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Team Sheet

Salford City FC
12
Kyle Letheren
2
Scott Wiseman
3
Ibou Touray
Yellow card for Ibou Touray
6
Carl Piergianni
7
Luke Armstrong
8
Lois Maynard
Yellow card for Lois Maynard

Rooney 65'

15
Cameron Burgess

Lloyd 46'

19
Mark Shelton

Jervis 46'

20
Mani Dieseruvwe
Yellow card for Mani Dieseruvwe
23
Nathan Pond (c)
25
Joey Jones
Forest Green Rovers
24
Lewis Thomas
Yellow card for Lewis Thomas
2
Liam Shephard

Godwin-Malfie 76'

3
Dominic Bernard
5
Matt Mills
7
Carl Winchester
9
Matt Stevens
2 goals for Matt Stevens 2 goals for Matt Stevens
10
Aaron Collins
1 goals for Aaron Collins

Mondal 78'

14
Ebou Adams
1 goals for Ebou Adams
20
Liam Kitching
23
Joseph Mills (c)
29
Jack Aitchison

Grubb 85'

Substitutes
9
Adam Rooney
10
Danny Lloyd
13
Sam Hughes
21
Devante Rodney
32
Jake Jervis
33
William Evans
34
Alex Doyle
Substitutes
8
Dayle Grubb
12
Taylor Allen
13
Joesph Wollacott
15
James Morton
19
Nathan McGinley
22
Udoka Godwin-Malfie
25
Junior Mondal
Managers
Manager - Graham Alexander
Managers
Manager - Mark Cooper
Match Officals
Referee - James Oldham
Assistant Referee - David Hunt
Assistant Referee - Richard Woodward
Fourth Official - Matthew Jones

Close Team Sheet

Match
Report

A real jolt for the Ammies this afternoon as Forest Green Rovers ran in four unanswered goals at The Peninsula Stadium to inflict a second home league defeat on Graham Alexander’s men. Matty Stevens put the visitors ahead in the 3rd minute and from that point it would be all downhill for Salford City. There can be no complaints at all about this result – the better team won, and to be honest, won at a canter.

Perhaps unsurprisingly there were changes from the side that underperformed so profoundly at Gresty Road a week ago. Nathan Pond was reinstated to the central defensive trio, at the expense of Leicester City loanee Sam Hughes. In midfield Danny Whitehead lost his place to Joey Jones while up front Luke Armstrong made his first Ammies’ start, with Adam Rooney dropping to the bench.

Torrential morning rain had put the game in some doubt, and perhaps if might have been better had those dark grey clouds continued to shed their load on Salford 7 for the remainder of the day.

Mark Cooper’s Forest Green Rovers side would like sharp right from the off and took less than 3 minutes to establish a lead they would never really look like relinquishing. Ebou Adams nipped into the Salford area before passing to Joseph Mills on the left, and his low cross slid across the wet turf for STEVENS to poke home at the near post.

All too easy from Salford’s defensive point of view but the afternoon would get much worse for the home side. Mills had created the first goal and had a go himself from a 5th minute free-kick. It was a decent effort too, with Kyle Letheren making a save then smothering the loose ball as Aaron Collins closed in.

Rovers continued to force the pace, but Salford managed to work a sight of goal on 13 minutes. An Ibou Touray free-kick from deep on the left was met by Carl Piergianni whose downward header was shovelled around the post by Lewis Thomas. The corner was cleared as far as Lois Maynard who tried a shot from left-of-centre and almost 25 yards out, but it was straight at the keeper.

Encouragement for the home support, but just 3 minutes later their side went two behind. It was a goal made in Salford too as Piergianni looked to mop up a Forest Green attack, tight to the line on Salford’s right. The back-pass that followed was aimed at Letheren but Collins had read the intention, nipping in to take the ball into the area on the left and almost to the line. There was still work to do but COLLINS kept his cool, moving to the edge of the 6-yard box before lifting a crisp finish between Salford’s keeper and his right-hand upright.

The Ammies needed to find a strong response and could have had a goal just 3 minutes later. Touray’s cross from wide on the left was a good one, met by Armstrong whose header dropped disappointingly over the crossbar.

After that isolated Salford chance Forest Green wrestled back the initiative, moving the ball around well and putting more pressure on the home goal. The Ammies had to repel three corners in quick succession midway through the first half before Liam Shepherd’s cross from the right was taken off Stevens’ head by Letheren.

The visitors were well on top and in the 28th minute Mills got into space on the left before crossing low to the near post. Stevens couldn’t find a finish, try though his might, and his attempts to regain possession on all fours drew a good-natured laugh from the Salford supporters behind Letheren’s goal.

They weren’t laughing too much 3 minutes later though after the impressive ADAMS swapped passes with Aitchison before hitting a low 20-yarder that took a deflection on its way between the diving Letheren and his left-hand post.

Three down and looking out even at this relatively early stage, Salford were beginning to look frustrated. Touray was yellow-carded for a heavy challenge on Dominic Bernard with Maynard and Dieseruvwe following him into the referee’s notebook before half-time.

Salford were in desperate need of a goal and it looked as if they might have got it in the 42nd minute after Cameron Burgess got up at the near post to head Touray’s corner from the left towards goal. That effort was blocked and Burgess pounced on the loose ball to slam a rising left-footer into the roof of the net. A glimmer of hope for the Ammies but it was cruelly extinguished – the assistant referee’s flag was up for offside.

Fittingly enough the final chance of the half went to Forest Green Rovers, with Collins meeting Aitchison’s cross with an an angled effort that was palmed away by Letheren.

HALF-TIME: SALFORD CITY 0 FOREST GREEN ROVERS 3

Not a great half for Salford, with manager Alexander responding by making changes to formation and personnel. Danny Lloyd and Jake Jervis came on for Cameron Burgess and Mark Shelton, with the back 5 duly becoming a back 4.

The home side would have the better of the second half’s opening stages as they sought to find a way back into a game that was on the verge of sliding entirely out of reach. Lloyd and Touray combined on the left with the latter getting in a cross that dropped just beyond the reach of Dieseruvwe.

In the 50th minute Joey Jones’ pass to the left played Lloyd into space and he directed a cross towards the near post. Armstrong got there and although he could only divert a difficult change wide of Thomas’right-hand upright, this was much better from Salford.

It was Lloyd’s turn to have a go 3 minutes later, hitting a firm free-kick from distance on the right only to see the ball flash wide of the keeper’s left-hand post. He turned provider again in the 56th minute, hoisting in a free-kick from the left that was headed over by Piergianni.

Promising perhaps, but Salford hadn’t managed to score the goal that might yet give them a foothold in the game. Rovers keeper Thomas was booked for timewasting over a goal-kick at the end of that flurry of Ammie pressure but the next incident of note would seal the visitors’ hold on the points.

Again it was all too easy as Collins rode a foul on the left before finding Aitchison. A neat through ball sent STEVENS clear of the defence and he stroked a composed, low 18-yard finish past Letheren and inside his left-hand post.

That was, in effect, game over but Salford didn’t throw the towel in and went close to getting a goal on the hour. Jones hit a low shot from outside the area that seemed goal-bound until Thomas got a touch that diverted the ball just outside his right-hand post.

Down at the school end Stevens got to the line on the right before cutting inside and hitting a shot that was bravely charged down at point-blank range by Pond.

Salford would plug away during the remaining time and a Lloyd corner from the left dropped beyond the far post. Piergianni rose to meet it but couldn’t keep his header down. With 20 minutes to play a Wiseman free-kick from deep on the right was headed on by Piergianni from the edge of the area.
Armstrong was underneath that one but his nodded attempt was comfortably saved by Thomas. In between those efforts Collins whipped in a cross from the right and Pond, facing his own goal, managed to place a clearing header beyond the far post.

Forest Green broke up the game by using all three substitutes during the closing stages but Salford did get a few opportunities to salvage a little pride. A Jervis cross from the right was met by Dieseruvwe only for Thomas to clutch the headed effort just below his crossbar. With 7 minutes left the same player got a touch on a Wiseman cross from the same flank, but again the Rovers keeper was able to make a routine save.

The Jervis – Dieseruvwe combination almost produced a penultimate minute consolation but the latter’s header from the former’s right-flank cross dropped just outside the far post.

Five minutes of time added on produced little of note and the final whistle brought entirely different reactions from the two sets of players and supporters.

Congratulations to Forest Green Rovers on a deserved win, built on good organisation, high energy and some clinical finishing for a side that prior to today hadn’t scored more than one goal during a league game.

As for Salford – the last 135 minutes of football need to be consigned to memory, although lessons will have to be quickly learned. Not good enough, obviously, but everyone Involved will be keenly aware of that.

Realistically, it’s still early in the clubs first ever EFL season and there was always likely to be a steep learning curve. The last two results have been harsh reality checks and we’ll see the true character of the squad over the next few weeks…there’s a big challenge to be faced, but Salford City have always reacted well to adversity.

On to Walsall…

Attendance: 2,561 (335 Forest Green Rovers)

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