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Team Sheet

Salford City FC
1
Chris Neal
2
Scott Wiseman
3
Ibou Touray
4
Gus Mafuta
5
Liam Hogan (c)
6
Carl Piergianni
1 goals for Carl Piergianni
7
Matt Green

Gaffney '73

8
Lois Maynard
15
Devonte Redmond
20
Mani Dieseruvwe
1 goals for Mani Dieseruvwe

Walker '89

23
Nathan Pond
Sutton United
1
Ross Worner
2
Dale Bennett

Williams '46

3
Aswad Thomas
4
Dean Beckwith
Yellow card for Dean Beckwith
6
James Collins (c)
7
Tom Bolarinwa
8
Kenny Davis
Yellow card for Kenny Davis

Bellikli '68

9
Gimé Touré

Dobson '73

15
Craig Eastmond
19
Harry Beautyman
21
Roarie Deacon
Substitutes
12
Max Crocombe
10
Danny Lloyd
11
Tom Walker
26
James Jones
30
Rory Gaffney
Substitutes
10
Jonah Ayunga
17
Ryan Green
28
Brett Williams
33
James Dobson
34
Neşet Bellikli
Managers
Manager - Graham Alexander
Managers
Manager - Paul Doswell
Match Officals
Referee - James Oldham
Assistant Referee - Conor Brown
Assistant Referee - Alex Gray
Fourth Official - Benjamin Wyatt

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Match
Report

The Ammies made It two wins in a row as fellow promotion contenders Sutton United were beaten 2-0 at The Peninsula Stadium. Goals from Mani Dieseruvwe and Carl Piergianni proved enough for Graham Alexander’s side and the manager will be pleased with another strong performance. As at Ebbsfleet on Saturday, Salford denied their opponents possession and when The U’s did get the ball forward their attacks floundered on a powerful defence that gave nothing away.

There were no changes at all from the 16 who were on duty in Kent at the weekend and Salford were soon looking to get their evening going. They spent the first 10 minutes or so putting together a number of decent attacking moves without managing to find the final ball that would create a real chance.

In the 10th minute Ibou Touray’s long throw from the left was headed on by Matt Green only for the ball to drop harmlessly over the crossbar.

Not a bad start for The Ammies but it got a great deal better with a dozen minutes played. Ironically the goal stemmed from one of Sutton’s better moments so far as skipper Jamie Collins' through-ball seemed set to play Gime Toure into space. Lois Maynard had other ideas, cutting out the pass before launching a first-time ball of his own. Dieseruwve collected then escaped the attentions of a defender before making his way into the right-hand side of the area. Sutton keeper Ross Worner advanced to close down the angles but his efforts counted for naught as DIESERUVWE lifted a perfect chipped finish over him and into the net.

A moment of real quality from the big striker as he recorded his first league goal since that frantic 4-4 draw at Kidderminster almost a year ago.

The rest of the 1st half would struggle to live up to that moment, in no small part due to a string of free-kicks that fractured the play.

Sutton’s first chance of note came in the 21st minute when Roarie Deacon found space to hit a low 25-yarder that spun off Maynard and wide of the far post.

There was a moment of controversy after that when Piergianni appeared to be held back inside the area and Dieseruvwe seemed to be felled seconds later. Either of those infringements could have been punished by a penalty but instead a free-kick went to Sutton, possibly for a handball decision against Matt Green.

The game was lively and occasionally rumbustious without producing much in the way of clear-cut scoring opportunities. Thirteen minutes before half-time Sutton defender Dean Beckwith was yellow-carded for persistently infringing the rules as the referee continued to give his whistle a brisk work-out.

There would be little else to record before half-time with the undoubted highlight of the half being that exquisite Dieseruvwe finish.

HALF TIME: SALFORD CITY 1 SUTTON UNITED 0

Brett Williams replaced Dale Bennett during the interval, but it was Salford who made the immediate running once the game restarted. Scott Wiseman swung in a great cross from the right and although Liam Hogan headed back inside from the far post, nobody in red could get a touch. Soon after that Gus Mafuta had a go from an angle on the right but his low, angled 20-yarder was collected by Worner.

Decent stuff from Salford but The U’s could have got back on level terms in the 51st minute. Tom Bolarinwa’s cross from the right was met by Harry Beautyman and he should have done better with a header that dropped over the crossbar.

Some encouragement for the vocal travelling support gathered behind Chris Neal’s goal but 4 minutes later their side went two down. The Ammies won a free-kick on the right after Davis was penalised for a foul. A delivery was lofted into the penalty area and CARL PIERGIANNI got there first, poking a 6-yard left-footer under the advancing Worner.

A 9th goal of the season for Piergianni and Salford now had a firm grip on the game. Within a couple of minutes the home side went back on the attack, courtesy of Wiseman’s right-flank run. A low ball inside picked out Green and he got in a low 20-yard angled effort that ran straight through to Worner.

The chances were beginning to flow for Salford and they could have added to their lead just before the hour. Dieseruvwe touched a pass back for Touray whose low shot was blocked and Maynard’s follow up flew over the crossbar.

A touch of frustration was creeping into Sutton’s game and Kenny Davis was obviously unhappy to be booked for a pretty obvious handball.

The attacking initiative remained with Salford and in the 63rd minute Devonte Redmond’s free-kick found Touray in plenty of space on the left. The wing-back pushed forward before crossing to the edge of the 6-yard box where Piergianni – stopping and under defensive pressure – could only head over the bar.

Another opportunity came along in short order, with the move starting deep inside the Salford half. re Dieseruvwe’s won possession before laying the ball off to Mafuta and the return pass was a beauty, picking out the striker's right-of-centre run. An advance to the penalty area was followed by a low cross-shot that flashed wide of the far post, with Touray just failing to get what would surely have been a decisive touch.

Sutton had failed to make any attacking inroads and looked likely to fall further behind as the half progressed. With 20 minutes left Touray nicked possession away from Bolarinwa wide on Salford’s left before setting off on a run. The pass inside looked destined for Green, but he dummied and Mafuta moved the ball over to the right for Wiseman. The cross came in and Green, who had moved into the box prodded it towards goal, only for the assistant’s raised flag to bring a nicely constructed move to a disappointing end.

Rory Gaffney replaced Green in the 73rd minute and soon had a glorious chance to get onto the scoresheet. Wiseman’s forward ball on the right sent the overlapping Liam Hogan into space and his low cross found its way to the edge of the 6-yard box. Gaffney looked set to score but Worner did brilliantly to block the shot and Dieseruvwe somehow managed to scoop the loose ball over the crossbar.

Sutton’s contribution to the game, modest though it had been, was effectively over as every attempt to push forward was either snuffed out in midfield or floundered on the home side’s defensive wall. The Ammies would have been good value for another goal and almost got it 3 minutes from time. Gaffney’s clever back-heel on the left set Touray off on another gallop forward and his pass inside was pushed into the penalty areas by Redmond. Dieseruvwe was the recipient but after turning smartly he could only prod in a low effort that proved simple for Worner.

That was about that and the reward for a very solid showing was 3 extremely valuable points.

FULL-TIME: SALFORD CITY 2 SUTTON UNITED 0

The recent changes in personnel and formation seem to have been geared to getting points on the board, and it’s a case of so-far, so-good on that front. The Uniteds of Sutton & Ebbsfleet have been beaten pretty conclusively, despite relatively narrow scorelines, with Salford keeper Neal rarely called into more than routine action during those two games.

The trio of central defenders behind 3 midfielders has proven to be very difficult to break down and on the other side of the coin, opponents find themselves with little time or room to in which to operate once they cross the halfway line.

It’s probably true to say that we’ve seen more thrilling performances this season, but it was certainly effective and at the business end of the campaign it’s results that count. This was a thoroughly deserved win and when those second half chances are taken into account, Paul Doswell’s side are a little fortunate not to be heading home on the back of a 3 or 4 goal defeat.

A proper team performance from The Ammies as they grafted for 90 minutes, retained their concentration and did the simple things well. The top-end of the National League is closing up again and Salford are now just 6 points behind the leaders. Sutton could have drawn level on points with a win this evening, but they never looked remotely like getting it.

Now Graham Alexander’s men can turn their attention to the visit of Solihull Moors on Saturday and that is, of course, another huge game...

Attendance: 1,686 including approximately 60 with Sutton United

https://salfordcityfc.co.uk