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Team Sheet

Salford City FC
1
Chris Neal
2
Scott Wiseman
3
Ibou Touray
5
Liam Hogan (c)
6
Carl Piergianni
7
Matt Green
10
Danny Lloyd
1 goals for Danny Lloyd

Glynn '80

11
Tom Walker
15
Liam Nolan
23
Nathan Pond

Rooney '69

30
Rory Gaffney

Rodney '86

Gateshead
23
Aynsley Pears
2
Robbie Tinkler
3
Scott Barrow (c)
Yellow card for Scott Barrow (c)
4
Jack Hunter
5
Fraser Kerr
6
Mike Williamson
10
Steven Rigg

Salkeld '82

12
Jon Mellish
15
Tom White
Yellow card for Tom White
16
Lewis Maloney
Yellow card for Lewis Maloney
19
Scott Boden
1 goals for Scott Boden
Substitutes
12
Max Crocombe
9
Adam Rooney
16
Joe Muscatt
21
Devante Rodney
27
Kieran Glynn
Substitutes
1
Mark Foden
7
Connor Thomson
11
Cameron Salkeld
17
Elliot Forbes
18
Tom Devitt
Managers
Manager - Graham Alexander
Managers
Manager - Ben Clark
Match Officals
Referee - Peter Gibbons
Assistant Referee - Scott Taylor
Assistant Referee - Daniel Locker
Fourth Official - Benjamin Wyatt

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Match
Report

Salford City had to settle for a single point at The Peninsula Stadium this afternoon when a win would have taken them back to the apex of the non-league pyramid. The Ammies went ahead courtesy of Danny Lloyd’s penalty but Gateshead fought back to level right on half-time. Neither side could add to the goalscoring after the interval and Heed caretaker boss Ben Clark will be more than pleased with the character displayed by his new charges.

On the back of two impressive league wins and last week’s Trophy triumph, Graham Alexander made only an enforced change from the side that started at Leyton Orient a fortnight ago. With Danny Whitehead injured, Danny Lloyd was drafted back into a 3-man midfield alongside Tom Walker and Liam Nolan.

On a cold, dank day the game would take some time to warm up with goalmouth action in short supply during its early stages. Salford midfielder Liam Nolan lifted a ball into the Gateshead penalty area in the 3rd minute but keeper Aynsley Pears was out quickly to deny Matt Green a touch.

Gateshead had their first chance 5 minutes later after a Lewis Maloney corner was headed clear. The ball fell for Mark Tinkler well outside the area and his effort cleared the crossbar by some distance.

At the school end Green picked up Lloyd’s pass inside the area then turned smartly before seeing his shot clip off Mike Williamson and behind for a corner. The set-piece was cleared but Salford kept the pressure on as Ibou Touray whipped a cross from the left back into the box. Scott Boden got his head to it and Gateshead hearts were in mouths for a second as the ball dropped just wide of Pears’ left-hand upright. Another corner, delivered from the right by Tom Walker and cleared only as far as the edge of the area. Nolan was there to hit a firmly struck low effort that was charged down by a green-shirted defender.

That was the most concentrated spell of pressure so far but we had to wait until the midpoint of the first-half for another opportunity to present itself. Touray did well to win a crunching challenge with Tinkler wide on Salford’s left before tucking a pass back for Walker. The cross that followed dropped towards the near angle of the 6-yard box where Green got in a header that was saved and held by Pears just inside his right-hand post.

Gateshead countered, with Tom White’s clever pass finding Tinkler on the right and he squared a ball inside for Boden. This was a very presentable opportunity for the Heed striker but Boden snatched at it a little, lifting his16-yard effort over the bar for a goal kick.

A steady, rather than spectacular, start to the game but The Ammies got their noses in front in the 28th minute. Rory Gaffney did well, lobbing a forward pass that sent Green clear of the visiting defence on a left-of-centre run. Pears was advancing at speed but the Salford striker pushed the ball past him before being unceremoniously felled inside the area. It was a clear-cut penalty with the only surprise being that the referee chose not to caution Peers for what was a pretty clumsy bit of play.

It was LLOYD who placed the ball on the spot, keeping his composure as he stroked a low finish to Pears’ right with the keeper already committed the other way.

Gateshead almost conjured an instant response as Maloney’s dipping 25-yarder was pushed away to safety by Salford goalkeeper Chris Neal.

Pears’ was almost caught out again 14 minutes before half-time, abandoning his area to close down Green wide on Salford’s right. This could have been trouble for Gateshead but to be fair their keeper did a fair impression of a centre-half as he put in a no-nonsense tackle to concede nothing more threatening than a throw-in.

This hadn’t been a classic half of football but both sides had worked hard and as the break approached Gateshead began to find more space in their opponents’ half. Heed skipper Scott Barrow cut inside from the left in the 37th minute but couldn’t keep his shot from disrance down. Maloney was the next to have a go, collecting a Riggs pass before hitting a 25 yard plus effort that always seemed to be pulling wide of Neal’s left-hand post.

The Ammies had taken their foot off the pedal – an occasional failing this season when 1 up at home – and Gateshead were doing their best to take advantage of the extra space and possession they had been afforded. In the 40th minute Jack Hunter cut into the area from the right but held onto possession a little too long, allowing Nathan Pond to get in with an effective challenge.

It looked as if Salford’s lead would make it to half-time but they would be pegged back less than 2 minutes before its end. Gateshead were allowed to carry possession deep into home territory before Tinkler made it to the line on the right. The right-wing back did well to cut a pass back to the right-hand angle of the 6-yard box where BODEN was handily placed to slam home a finish that gave Neal no chance.

HALF-TIME: SALFORD CITY 1 GATESHEAD 1

Gateshead had equalised at what is universally acknowledged to be a “good time” and as the second half got underway they had something to protect instead of having to chase an equaliser. The onus was on Salford to break the opposition down and they set about that task with a fair degree of enthusiasm.
The Heed had some early defending to do and made a decent job of it. In the 52nd minute Salford almost found a way through as Touray’s pass picked out Gaffney, left-of-centre and inside the area. The striker spun adroitly enough but his low effort was miscued, zipping it’s way across the area and away to the far side.

Gateshead’s White was booked in the 55th minute and there was a big shout for handball as the visitors scrambled Walker’s free-kick delivery away. The referee ignored heated appeals from home players and supporters, leaving the Ammies to search for a way through to goal.

That would prove easier said than done as Gateshead worked hard, getting men behind the ball and keeping their shape despite being under pressure. The Ammies almost cracked them open in the 63rd minute after Lloyd advanced through the middle before flicking a pass to Gaffney on the right-hand side of the box. The return ball forced Lloyd a little further to the left than was ideal but he got in a shot that clipped off Pears on its way narrowly wide of his right-hand upright. Walker’s corner was met by Carl Piergianni toward the far post but his header required only a routine save from Pears.

Gateshead attacks had been few and far between since the restart but after Hunter played a square ball inside from the left, Maloney’s rising effort failed to trouble Neal.

Salford needed a goal and might have had one midway through the second half. Touray’s pass found Lloyd on the left-hand angle of the area and he crossed into the middle, only for Pears to pluck the ball out of the air before Green could get his head to it.

Boden’s low shot from 22-yards, left-of-centre was stopped by Neal who stooped to collect the pacey effort at the 2nd attempt.

Gateshead were holding firm, restricting their hosts to the odd chance. Salford manager Alexander was prompted into a reshuffle with just over 20 minutes left as Adam Rooney came on for Pond. That change in personnel ushered in a shift of formation too as the 5-3-2 gave way to a more attacking 4-3-3.

There was a moment of anxiety for the home support in the 71st minute as Piergianni, close to the goal-line on Salford’s left, stroked a pass in the general direction of keeper Neal. It was under-hit, with Maloney nipping in to intercept and Liam Hogan had to make a stretching clearance as the Heed midfielder tried to pick out Boden.

The Ammies were seeing plenty of the ball now yet they were struggling to convert that into clear-cut chances. Gateshead, on the back of 3 successive defeats had a point to protect and were doing their jobs to a man. With 8 minutes left Scott Wiseman’s cross from the right was cleared to the far side where Touray arrived to slam in a powerful shot that was deflected wide of Pears’ right-hand post for a corner.

The set-piece was cleared, and time was running out for Salford to take full advantage of Orient impending defeat at Ebbfleet. There was more pressure for Gateshead to deal with but they were looking resolute, arriving unscathed at the 90 minute mark and seeing out 4 minutes of time added on.
As the 5th minute of injury time got underway Salford substitute Devante Rodney’s surging run on the right was curtailed by a foul from Barrow. Walker’s free-kick was aimed at the far post where Nolan got in an effort that was blocked. The Accrington loanee turned to chase down the loose ball but it was too late – the referee had decided time was up.

FULL-TIME: SALFORD CITY 1 GATESHEAD 1

Not a wholly unfamiliar type of afternoon at The Peninsula Stadium this afternoon. After a decent start Salford went ahead only to lose a little bit of focus for the rest of the first half. Gateshead were invited to find a way back into the match and accepted it, scoring a goal on the brink of half-time that was nicely constructed from their point of view but eminently avoidable from Salford’s.

The dynamic of the 2nd half would have been different if The Ammies had maintained their advantage, but that’s water under the bridge now. Gateshead produced a sterling performance for caretaker manager Ben Clark, restricting their opponents to the odd chance thanks to a dogged show of defiance.

Based purely on what was created Salford might feel aggrieved at not claiming all 3 points but they need to flush this type of performance from their collective system. The opening goal of a home game should be the springboard to scoring more and making the point safe, rather than allowing opponents the chance to hit back. Something for the back-room staff to work on.

Disappointing, but results elsewhere could have been worse. Solihull’s late winner at Maidenhead has lifted the Midlands side into 2nd but Orient and Wrexham both lost, leaving the top of the division tighter than ever. The Welsh side and AFC Fylde are only 3 points behind Salford this evening and it seems that one of the key qualities in the race for automatic promotion will be consistency.

Despite this draw 2019 has been a good year so far for Salford City and next week they travel to a traditionally difficult venue. The Ammies have never won a game at The Shay so Saturday would be a grand time to beat FC Halifax Town on their own patch.

Attendance 2,055(@90 from Gateshead)

https://salfordcityfc.co.uk