively without providing too much in the way of incidents, although the Ammies went close as early as the 3rd minute. James Wilson cut inside before hitting a left-footer that wasn’t too far away from hitting the target.

That was about it for a while as the two sides adapted to the difficult conditions, but there would be chances at either end just before the quarter-hour. Michael O’Connor’s header fell short of the intended recipient, with Colchester striker Luke Norris nipping in to carry possession to the edge of the penalty area. From left of centre, the low shot that followed lacked anything approaching pace and Kyle Letheren made a simple save. Salford immediately launched a counter as Brandon Asante advanced on a right of centre run that was finished off by a powerfully struck rising shot that crashed into the side-netting.

In the 17th minute United’s Callum Harriott displayed an impressive turn of pace, wide on the left. The pursuing Jack Baldwin was left trailing but when the cross came in, it fell just behind Norris.

Another Asante effort from the right ended up in the side-netting and soon after that Colchester’s Harry Pell was booked following a heavy aerial challenge on Baldwin.

On 25 minutes Asante nudged a pass to the left and Hunter’s low, curling delivery into the box evaded everyone before forcing Dean Gerken to make a save.

Sporadic goalmouth action so far, but in the 28th minute Colchester went ahead thanks to a slice of genuine quality from KWAME POKU. The 18-year-old was still inside his own half when he collected a low diagonal pass from the left, then off on a run. He advanced at pace, cutting inside from the right between Ibou Touray and Baldwin before dancing around Ash Eastham and slamming in a beautifully struck 19-yarder from just left of centre. Letheren went full-length to his right but there was power and accuracy on a shot that squeezed low inside the post.

Poku enjoyed that one, deservedly taking the acclaim of the Colchester United supporters gathered behind the goal before being mobbed by teammates.

A great goal, but it’s also true to say that home manager Alexander would not have been impressed by his side’s defending.

A blow for the Ammies and it could have got worse just a couple of minutes later. This time Poku popped up on the right, cutting inside before trying a lofted left-footed curler from the edge of the area that dropped inches wide of the far upright.

Ten minutes before the break a Cohen Bramall free-kick from 22 yards out and left of centre dropped a foot or two over the crossbar.

This had been a good spell for the U’s but Salford really should have got back on level terms during the 39th minute. A free-kick was knocked into the middle from the right where Wilson was lurking, just inside the 6-yard box. This had to be a goal but as the former Manchester United forward poked a shot goalwards, Gerken somehow managed to deflect it away off his trailing foot.

A huge chance for the Ammies and they paid the price for profligacy just 2 minutes later. Colchester’s second goal came from nowhere as HARRIOTT picked up a pass from the left before making a run towards the angle of the box. The low left-foot shot that followed took a bounce on its way across Letheren’s dive before dropping inside the far post.

Two down and up against it, the Ammies needed a quick response and on this occasion, they managed to find it. In the 43rd minute O’Connor’s pass sent Scott Wiseman towards the line on the right and the full-back managed to turn a low ball towards the near post. Asante didn’t make the contact he wanted to but as the ball rolled on HUNTER was there to crash a 4-yarder past Gerken.

There would be a chance apiece right at the end of the first half, starting with the visitors as Norris’ free-kick from distance dropped over the bar. At the other end Wilson turned a pass into the path of Asante who drilled in a low cross-shot that zipped across the face of goal. Craig Conway wasn’t far away from getting a touch but Colchester United’s narrow advantage was maintained as the whistle blew for half-time.


There was a change for Salford as the teams returned to the field, with Darron Gibson replacing O’Connor in central midfield.

The Ammies started the second half as they meant to go on, applying pressure in the hope of getting back on level terms. Three minutes after the restart Conway’s cross from deep and wide on the left didn’t get a touch from anyone before it bounced narrowly wide of the far upright. The Scot was at it again 4 minutes later, this time taking a free-kick from between the area and touchline on the left-hand side. The ball curled dangerously in the fresh breeze before dropping onto the roof of the net, just behind the crossbar.

In the 52nd minute Asante’s driving run took him into the left-hand side of the area and the forward went down under a challenge from U’s skipper Luke Prosser. There were appeals for a penalty from the home side, only for the well-placed referee to ignore the claims.

This was an encouraging start for Salford and 10 minutes into the second half Wiseman’s run took him into the penalty area on the right. The low delivery that followed was dangerous, but as Asante closed in at the far post Omaw Sowunmi managed to slide in and poke the ball behind.

Touray delivered the left-flank corner but Pond could only head high over the bar from 7 yards out.

The pressure on Colchester’s goal continued and just past the hour Conway crossed from the right, with Sowunmi getting in a header just before the stretching Pond could get there.

The Ammies were playing well without managing to create clear-cut chances and made their second change of the afternoon midway through the second half as Tom Elliott replaced Wilson. The big striker almost made a quick impression, getting his head to Conway’s cross from the right. There was the close attention of a defender to contend with and Elliott could only glance a header wide of the far post. After that Touray curled in a free-kick from wide on the right, and Gerken had to stretch to his right to push that one away.

With 20 minutes left Touray picked up a booking after clipping Harriott, with the Colchester man having to be helped from the pitch prior to being substituted.

Salford were knocking on the door, rolling forward time after time, but in fairness Colchester were defending well and Gerken wasn’t being tested too strenuously.

As we entered the closing stages the rain started to fall again in earnest, churning up what was left of the playing surface and conditions were exacerbated by a strong, swirling wind. In the 78th minute Touray put in another free-kick – this time from the left – but once again there was no-one on the end of it and the ball bounced outside the far post.

Adam Rooney came on for Eastham with a little over 10 minutes and the Ammies went close to an equaliser soon afterwards. Another spell of pressure ended with the ball dropping for Gibson, outside the left-hand angle of the box. The Republic of Ireland international almost marked his first Peninsula Stadium appearance with a goal, driving in a low shot that skidded diagonally across the area and just outside the far post.

Close, but still no cigar and Salford spent most of the last 8 minutes probing for a defensive weakness that simply refused to materialise. In the 89th minute Rooney had an effort charged down on the edge of the penalty area and Gibson hit a low, first-time follow up yards wide of the unconcerned Gerken’s right-hand post. The home side’s luck was out again as Hunter cut in from the left to hit a shot that slammed into teammate Elliott, with the loose ball scrambled away by Colchester’s overworked defence.

A series of injuries and stoppages led to the referee adding on a minimum of 9 minutes, and the pattern of play didn’t change. Salford pushed and pushed in search of that vital 2nd goal and Hunter hit a left of centre effort from almost 25 yard that was just too high to trouble Gerken.

Seven minutes into injury time Touray lofted a ball into the penalty area, with Elliott’s header on dropping harmlessly wide – that just about summed up another hugely frustrating afternoon for Salford.

That footballing favourite “the last, big chance” didn’t choose to put in appearance this time and the Ammies were left to nurse another home defeat.


An unfortunately familiar story this season – Salford City boss possession (heaven knows what the statistics for the 2nd half look like), put together promising attacks yet fail to turn that pressure into what matters most.

It’s genuinely difficult to remember any dangerous Colchester attack during a one-sided second half. On the other side of the coin, Gerken wasn’t forced into a single difficult save after the break and his team defended intelligently throughout.

It’s hard to put a finger on exactly why this keeps happening, but if the play-offs are to stay within reach, a solution has to be found quickly. Six out of the last 8 league home games have ended in a single goal defeat and home wins are now outnumbered 2 to 1 by losses.

No point in dwelling on it though – there are 33 league points to play for and long winning runs are not that unusual in the recent history of Salford City F.C. We've seen an extended run of iffy luck, and that has to change at some point.

Time to embark on another one lads…

Attendance: 2,598 (430 from Colchester)