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

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Team Sheet

Salford City FC
12
Kyle Letheren
2
Scott Wiseman
3
Ibou Touray
6
Carl Piergianni
8
Lois Maynard
9
Adam Rooney (c)

Pond 88'

13
Sam Hughes
15
Cameron Burgess
18
Danny Whitehead

Armstrong 83'

19
Mark Shelton
1 goals for Mark Shelton
20
Mani Dieseruvwe
Grimsby Town
1
James McKeown (c)
2
Luke Hendrie
3
Liam Gibson
5
Ludvig Öhman

Hewitt 45'

6
Luke Waterfall
7
Matt Green
8
Jake Hessenthaler
9
James Hanson
10
Elliott Whitehouse

Robson 74'

11
Jordan Cook
Yellow card for Jordan Cook

Vernam 77'

20
Moses Ogbu
Substitutes
31
Ewan McFarlane
7
Luke Armstrong
10
Danny Lloyd
21
Devante Rodney
23
Nathan Pond
25
Joey Jones
34
Alex Doyle
Substitutes
23
Sam Russell
12
Ethan Robson
15
Harry Clifton
18
Charles Vernam
19
Max Wright
22
Elliott Hewitt
25
Mattie Pollock
Managers
Manager - Graham Alexander
Managers
Manager - Michael Jolley
Match Officals
Referee - Christopher Sarginson
Assistant Referee - Hristo Karaivanov
Assistant Referee - Matthew Parry
Fourth Official - Steven Meredith

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Match
Report

Salford City’s second league win of the season turned out to be a tale of two free-kicks. Mark Shelton’s first-half strike put the Ammies ahead on 20 minutes – a well struck effort that deceived visiting keeper James McKeown. Four minutes into the second half Jordan Cook’s sweetly hit shot from about the same range beat Kyle Letheren to his right, only to be disallowed because a Grimsby player had encroached within one metre of Salford’s defensive wall. Not allowed since the start of this season, but the game had almost kicked off again before the officials finally arrived at a decision that incensed the visiting support. Letheren made a wonder save late on and Graham Alexander’s men can celebrate 3 points for the first time since Stevenage were beaten on the season’s opening day.

A run of uneven form, topped by Saturday’s defeat at home to Cheltenham Town prompted Salford’s manager to make a number of changes in personnel, as well as formation. Back came the 3-man defence, with Sam Hughes lining up for his first start alongside Cameron Burgess and Carl Piergianni. Scott Wiseman was back on the right with Ibou Touray on the left again after his stint of international duty with The Gambia. The midfield trio comprised Danny Whitehead, Lois Maynard & Shelton, with Adam Rooney and Mani Dieseruvwe restored to striking duty.

An impressive thousand plus Mariners had made the journey to Salford and got behind their side from the start. They nearly had an early goal to celebrate too and it would have been courtesy of a face familiar to the home fans. Liam Gibson’s cross was a decent one, with Matt Green getting in a header that Letheran did well to tip over the bar.

Grimsby were lively during these opening stages and on 9 minutes former Bradford City striker James Hanson worked possession through for Cook who could only send a 20-yarder wide. We’d nearly reached the quarter-hour mark when Green slipped away from the attentions of Maynard only to see his shot go wide.

The Ammies had been neat in possession and their first opportunity of the evening came along in the 17th minute. Touray’s ball from deep on the left was glanced on by Dieseruvwe inside the area and the ball dropped toward Rooney. Last season’s top-scorer got his head to it but from the left-hand corner of the 6-yard box his effort looped over the bar. Another chance came along soon after when Touray intercepted a misplaced pass inside his own half. A surging run took him into Grimsby territory before a diagonal pass fell for Rooney on the right. Shelton scampered by on the overlap, yet the Irishman chose to float a cross to the far post where Dieseruvwe got up high to power in a header that clipped the bar on its way out of play. Close, but the assistant’s raised flag would have ruled out a goal in any case.

A decent start to the game and it’s first goal arrived with 20 minutes played. Hanson conceded a free-kick outside his own penalty area and SHELTON shaped up to take the free-kick. We get occasional special moments from Shelts and he provided another here, getting power into a shot that seemed to swerve away from McKeown who had been crouching to collect.

The Mariners looked to respond immediately and from their first attack since conceding, Hanson’s low shot from the left-hand side of the area was deflected past the far post. Grimsby’s Cook was booked for a foul on Dieseruvwe and the game’s next opportunity would come from a free-kick. Alex Hessenthaler’s delivery was headed away by a Salford defender, but only as far as Cook whose first-time effort was blocked.

At the other end Touray tried his luck from distance on the left but his low shot across McKeown’s goal flashed well wide of the far upright.

The balance of the half had tipped Salford’s way after a promising start for the visitors, but chances were at something of a premium for the rest of the half. A couple of minutes before the interval Green passed inside from the left for Elliott Whitehouse but he could only shoot disappointingly wide.

There was an injury blow for The Mariners as Ludvig Ohman, who had been struggling for a few minutes, was replaced by Elliott Hewitt during first-half injury time.

That was the last incident of note and Salford’s narrow lead accompanied them back to the dressing room for the half-time break.

HALF-TIME: SALFORD CITY 1 GRIMSBY TOWN 0

Grimsby emerged in determined fashion for the second half and carved out a chance within its first minute. A long throw from the left was nodded away by Piergianni with the ball dropping to the angle of the box. From Grimsby’s right Luke Waterfall tried an ambitious lobbed effort that dropped outside Letheran’s left-hand post.

A modest opportunity but another one followed hot on its heels. Moses Ogbu whipped in a cross from wide on the left, with Hewitt on the end of it beyond the far post. His attempt to drop a header back into the danger area flicked off the head of Maynard and behind for a corner.

Grimsby were after a goal and in the 49th minute it seemed that they had got it. A foul on Hanson outside the area gave Cook the chance to have a go from 25 yards. He accepted the invitation in some style, lifting a dipping effort over the defensive wall, beating Letheran’s full-length dive to the right. We had time for some suitable celebrations involving the visiting supporters behind Letheran's goal, and for the teams to assume their positions for the restart before it became obvious that something was up. In front of the increasingly animated dugouts the fourth official was in conversation with the referee and their decision was that the goal be disallowed because a Grimsby player had stood too close to the Salford wall as the kick was taken.

A new rule that had preserved the home side’s lead and Grimsby’s good start to the second half seemed to wane in the aftermath of that disappointment. In the 57th minute it was Salford’s turn to threaten when Touray’s cross from the right was cleared as far as Maynard. The Ammies’ midfielder was tempted by the time and space afforded him but could only lift his shot high over the crossbar.

On the hour Wiseman’s cross found Dieseruvwe but the big striker’s header rose high into the air before dropping gently into the arms of McKeown. Midway though the second half Shelton’s free-kick dropped into the box from deep on the left with Burgess glancing on a header that dropped just wide of the far post.

The final quarter would see Grimsby enjoying plenty of possession and the Ammies defending increasingly deep. In the 68th minute Hewitt got into the box on the right and his first attempt at a hard, low cross bounced right back to him. The second found Green, just inside the area and he fired in a low effort that was blocked by a combination of Burgess and Whitehead.

Salford’s attacks would be more sporadic, although they carried a hint of danger too. On 73 minutes Touray’s corner fell for Maynard inside the area and his shot was blocked. Whitehead was next to have a go, from outside the area, but his low effort suffered a similar fate. Within another minute Rooney slid a pass out to Touray on the left and he swung a cross towards the far post. Dieseruvwe got up on the edge of the 6-yard box, putting in a downward header that was held by McKeown.

Grimsby were not turning possession into chances and they were nearly caught on the counter with 9 minutes to play. Dieseruvwe’s cross-field ball dropped for Rooney on the left and he played a pass inside for Whitehead, in space just outside the area and a little right of centre. This was a good chance and the Salford midfielder got in a low effort only to see it brilliantly blocked by the almost grounded Hewitt.

There was more pressure from Grimsby during the final 10 minutes, but Salford were defending well, in numbers when necessary. The home side introduced Luke Armstrong and Nathan Pond (for Whitehead and Rooney respectively) during this period and the final whistle – with 3 precious points attached – was fast approaching.

The Mariners poured forward as the game moved into time added on and in the 2nd of 4 extra minutes they very nearly snatched a point. Waterfall let fly with a powerful rising shot from 20 yards out and right-of-centre that seemed to be on course for the far top corner. Letheran had other ideas, flinging himself across to tip the ball over the crossbar for a corner.

There was still tine for another Grimsby chance. In the final minute of those 4 McKeown moved upfield for a last-gasp corner. He got his head to it, lunging only to see what could have been a rather memorable header drop harmlessly high and wide.

FULL-TIME: SALFORD CITY 1 GRIMSBY TOWN 0

A vital win for the Ammies after a run of 7 games that had brought 5 draws and 2 defeats with the clean sheet as a very welcome bonus. This was a considerable improvement on Saturday’s performance,
constructed on a bedrock of hard work and organisation. Graham Alexander made the brave decision to ring the changes this evening and that bold move has been vindicated by both result and performance.

Grimsby had their chances and its probably true to say that most of tonight’s crowd were previously unaware of the newly introduced free-kick rule that would deny them. There has to be a measure of sympathy for Cook who saw a fine strike ruled out and Letheran’s late save to deny Waterfall was right out of the top draw.

It’s all water under the bridge now though and these points leave Salford in 16th place in the table ahead of Saturday’s visit to Crewe Alexandra. We can head for that one with a measure of confidence now, but this is a tough league and it will take a repeat of this evening’s attitude and commitment if a reward is to be brought home from Gresty Road.

Attendance: 2,782 (1,066 Grimsby Town)

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