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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
1 goals for Lois Maynard
5
Carl Piergianni
6
Liam Hogan (c)
7
Anthony Dudley

Shelton '85

8
Gus Mafuta
Yellow card for Gus Mafuta
9
Mani Dieseruvwe

Phenix '73

10
Nick Haughton

Redshaw '73

11
Tom Walker
Curzon Ashton
1
Cameron Mason
2
James Baillie
3
Joe Guest
1 goals for Joe Guest
4
Jonathan Hunt (c)
5
Danny Shaw
6
Matt Regan
Yellow card for Matt Regan
7
Chris Rowney

Brooke '75

8
Sam Walker
9
Niall Cummins

Wharton '80

10
Jake Dunwoody

Clark '84

11
Ben McKenna
Substitutes
12
Danny Livesey
14
Scott Burton
16
Mike Phenix
17
Jack Redshaw
1 goals for Jack Redshaw
18
Mark Shelton
Substitutes
12
Ryan Brooke
Yellow card for Ryan Brooke
14
Ben Wharton
15
Luke Clark
16
Richard Baker
17
Oliver Thornley
Managers
Joint Manager - Anthony Johnson
Joint Manager - Bernard Morley
Managers
Manager - John Flanagan
Match Officals
Referee - Dean Watson
Assistant Referee - Carl Rooney
Assistant Referee - Conor Brown

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Match
Report

“Good” might the official prefix for the day but in the end it turned out to be a great Friday for Salford City. Down in Northamptonshire the towns of Brackley and Harrogate contested a goalless draw so The Ammies, 2-1 winners over Curzon Ashton are now 11 points clear of the former and 6 points ahead of the latter. The sums are now very simple indeed – if Salford City win all 5 of their remaining league games they will clinch the National League North title.

There’s a lot of work to do before that is achieved of course, but it’s not a bad position to be in.

There was a single change to the side that started Tuesday’s convincing 4-1 over Blyth Spartans as the injured Richie Allen was replaced by Anthony Dudley. That left a place free on the bench so Danny Livesey was restored to the match-day 16. Starting for Curzon was former Salford midfielder Sam Walker and Luke Clark was included among the substitutes.

A good crowd had assembled inside The Peninsula Stadium but their afternoon’s entertainment would take a little time to warm up. The Ammies played some neat passing football early on but Curzon’s defence was showing no initial signs of developing any cracks.

Nick Haughton took a while to find his range in midweek and he had the first chance of the afternoon, moving to the left before trying a low 20-yard left-footer that was simple enough for Nash keeper Cam Mason.

Curzon countered through Jake Dunwoody who sprayed a pass out to the right and into the path of Ben McKenna. The winger looked lively at times and here he made it almost to the line before drilling a low cross into the middle. Dunwoody had pushed on into the box and got in a low 8-yarder that forced Tim Erlandsson into a good save as he dropped quickly to his left to stop and hold the ball.

Almost first blood to the visitors and Salford would never be able to relax at the back all afternoon.
For now though the Ammies were playing some decent stuff without creating too much while Curzon were restricted to the odd breakaway, usually involving McKenna’s pace.

Salford went close in the 14th minute and this time McKenna’s contribution wasn’t too impressive as Haughton robbed him of possession inside the Curzon half. One typically mazy run later the mercurial midfielder had reached the penalty area where he slid a pass to the right for Anthony Dudley. The low shot that followed was powerful but Mason had positioned himself well and was able to save with his legs. Haughton tried to hook the loose ball towards goal but his effort was nudged wide of the far post by Mason, with Mani Dieseruvwe – under pressure from Danny Shaw – unable to get a diverting touch.

Two corners in quick succession followed but Curzon defended them well.

McKenna was dispossessed again 4 minutes later, this time by Tom Walker who played a forward ball to Dieseruvwe. The former Kidderminster striker moved possession inside and back to Haughton who tried a cheeky low shot from halfway. Mason wasn’t to be caught out by that one however, moving quickly to his right to intercept the ball.

Just before the mid-point of the half Askew’s cross from the left was met by Dieseruvwe in the middle but he couldn’t get enough of a touch to direct the ball home. A couple of minutes later Tom Walker, Dudley and Michael Nottingham combined well on the right before possession was worked inside for Gus Mafuta. There were yellow shirts in front of him so the midfielder elected to shoot only to drag his low effort well wide of Mason’s right-hand post.

Salford were on top, lacking only the killer final ball that would unlock a well organised Curzon defence. In the 25th minute Dieseruvwe was bundled over outside the area by Shaw with Walker lining up the free-kick, almost 25 yards out and right-of-centre. It was certainly within range but although Walker’s shot beat the wall and dipped, Mason was able to move to his right and make the save.

Pickings had been a bit scarce at the other end although McKenna advanced through the middle on the half-hour and space appeared to be opening up for him. Fortunately, from the Ammie view, Salford skipper Liam Hogan had anticipated the danger and got across to stop McKenna in his tracks before launching a clearance into touch as the Curzon man came back at him.

Thirteen minutes before half-time Tom Walker delivered a corner from the right that dropped beyond the far post. Hogan was there, rising high to get in a downwards header only for a Nash defender to get in the way before scrambling a clearance.

After that Curzon began to see more of the ball, for a while at least, but it seemed that both sides lacked a sharp cutting edge this afternoon. Both certainly had need of the points and it was Salford who upped the pressure as the first half drew to a close. Six minutes before the interval the Ammies won a free-kick wide on the right and Tom Walker floated a cross into the penalty area. Piergianni was underneath that one but from about 9 yards out could only power his header straight at Mason.

Tom Walker was the provider again a couple of minutes later, swinging in a left-footed corner from the right. This time it was Hogan who got in the header but Mason was there again, stretching to push the ball away to relative safety.

The last significant action of the half came with 42 minutes when Mafuta was booked for impeding McKenna’s break on the left flank.

HALF TIME: SALFORD CITY 0 CURZON ASHTON 0

Another relatively quiet first half in front of goal from Salford who often do seem to be more of a threat after the interval. That was certainly the case today and it took the Ammies less than 2 minutes to break the deadlock after the start of the second half. Piergianni started the move, playing a great ball out of defence that sent Dieseruvwe off on a run that took him along the left-hand edge of the box. There was defensive pressure to contend with but Salford's number 9 managed to roll a low ball towards the near post where LOIS MAYNARD arrived to clip a 6-yard finish between Mason and the upright.

A smashing start to the half and the goal initiated another spell of Salford dominance. Maynard had another go in the 53rd minute, advancing on a left-of-centre run before hitting a low shot wide of the keeper’s right-hand post from distance.

Another goal now might just have opened the floodgates and it should have been scored with 55 minutes played. Tom Walker - as he so often is - was the architect, bisecting the Curzon defence with a beautifully judged pass that sent Dieseruvwe galloping into the penalty area. There was only Mason to beat but from 10 or so yards out the in-form striker elected for power over precision, lifting a rising effort a yard over the crossbar.

The game of football is known for its ironic scenarios and after so nearly going two-up the Ammies were almost pegged back within another 60 seconds. Sam Walker was having a good game against his old club and he delivered a trademark free-kick from deep on the right that fell for central defender Matt Regan just inside the penalty area. The glancing header that followed looked like it might be dropping in but in the event the ball fell just outside Erlandsson’s right-hand post for a goal-kick.

The game turned end-to-end for a spell and after that narrow escape the Ammies went onto the offensive, courtesy of Askew’s left-flank run. That foray earned a free-kick and once again Tom Walker’s cross was a good one. Central defender Piergianni recorded his first Salford goal recently and went close to getting his second here, planting in a firm downwards header. Mason reacted instantly, getting his right foot in the way of the ball and the game was still finely balanced as we entered its final half-hour.

Salford had enjoyed a decent little spell but their share of possession was gradually waning as Nash went in search of an equaliser. There was another chance for the Ammies however as Dieseruvwe chased a ball over the top into the right-hand side of the area. By the time he’d steadied himself for a shot Regan had recovered lost ground quickly and was able to get in a vital block when the effort came in.

Back down at the School End Piergianni was harshly penalised following contact with Dunwoody and Sam Walker once again took the free-kick from right-of-centre. This time the delivery curled gently to the far post but Hogan was in the right place to usher the ball out for a goal-kick. Nash were soon back on the offensive and Jonathan Hunt’s firm header from halfway was collected up-field by Niall Cummins. He looked to play Joe Guest into the area on the left but Nottingham got there ahead of him and the ball ran harmlessly out of play.

With 20 minutes to play Maynard’s attempted clearance came off a Curzon player and possession fell for Chris Rowney on the edge of the area. The low shot that followed was comfortably saved by Erlandsson but this had been an uncomfortable little period for Salford who were letting their opponents take the initiative.

McKenna had been quiet for a while but a darting run took him to the line on the left and Dunwoody’s header from the cross came off Shaw before being smothered by Erlandsson.

It was time to freshen things up and Salford’s managerial pairing replaced Haughton & Dieseruvwe with Mike Phenix & Jack Redshaw. Within a minute Curzon boss John Flanagan replaced Rowney with Ryan Brooke whose first contribution was to pick up a yellow for a crude, late challenge on Maynard.

Salford's changes seemed to do the trick and 12 minutes from time they almost made the points safe. Tom Walker curled a corner from the right towards the far post and It was a teaser for the visiting defence. After Hogan went in to challenge the ball dropped for Redshaw whose angled volley crashed off Guest and behind for a corner.

Another opportunity was carved out when Redshaw expertly controlled the dropping ball after Askew launched a mighty clearance from the back. Possession switched inside via Maynard to Tom Walker who slid a great pass to the right for Phenix. The substitute had loads of space and advanced a step or two before slamming in a rising drive that ended up in the side-netting.

The Ammies still couldn’t afford to give Curzon chances, a lesson reinforced 6 minutes from time when Sam Walker whipped in a great cross form the left. Substitute Ben Wharton couldn’t quite get a touch in the middle and the ball fell just too far in front of Guest, arriving on the right.

Mark Shelton came on for Dudley after that and there were some nervous minutes to negotiate as the final whistle approached. Curzon were still looking for a way through but the home defence stood firm and the Ammies wrapped up their win during the first minute of 4 added on. Not for the first time this afternoon McKenna was caught in possession, this time on the left-hand edge of the Salford penalty area. Phenix broke forward at pace and had almost reached the Nash box before his progress was curtailed by a challenge. There was no respite for Curzon however as Tom Walker picked up the loose ball and moved to the right before slipping a great little pass towards Redshaw at the far post.
Mason and one of his defenders did their best to get there in time but REDSHAW was not to be denied, applying a finishing touch from close range.

Game over, but the Ammies don’t like to do things the simple way. In the last minute of the 4 McKenna’s cross from the left spun of Nottingham with GUEST arriving to meet the trajectory of the ball with a header that gave Erlandsson no chance.

There was time enough for Curzon to push forward again but with nerves jangling on three sides of the ground the referee brought the afternoon’s proceedings to a conclusion.

FULL TIME: SALFORD CITY 2 CURZON ASHTON 1

A case of “job done” for the Ammies and this result could well turn out to be key. That Brackley-Harrogate stalemate means that as things stand Salford cannot be pegged back by games in hand and just 6 days (and about a dozen minutes) after an apparent low-point at Kidderminster we now have a very healthy lead to protect.

The objective today was to take the points and that has been achieved. The performance perhaps didn’t quite match up to Tuesday’s showing –vs- Blyth but even so Salford deserved the three points.

Curzon look a decent side – as they did the Tameside Stadium earlier in the season – and although they are just two points above the drop zone seem to have enough about them to avoid relegation.
Good luck to them – as far as Salford are concerned five more wins will mean that should Curzon stay up their fixture list for 2018-2019 will not include a visit to The Peninsula Stadium.

Depending on results elsewhere we may not even need those 5 wins, but three points at Southport on Monday would be a great start anyway…

GOALS:
1-0 Lois MAYNARD (47th min)
2-0 Jack REDSHAW (90+1 mins)
2-1 Joe GUEST (90+4 mins)

Attendance: 1,541

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