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Salford City football Club

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Team Sheet

Salford City FC
1
Chris Neal
Yellow card for Chris Neal
2
Scott Wiseman
3
Ibou Touray
6
Carl Piergianni
8
Lois Maynard

Nolan '52

9
Adam Rooney (c)
1 goals for Adam Rooney (c)
10
Danny Lloyd

Politic '76

11
Tom Walker

Hogan '76

18
Danny Whitehead
1 goals for Danny Whitehead
23
Nathan Pond
Yellow card for Nathan Pond
30
Rory Gaffney
1 goals for Rory Gaffney
Harrogate Town
1
James Belshaw
4
Josh Falkingham (c)
5
Callum Howe
6
Warren Burrell
7
George Thomson
8
Jack Emmett
Yellow card for Jack Emmett
9
Mark Beck
12
Jordan Thewlis

Knowles '70

15
Kelvin Langmead
18
Jack Muldoon
1 goals for Jack Muldoon

Woods '70

20
Liam Kitching
1 goals for Liam Kitching
Substitutes
5
Liam Hogan
12
Max Crocombe
15
Liam Nolan
20
Mani Dieseruvwe
22
Dennis Politic
Yellow card for Dennis Politic
Substitutes
2
Ryan Fallowfield
10
Dominic Knowles
13
Joe Cracknell
17
Lloyd Kerry
21
Michael Woods
Managers
Manager - Graham Alexander
Managers
Manager - Simon Weaver
Match Officals
Referee - Martin Woods
Assistant Referee - Paul Ince
Assistant Referee - Steve Durnell
Fourth Official - Stuart Morland

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Match
Report

Salford City made it 19 league games unbeaten but were made to fight all the way to overcome an effervescent Harrogate Town. The visitors from Yorkshire took the lead twice before half-time, only to be pegged back on both occasions. After the break Rory Gaffney’s strike finished off a move of pure quality and that was just about enough to decide the destination of the points. A very good evening all round for the Ammies who are now just one point behind leaders Leyton Orient.

There were no changes from the line-up that scrapped its way to a point at Solihull on Saturday. Dennis Politic and Mani Dieseruvwe – returned from his loan at Chester – were on the bench.

A cold evening at The Peninsula Stadium but the entertainment served up would certainly warm the cockles of those spectators who turned out. Harrogate set the tone by going close within the opening 20 seconds after Jack Emmett’s cross from the left was partially cleared. Town skipper Josh Falkingham picked up the loose ball before slamming in a rising drive that wasn’t far wide of Chris Neal’s right-hand upright.

The game got off to frantic start and Tom Walker’s pass found Rory Gaffney on the left-hand side of the area. A deliberate low ball inside picked out Lois Maynard, back-to-goal, and he nudged a pass back into Walker’s path. There was real venom behind the shot that followed but a visiting defender put in a brave block to protect James Belshaw’s goal.

Six-foot-five striker Mark Beck has form when it comes to causing problems for Salford City and his towering flick almost dropped for Jack Muldoon. Carl Piergianni just about did enough to concede a corner but Harrogate were clicking into their high-tempo pressing and passing game. Town struck the first blow of the evening in the 8th minute after Liam Kitching swung in a cross from the left. MULDOON rose to get in a glancing touch, Beck narrowly missed making contact after him and the ball dropped inside Neal’s left-hand post. Town’s celebrations were snuffed out by the assistant’s raised flag but after the referee trotted over for a word, the goal was given.

Presumably had Beck been adjudged to have got a touch, the goal would have been ruled out, but Salford were now chasing the game as well as their rapid opponents. A quick response would be ideal and it was provided in fine style within another 2 minutes. The Ammies poured forward and possession fell for DANNY WHITEHEAD, 25 yards out and well left of centre. A low drive had the pace and precision to beat Belshaw and the effort flashed inside his left-hand post.

One-all with just 10 minutes played but there would be no real let-up in the action. Suitably encouraged by that swift leveller, Salford pushed forward again with Danny Lloyd’s forward pass through the inside-left channel finding Adam Rooney. With back to goal the Ammies’ leading scorer slid a low ball out to the left flank where Lloyd had continued his run and he delivered a pacey cross into the middle. It was a decent delivery but Gaffney, advancing on a right-of-centre run, couldn’t quite get there. A moment or two later it was Ibou Touray’s turn to swing a ball in from the left but his deeper delivery just evaded Rooney at the far stick.

This was end-to-end stuff and in front of the home fans in the West Stand Jordan Thewlis collected possession wide on the left before crossing low into the centre. Emmett got onto the end of it before hitting a low shot from the edge of the box that smacked off Neal’s left-hand post before rebounding to safety. So close for Town but there was an opportunity at the other end within 60 seconds. A ball into the Harrogate area fell temptingly for Rooney who from left-of-centre and 10 yards out tried an overhead kick that was nicely executed but simple for Belshaw to grasp just underneath the crossbar.

The action was unrelenting, and Lloyd played a neat ball up the left for Gaffney to run onto. A cross into the middle duly followed but Rooney, desperately stretching a leg, couldn’t quite make contact in front of goal. Harrogate countered with Beck flicking on and George Thomson tucking a pass back for Muldoon to hit a low 22-yarder from the right. It looked to be on target until Scott Wiseman, facing his own goal, was forced to scoop the ball over at the expense of a corner.

Inventive defending from the home full-back but his side soon had more work to do. A Falkingham free-kick from wide on the left dropped to the edge of the area where defender Callum Howe indulged in a spot of juggling before turning to hit a low effort just wide of Neal’s right-hand post.

A Warren Burrell cross from the right was heading for Beck at the far post until Neal got up to make a vital catch. Harrogate were starting to turn the screw again, playing some scintillating stuff and their advantage was restored in the 25th minute. Thomson’s corner from the left was headed on by Kelvin Langmead and KITCHING was on hand to nod the ball home from just a few yards out.

Once again Salford sought to hit back quickly, and Walker cut inside from the right before letting fly with a rising 25-yarder that Belshaw did well to push around his left-hand upright. The corner was cleared, and Harrogate were soon back on the offensive. Twelve minutes before half-time Falkingham’s pass found Thewlis on the left and his low delivery was missed by a Town player at the near post. Falkingham had continued his progress into the penalty area but with the goal gaping could only slice horribly wide of the far post.

That could very easily have been a handy 2-goal lead for Harrogate and they went close again soon afterwards. Muldoon had a go from nearly 30 yards out and right-of-centre, getting real power behind an effort that didn’t rise more than a couple of feet off the ground. Neal was almost caught out but managed to drop to his right to stop the ball, holding it at the second attempt.

A great effort from Muldoon and he was at it again 9 minutes before the interval after collecting Falkingham’s pass to the right. A rising, stinging effort followed, and Neal was forced into another good save, pushing the ball outside his left-hand post for a corner.

The pendulum swung away from Harrogate as half-time approached and Wiseman’s cross from the right was headed back inside by Rooney, from just beyond the far post. Lloyd got there to prod in a low, close-range effort but Belshaw managed to block and the ball trickled harmlessly wide of his left-hand upright.

It was looking as if a marvellous first half would end with Harrogate a goal ahead, and that wouldn’t have been too unfair. Salford could never be discounted as an attacking force however and they got a second equaliser during the half’s penultimate minute. Whitehead was the architect, chasing a loose ball out to the right before thwarting an attempted challenge with a superb reverse pass that sent Gaffney into the right-hand side of the area. A defender was neatly turned before Gaffney hit a low shot that took came back off Belshaw then rebounded into the net off ROONEY
A touch of fortune about the goal, but Salford City and their supporters had a great boost just before the interval.

There was a sense of regret as the half-time whistle blew, but the game was balanced finely – could the second half offer the same level of entertainment as the first?

HALF-TIME: SALFORD CITY 2 HARROGATE TOWN 2

The answer to that question initially seemed to be a resounding ‘Yes’ as the first chance took less than 2 minutes to materialise. A good Salford build-up involved Rooney and Gaffney before Walker curled a left-footer from outside the right-hand angle of the box just wide of the far post.

There was a break in play of about 4 minutes after that as Salford midfielder Maynard required treatment and eventually had to be helped off the field. On in his place came loan signing Liam Nolan, making his debut for Salford City after joining from Accrington Stanley last week.

The Ammies continued to press and Walker attacked on the left before crossing towards the far post. Rooney’s header bounced into the 6-yard box. but Gaffney couldn’t touch the ball home. The clearance came straight back in and this time Gaffney clipped home a finish only to be denied by an offside flag.

A good start to the second half for Salford and they took the lead for the first time in the 57th minute. A foul on Walker earned the Ammies a free-kick, right-of-centre and when the ball was touched to Whitehead he chipped a delightful ball over the defence and into the right-hand side of the penalty area. GAFFNEY ran onto the delivery and maintained his composure, directing a low finish between Belshaw and his left-hand post to make the score 3-2.

A 9th goal of the season for the former Bristol Rovers striker to cap a very decent spell for the home side. More good work from Walker ended with a pass to Rooney, but his attempt to thread the ball through to Gaffney was cut out.

After their excellent first-half showing Harrogate had been quieter since the restart but did manage to create an opening in the 63rd minute. Thewlis crossed from the left and Beck got up inside the area, glancing in an effort that dropped harmlessly wide of the far post.

Salford’s turn next as Walker latched onto an excellent Nolan chipped pass from deep. The winger made it to the area but with options to choose between – including a well-placed Rooney – he could only sky an effort that cleared the bar by some considerable distance.

With just over 20 minutes to play Town boss Simon Weaver made a couple of changes, bringing on Michael Woods & Dominic Knowles for Thewlis & Emmett. Graham Alexander sent on a couple of substitutes soon after as Liam Hogan & Dennis Politic replaced Walker & Lloyd.

Salford keeper Neal was booked for time-wasting with 15 minutes left and Harrogate were cranking up the pressure as they searched for a late equaliser. The Ammies were obliged to get bodies behind the ball in order to keep the visitors at bay during the closing stages.

The fact that Harrogate were, despite their possession, struggling to test Neal was testament to the hosts’ resilience at the back - they were certainly in no mood to relinquish their grip on what would be a crucial 3 points.

Town passed the ball around, probing for chinks in Salford’s defensive armour but the red wall was standing firm. Four minutes from time Thomson’s free-kick from the right was met by the head of Howe, just beyond the far post. The ball dropped into the middle, but Beck was stretching as he made contact and could only place his own header over the crossbar.

Maynard’s injury contributed to 6 minutes of time added on yet still Town couldn’t fashion a way through to goal. It wasn’t for the want of trying but Salford were able to repel everything that was thrown at them, displaying the defensive strength that stood them in good stead at the weekend.

FULL-TIME: SALFORD CITY 3 HARROGATE TOWN 2

The smallest league crowd of the season were treated to a firecracker of a game by two sides committed to playing good, attacking football. The respective coaching staffs might not have been over-enamoured with some of the defending on show this evening but this was – without a shadow of a doubt – a fantastic advert for football outside the EFL.

The first-half in particular was old-fashioned end-to-end stuff and the Ammies displayed real gumption to recover from going a goal down on two occasions. After the break Graham Alexander’s side defended much more effectively and despite Harrogate seeing plenty of the ball and pressing forward towards the end, keeper Neal wasn’t seriously tested too often. The winning goal was of suitable quality to decide an outstanding game of football and Salford will be delighted to pick up 3 vital points.

Harrogate, encouraged throughout by their travelling supporters, will feel their fine performance merited at least some reward. Had Emmett or Falkingham taken those first half chances the outcome might very well have been different. Football’s not a game for ‘nearly’ though and Salford stamped their authority on the match during the second half.

A great evening at The Peninsula Stadium - I bet you wish you’d come, now…

Attendance: 1,206 (174 Harrogate Town)

https://salfordcityfc.co.uk