S a l f o r d
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Salford City football Club

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Team Sheet

Salford City FC
12
Kyle Letheren
2
Scott Wiseman

Pond 86'

3
Ibou Touray
7
Luke Armstrong

Rooney 70'

13
Sam Hughes
15
Cameron Burgess
16
Jack Baldwin
1 goals for Jack Baldwin Yellow card for Jack Baldwin
17
Richie Towell (c)
28
Brandon Thomas-Asante
Yellow card for Brandon Thomas-Asante
32
Jake Jervis
44
Craig Conway

Hunter 70'

Northampton Town
1
David Cornell
Yellow card for David Cornell
5
Charlie Goode (c)
6
Jordan Turnbull
Yellow card for Jordan Turnbull
7
Sam Hoskins
1 goals for Sam Hoskins Yellow card for Sam Hoskins
8
Ryan Watson
10
Nicky Adams

Harriman 87'

11
Andy Williams
1 goals for Andy Williams

Roberts 90+3'

14
Chris Lines
Yellow card for Chris Lines
16
Scott Wharton
19
Vadaine Oliver
44
Paul Anderson

Warburton 78'

Substitutes
1
Chris Neal
5
Liam Hogan
9
Adam Rooney
10
Danny Lloyd
23
Nathan Pond
34
Alex Doyle
45
Ash Hunter
Substitutes
25
Steve Arnold
2
Reece Hall-Johnson
3
Joe Martin
12
Scott Pollock
20
Matt Warburton
22
Morgan Roberts
23
Michael Harriman
Managers
Manager - Graham Alexander
Managers
Manager - Keith Curle
Match Officals
Referee - Ross Joyce
Assistant Referee - Kevin Mulraine
Assistant Referee - Stephen Wade
Fourth Official - Peter Gooch

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Match
Report

There are times when the footballing fates seem to conspire against you, and Salford City are going through such a period at the moment. This third successive EFL League Two defeat wasn’t merited, but it’s not the first time the Ammies have dominated large chunks of a game without being able to press home their advantage. Jack Baldwin scored his first goal in Salford colours, but his side were pegged back before half-time, against the run of play. Keith Curle’s Northampton Town nicked another after the interval and despite a lot of attacking possession for the home side and one or two close calls, an equaliser could not be conjured.

Graham Alexander shuffled his pack after last week’s home defeat to Walsall, starting in goal where Kyle Letheren came in for Chris Neal. Scott Wiseman was restored to the right-back position and Sam Hughes replaced Liam Hogan in the centre of defence. There was a change in midfield too as Jack Baldwin came in for Joey Jones, the Sunderland loanee’s first EFL League start since Cheltenham Town’s visit to the Peninsula Stadium on 14th September.

Northampton’s Nicky Adams produced the game’s first threat, as early as the 3rd minute as his free-kick forced Ibou Touray to turn the ball just wide of his own goal.

Adams was causing problems again soon afterwards, getting past Scott Wiseman on Town’s left before slinging in a cross that Cameron Burgess nodded behind for a corner. From that set-piece Vadaine Oliver tried an acrobatic overhead effort that was tipped wide by Letheren.

A very decent start for the Cobblers, but Salford soon found their attacking feet and started to look dangerous themselves. In the 13th minute Jake Jervis' low cross flashed across the face of goal, but there was nobody in a red shirt to provide a finishing touch.

Hughes headed over from a Touray cross, and a couple of minutes later the Ammies went ahead. Conway’s corner to the near post was a cracker and BALDWIN rose nicely to glance a downwards header that squeezed past Town keeper David Cornell at his near post.

Salford ahead after 20 minutes, and 7 later they could have doubled their advantage. After scoring a cracker in midweek Jevis slammed in a rising shot from the edge of the box that cleared the bar by inches.

It’s the fine margins that are going against the Ammies just now – they could easily have gone two-up, yet a couple of minutes later were pegged back. Adams was involved again, holding off a defender as he moved inside from the left. A neat pass to the right played SAM HOSKINS into space – too much, from Salford’s perspective - on the right. The low, angled 15-yarder that followed was perfectly placed, beating Letheren’s dive on its way inside the far post.

Disappointing for the home side, but they responded positively to that setback. Nine minutes before half-time Brandon Asante found himself in plenty of space yet could only drag a 25-yarder wide of the target. Asante did well to win a corner soon after that but despite a tricky in-swinging delivery from Touray, Hughes’ headed effort was off target.

The Ammies kept the pressure on and were inches away from snatching the lead back during the first minute of time added on. Asante did well to control Hughes’ ball forward and even better as he moved forward, diagonally to the left, outmuscling Scott Wharton before launching a low left-footer from inside the ‘D’. That effort beat Carnell’s dive, but the in-form striker was denied a 5th goal of the season as the ball came back off the post, falling for Wharton. His attempted clearance was poor, dropping for Towell outside the box but attempt was blocked on the edge of the box.

HALF-TIME: SALFORD CITY 1 NORTHAMPTON TOWN 1

The Ammies were more than a touch unlucky not to be ahead at the interval and the second half would not usher in a significant upturn in their recent fortunes.

Hoskins picked up a booking within seconds of the restart, but the early stages of the second half would otherwise be encouraging for the visitors. In the 51st minute Andy Williams’ lobbed pass inside from the right fell for Oliver whose first attempt was blocked by Hughes. The ball fell kindly for the Town striker but from 10 yards out an angled left-footer flashed low outside Letheren’s left-hand upright. Within seconds Williams was pushing forward again on the right and this time he went around Letheren before trying to squeeze home a finish from the tightest of angles. The ball rolled right across goal, no more than a foot or two from the line with Oliver not quite able to get a touch at the far post.

A let-off for Salford and in the 53rd minute an Adams corner from the left dropped just beyond the far post. Oliver headed back inside and after a couple of nervous moments the home side just about managed to clear their lines.

The first 10 minutes of the second half had belonged to Northampton Town, but they would soon have some defending to do as their hosts rediscovered their attacking momentum. Conway whipped in a great looking cross from the right with Town skipper Charlie Goode getting in an excellent clearing header. In the 58th minute Jervis advanced on Salford’s left before cutting inside and slamming a low 18-yarder just outside Cornell’s right-hand post.

Better for Salford yet once again the game would turn against them, courtesy of goalmouth incident at each end of the pitch. In the 63rd minute Asante’s pass to the right found Conway with space to work in and the Scottish winger elected to drill in a low shot that Cornell was able to gather at his near post. There had been options in the middle for Conway, but Northampton were soon countering as Wharton surged forward on the left, heading for the line. There were no less than 5 Salford defenders lined up along the path of his low delivery and it was Baldwin who got a touch as the ball spun up off his left foot on the edge of the 6-yard box. Once more the Ammies didn’t get the rub of the green as despite all of those nearby red shirts the ball fell for WILLIAMS, 12 or 13 yards out and left of centre. The finish was unerring – a first-time right-footer that found its way low through the crowd and inside the far post.

The Cobblers had an opportunity to give themselves a cushion midway through the second half but Wharton’s effort from the edge of the area rolled through to be collected by Letheren.

The rain was bucketing down now and with 20 minutes to go Salford made a couple of changes, with Ash Hunter replacing Conway and Adam Rooney on for Luke Armstrong.

With 16 minutes left Towell’s lofted ball from deep fell into the area and Asante’s volley from an angle on the left flew high over the crossbar. The Ammies were pressing forward now - they had no other option - but a stubborn Northampton were in no mood to let their lead slip.

A familiar face took the Moor Lane pitch in the 77th minute as former Ammies’ forward Matt Warburton came on in place of Paul Anderson.

A couple of minutes later Hunter dinked a neat little delivery from the left into the area, with the ball skimming off Rooney's head and coming back off Cornell's chest. Excitement for the home supporters behind the goal but it was soon extinguished as the assistant’s flag went up to indicate an offside decision against Rooney.

Cornell was booked for time-wasting as the game moved into its final 5 minutes and the Ammies made their last change of the afternoon. It raised a few eyebrows too, as central defender Nathan Pond came on for Wiseman, only to take a place in the forward line.

A gamble, but it would almost pay off. In the game’s penultimate minute Hunter’s free-kick from deep and left-of-centre dropped into the penalty area. Pond rose high to get his head to it and the ball fell temptingly for Touray on the left. The full-back hit a first-time angled shot that kept low and almost squeezed through the crowd, only to be blocked by a defender stationed a yard or two in front of the goal line. Northampton couldn’t get in a clearance and the ball bounced its way to Pond, 7 yards out and right-of-centre. Faced with a bustling 6-yard box and the approaching Goode, Pond somehow managed to lift a pacey shot that appeared to be heading just underneath Cornell’s crossbar until the keeper extended a strong right arm to push the effort over.

A great save from Cornell and Town managed to get through 5 minutes of time added on without another scare.

FULL-TIME: SALFORD CITY 1 NORTHAMPTON TOWN 2

Graham Alexander’s frustration at the final whistle was plain to see, and entirely understandable. His side do quite a lot right, dominate games for considerable periods of time yet have real difficulty in converting pressure and chances into goals – and points.
Looking back over the 90 minutes there were plenty of opportunities for the Ammies to score, yet so many of them ended with so-so finishing, a poor choice or just an old-fashioned and currently all too common slice of bad luck.

The occasional lack of concentration at the back doesn’t help, of course, but Salford are enduring a torrid spell just now and are usually punished for those.

We’re past the halfway point of the season, the squad has been assessed and the transfer window is open. We’ve already seen arrivals and departures and there will probably be more of each to come as a combination is sought that will nudge ‘almost there’ to ‘actually there’. Interesting times, as usual, and those play-off places are still within reach…see you at Forest Green next Saturday.

Attendance: 2,919, including 1,066 from Northampton Town

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