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Team Sheet

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

Dieseruvwe '73

10
Danny Lloyd

Redmond '73

11
Tom Walker
18
Danny Whitehead
Yellow card for Danny Whitehead
24
Amine Linganzi

Maynard '86

30
Rory Gaffney
Yellow card for Rory Gaffney
Eastleigh
1
Luke Southwood
2
Josh Hare
3
Michael Green
4
Oscar Gobern

Bearwish '90+4

9
Paul McCallum
2 goals for Paul McCallum 2 goals for Paul McCallum

McKnight '86

10
Mark Yeates

Dennett '90+2

11
Chris Zebroski
Yellow card for Chris Zebroski
14
Andrew Boyce
15
Alex Wynter
19
Danny Hollands (c)
Yellow card for Danny Hollands (c)
22
Joey Jones
Substitutes
12
Max Crocombe
8
Lois Maynard
15
Devonte Redmond
20
Mani Dieseruvwe
27
Kieran Glynn
Substitutes
7
Jack McKnight
12
Callum Baughan
16
Ollie Dennett
20
Lewis Harvey
21
Tom Bearwish
Managers
Manager - Graham Alexander
Managers
Manager - Ben Strevens
Match Officals
Referee - Joe Hull
Assistant Referee - Liam Corrigan
Assistant Referee - Daniel Locker
Fourth Official - Thomas Swift

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Match
Report

A third consecutive defeat for the Ammies, and a seventh in eleven National League games as Eastleigh ran out 2-0 winners at The Peninsula Stadium. The Spitfires scored a goal in each half – both, to be fair, against the run of play – to leapfrog a Salford side who now occupy their lowest league position since mid-September. The course of this division has been unpredictable but it seems that automatic promotion is slipping out of Salford’s reach with the challenge now to secure a play-off position.

There were a couple of changes from the side that started last week's defeat by Dover, with Danny Lloyd in for Dennis Politic and Liam Hogan replacing Nathan Pond. Eastleigh came into this game on the back of a great run of 4 straight wins.

Another good turnout, despite that recent downturn in results and the game got off to a quick start. Both sides were committing men forward in search of an early goal, yet the opening minutes didn’t produce any goalmouth moments of note.

The first real opportunity of the match arrived in the 10th minute and went the way of the visitors. Midfielder Mark Yeates would put in a fine performance and he delivered a corner that dropped just beyond the far post. Big defender Alex Wynter got in a looping header that looked to be on course to drop into the net until Rory Gaffney popped up to nod clear from almost on the line.

A narrow escape for the Ammies but they recovered their composure quickly and began to force the pace of the game. On 13 minutes Danny Whitehead played a pass inside from the right for Gaffney to drill in a low effort from the edge of the box. It was struck firmly enough but seemed to be heading wide of the far post until a defender made sure by putting in a clearance.

The Ammies were awarded a free-kick soon after that, with Tom Walker swinging in a delivery from the right. Carl Piergianni went up to contest that one, but keeper Lee Southwood got in a clearing punch.

The balance of the game was tipping Salford’s way and Walker found Gaffney before continuing his run into the right-hand side of the box. Gaffney’s return pass was neatly threaded and from almost at the line Walker crossed low, right across the edge of the 6-yard box. There were players from both sides closing in, but none got a touch and the ball ran away to safety on the far side. Walker was on the end of the next cross himself, lofted in by Ibou Touray from the left. The Ammies’ winger was unmarked but from the penalty spot could only direct his header over the crossbar.

Salford were getting on top and had another chance in the 24th minute. A corner was won on the left, with skipper Liam Hogan meeting Walker’s delivery to head narrowly over the target.

Promising for Graham Alexander’s men but they hadn’t made the breakthrough and were caught by something of a sucker-punch a minute or so later. Eastleigh had already looked dangerous from set-pieces and this time Yeates’ corner from the left dropped to the far side of the penalty area. Joey Jones did well to wriggle into space before floating a great cross to the edge of the 6-yard box where PAUL McCALLUM rose high and unchallenged to plant a header past Chris Neal.

A 20th goal of the season for the in-form striker and The Spitfires could have extended their lead just 4 minutes later. Jones’ diagonal cross-field ball fell for Yeates on the left and he advanced before slamming in a powerful low 20-yarder. Neal had to drop smartly to his right to stop that one and there was a Salford defender on hand to complete the clearance. There was more work for the Salford keeper to do as Oscar Gobern met Josh Hare’s cross from the right, getting in a shot that Neal did well to smother.

Half-a-dozen minutes that had changed the complexion of the game, but Salford emerged from it to almost snatch an equaliser. A long ball over the top sent Green clear of the visiting defence and the former Lincoln striker made it into the area, only to find himself closed down by the rapidly advancing Southwood. Forced to prod in a rushed effort, Green was denied a first goal in 6 games as Eastleigh’s keeper spread himself effectively, making a good blocking save.

Salford’s best chance so far but they soon found themselves under pressure again. Hare’s lofted cross from the right should have been routine for Neal but an uncharacteristic fumble presented a half-chance to McCallum. The in-form striker had to stretch and was off-balance, but his low, poked effort was on target until Piergianni got there to get in a vital clearance.

The Ammies did some pressing as half-time approached but weren’t able to carve out anything clear-cut. Walker’s effort from distance was of more threat to the stand roof than the goal and Lloyd’s cross from the left was plucked out of the air by Southwood before Gaffney could get there.

That was about it and Eastleigh went into the break a goal to the good.

FULL-TIME: SALFORD CITY 0 EASTLEIGH 1

Salford were in need of a goal and started the 2nd half looking as if they might just get one. Eastleigh were pushed ball almost from the restart and Danny Hollands was booked for a heavy challenge on Lloyd. Walker took the free-kick, from left-of-centre and Amine Linganzi got up on the edge of the 6-yard box to get in a downward header. Southwood was equal to it, diving to his left and touching the ball around the post at the expense of a corner. The ball was forced over the line by Piergianni from that delivery and it seemed as if the referee had awarded a goal until it became apparent that he’d penalised Green for a foul on Southwood.

Ammie celebrations cut short, but they continued to roll forward. In the 51st minute a free-kick was won on the right it was Lloyd who crossed into the penalty area. Piergianni got his head to it with Linganzi nodding on and the ball dropped towards Green, 6 or 7 yards out. The Salford forward had little time or space so tried an inventive flick off the outside of his foot, with the ball rising high before being collected by Southwood.

A very decent start to the second half from Salford’s point of view and a goal seemed to be in the air. One was, as it happened, but it went the way of Eastleigh again somewhat against the run of play. It was quality though, started off by the impressive Jones who displayed some fancy footwork in midfield before slipping possession out to the right. Jones continued his run into the box then collected a return ball before crossing to the near post where McCALLUM arrived on cue to slot home from 6 yards out.

A well-worked goal for the visitors and Salford needed to find a quick response. They nearly did just 4 minutes after McCallum’s 2nd of the afternoon when Whitehead’s pass to the left fell for Lloyd. A neat first-time ball inside found Gaffney and he slammed in a low angled effort that zipped across the area and wide of the far post.

A fair effort but The Ammies needed rather more than that if they were to fight their way back into the game. On the hour Lloyd’s corner from the left fell for Gaffney, 8 yards out, but he could only blaze over the bar, perhaps with a deflection off an Eastleigh defender on the way. Salford’s players seemed to think it should have been a corner, but the referee disagreed – it was shaping up to be one of those days.

On balance Salford could feel aggrieved at being two goals down but football is all about putting away chances. Eastleigh had proven to be more adept in that area today and almost scored a 3rd goal midway through the second half. Yeates advanced on the left before cutting into the angle of the box before lifting a delicate effort towards goal. It looked very much as if the game would be pushed beyond Salford’s reach, but the ball dropped a foot wide of the far post.

Chris Zebroski attacked from the same flank a couple of minutes later only to slip as he poised himself to shoot. He still had time to get back to his feet however, and when no challenge came in played a low ball across the face of goal, with nobody managing to get a touch.

There was a bit of controversy after that and Zebroski was involved as he appeared to swing an elbow at Piergianni. The bloodied Salford defender was certainly incensed by the challenge but neither the referee nor his assistant had seen enough to take further action.

Graham Alexander made a couple of changes on 73 minutes, replacing Lloyd & Green with Devonte Redmond and Mani Dieseruvwe. The Ammies needed something quickly and almost got it as Whitehead thundered in a 20-yard right-of-centre effort that whistled just wide of Southwood’s left-hand upright.

On the whole Eastleigh were looked quite assured at the back, and their 5-man defence was snuffing out most of Salford’s attacks. Even so, the home side had a decent penalty shout 13 minutes from time after Dieseruvwe did well to hold up possession on the left-hand angle of the area. Walker arrived at pace to take the ball into the box only to be felled by what seemed to be a trip from Jones. It looked like a penalty, but the referee made himself unpopular with the home support as he allowed play to continue.

Dieseruvwe had a chance himself within 60 seconds, hooking in a low effort from 10-yards only for the ball to clip off a defender and behind for a corner.

Still some hope for Salford’s supporters but it was extinguished as Eastleigh battened down the defensive hatches. Lois Maynard replaced Linganzi late on and was thrown in up front, but it was to little avail. In the final minute of the 90 Piergianni dispossessed Gobern on the edge of Salford’s area and Walker’s run took him deep into Easteigh territory. Gaffney took over but from distance could only drag a low effort well wide of Southwood’s left-hand post.

Deep into time added on Neal’s long punt forward was headed on by Dieseruvwe, eventually falling for Whitehead, whose snapshot flew wide of the keeper’s right-hand post. That would be the last incident of any note, apart from a daft late booking for each side and the Ammies were facing another major promotion setback.

FULL-TIME: SALFORD CITY 0 EASTLEIGH 2

Another bitterly disappointing afternoon for Salford City, and there have been too many of those over the past couple of months. To be fair both Eastleigh goals came when the home side had been on top, but it’s also true to say that The Ammies have lost their own goalscoring knack. There were chances today, but Southwood only had a couple of serious saves to make. At the other end Eastleigh could, with some justification, point at two efforts cleared off the line and a couple of good saves from Neal.

It’s difficult as things stand to see Salford forcing their way back into the automatic promotion picture and that maybe shouldn’t be the main objective now. The Ammies are only 1 point ahead of 9th placed Sutton United (who visit Moor Lane in 10 days time) and next Saturday they travel to play Ebbsfleet United, currently just 5 points behind them. We need points on the board, and we need to start very soon.

All is not lost – a win at Ebbsfleet next Saturday might well reinvigorate the season and Graham Alexander’s men are certainly capable of getting it. A case of "Once more unto the breach, dear friends…".

Attendance: 2,329 (@120 Eastleigh)

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