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Team Sheet

Salford City FC
1
Chris Neal
2
Scott Wiseman
3
Ibou Touray
6
Carl Piergianni
8
Lois Maynard
9
Adam Rooney (c)
Yellow card for Adam Rooney (c)

J.Jones 76'

10
Danny Lloyd

Walker 89'

17
Richie Towell
1 goals for Richie Towell
20
Mani Dieseruvwe
Yellow card for Mani Dieseruvwe
23
Nathan Pond

Threlkeld 51'

29
Jake Beesley
Leyton Orient
1
Dean Brill
2
Sam Ling
5
Marvin Ekpiteta
6
Josh Coulson (c)

Maguire-Drew 63'

8
Craig Clay
9
Connor Wilkinson
15
Daniel Happe
16
James Brophy

Judd 90+2'

17
Louis Dennis

Harrold 84'

19
Lee Angol
44
Josh Wright
Substitutes
12
Kyle Letheren
4
Oscar Threlkeld
11
Tom Walker
18
Danny Whitehead
22
Dan Jones
22
Joey Jones
Substitutes
12
Sam Sargeant
4
Dale Gorman
10
Jordan Maguire-Drew
14
Myles Judd
18
Matt Harrold
21
George Marsh
27
James Alabi
Managers
Manager - Graham Alexander
Managers
Interim Head Coach - Ross Embleton
Match Officals
Referee - Marc Edwards
Assistant Referee - Geoffrey Liddle
Assistant Referee - Matthew Smith
Fourth Official - Paul Hobday

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Match
Report

A late own-goal from keeper Chris Neal consigned Salford City to their 4th league draw after Richie Towell had opened the scoring during the first-half. Frustratingly for Graham Alexander the Ammies were ahead in all of those games and were pegged back during the closing stages in 3 of them. Salford were the better side for much of the opening 45 minutes only for the O’s to play themselves back into the game after the interval and in the end a point apiece wasn’t too unfair.

There were 3 changes from the side that started last week’s game at Carlisle with Danny Whitehead, Martin Smith & Joey Jones replaced by Richie Towell, Danny Lloyd & Adam Rooney.

A game that would conclude in warm sunshine started off in damp fashion, with both sides taking a little time to settle down. Orient striker Conor Wilkinson was the first to conjure a theat, slamming in an 8th minute 20-yarder that flew wide of the target. Soon afterwards James Brophy’s ball into the middle spun off Carl Piergianni, but Neal was able to gather.

Encouragement for the 600+ travelling Orient supporters but their side would fall behind in the 13th minute. A Scott Wiseman throw from the right was allowed to bounce on the edge of the box and TOWELL pounced to guide a shot into the top corner, recording his first goal for Salford City.

One almost became two just a couple of minutes later as Mani Dieseruvwe met Lloyd’s free-kick with a header appeared to be goal-bound. Dean Brill pulled off a great save to deny him, getting across to the right then turning the ball onto the crossbar.

This was a good spell for the Ammies and Dieseruvwe’s shot from distance was parried by Brill. The loose ball fell nicely for Rooney who slotted home, only for celebrations to be cut short by the assistant referee’s raised flag.

On a slightly luckier afternoon Salford could have had the points in the bag by now but the advantage was narrow and the visitors were still very much in the hunt. On 27 minutes Sam Ling’s low cross from the right almost squirmed away from Neal before the home keeper finally smothered the danger.

The O’s were putting together some neat, patient build-ups and at the end of one such attack Brophy had a shot from the edge of the box charged down. Two minutes before the interval Wikinson turned sharply before hitting a 20-yarder that whistled wide of Neal’s right-hand upright.

The final opening of the half went the way of the Ammies as Lloyd’s cross from the left dropped for Towell just beyond the far post. The Irish midfielder controlled the ball beautifully on his chest before pulling a low ball into the middle from almost on the line. Brill sprawled to push the ball uncertainly away but fortunately for the Orient keeper Dan Hoppe was on hand to concede a corner.

HALF-TIME: SALFORD CITY 1 LEYTON ORIENT 0

A decent first-half performance from Salford yet both teams got off to slow start after the break. There was a defensive blow for Salford in the 50th minute as Nathan Pond was forced off by what looked to be a hamstring problem, replaced by Oscar Threlkeld.

We weren’t seeing much goalmouth action so far during the second half, but Salford went close to doubling their lead in the 54th minute. Lloyd’s corner, left-footed from the right, was nicely delivered and Rooney escaped any defensive attention at the near post only for his flicked header to drop over the bar.

Orient’s vocal travelling support had to wait almost until the hour for their side’s first chance since the interval. A deflected shot from Louis Dennis looked to have deceived Neal only to drop narrowly wide of the post. The corner was tricky too, but Salford’s defence managed to hold firm. Orient applied more pressure with skipper Josh Coulson nodding a long throw from Ling inches wide of the target.

The Ammies countered and Rooney, with back to goal, got in a great challenge on Brophy with Jake Beesley capitalising with a run through the inside-right channel. He made it into the penalty area too, but a great defensive challenge from Happe thwarted hopes for a shot on goal.

Coulson suffered an injury soon after that chance, replaced by Jordan Maguire-Drew.

Orient were gradually getting on top and Craig Clay’s low 22-yarder was parried by Neal and Dennis could only lift a close-range follow-up over the bar. With just over 20 minutes left Ling crossed to the far post from the right, with the dangerous Lee Angol getting in a header that Carl Piergianni nodded clear from just in front of the goal-line.

Salford were under pressure and neat approach play from Brophy set up Angol for a shot that lacked power and accuracy. The Orient forward did rather better in the 74th minute, setting off on a diagonal run that took him from the centre to the right-hand angle of the box. A floated cross to the far post looked destined for the head of Wilkinson only for Lois Maynard to get in a vital, goal-saving header.

Joey Jones came on for Rooney with a quarter of an hour remaining and the Ammies put together a decent attacking move straight away. Jones was involved, pinching the ball from Brophy inside the Orient half before possession was moved on to Dieseruvwe. A touch back to Threlkeld followed and the substitute advanced before attempting a shot from distance that soared high over the target.

Orient were searching for a leveller and Clay cracked in an effort from the edge of the box that appeared to be blocked by a hand. There were appeals from both sides and the referee backed Salford, awarding the home side a free-kick to the chagrin of the O’s supporters gathered behind Neal’s goal.

With 7 minutes to play Marvin Ekpiteta headed down a Josh Wright free-kick, with Dennis slamming a shot wide. There was another penalty shout soon after that as Orient sub Matt Harrold chested the ball down for Angol whose first-time shot appeared to strike Maynard’s arm. Once again, the referee wasn’t interested and it looked as if the Ammies might hold onto their fragile lead.

Unfortunately for the home supporters that would not prove to be the case. On the opening day of last season Orient snatched a late point at The Peninsula Stadium and they would repeat the trick today. Brophy was played into a little bit of space inside the box and his low shot wasn’t held by Neal at his near post. As the ground keeper tried to reclaim the ball he succeeded only in prodding it over the goal-line with his foot and the O’s were deservedly level.

That goal came with just over 2 minutes to play and Salford tried to restore the lead they’d held for so long. Joey Jones pushed forward right-of-centre and his low drive across Brill wasn’t too far wide of the far upright.

Tom Walker came on for Lloyd late on but despite 5 minutes of time added on neither side could force another clear-cut chance.

FULL-TIME: SALFORD CITY 1 LEYTON ORIENT 1

The Ammies are currently League Two’s draw specialists and despite going 4 game unbeaten, that’s not a record they will want to keep. It’s a big ‘if’, but had the late levellers for Plymouth, Port Vale & Orient not been conceded they would now be just one point behind leaders Exeter City. As ever in football, the margins are narrow.

The step up in class has been handled quite well overall but the knack of holding onto leads must be reacquired as soon as possible.

Spare a thought for Chris Neal today – the Ammies’ keeper has been rock solid since signing for the club during the summer of 2018 but he won’t want to see any replays of Orient’s equaliser.
A disappointment today and a win would be welcome – we move on to Morecambe next Saturday.

Attendance: 3,152 (650 Orient)

https://salfordcityfc.co.uk