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Salford City football Club

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Team Sheet

Salford City FC
1
Vaclav Hladky
Yellow card for Vaclav Hladky
2
Tom James
Yellow card for Tom James

Clarke 57'

3
Ibou Touray
Yellow card for Ibou Touray
4
Jason Lowe (c)
Yellow card for Jason Lowe (c)
10
Ash Hunter

Asante 57'

12
Di'Shon Bernard
15
Luke Burgess

Coutts 57'

16
Jordan Turnbull
18
Oscar Threlkeld

Towell 57'

24
Robbie Gotts
1 goals for Robbie Gotts
40
Ian Henderson
Harrogate Town
1
James Belshaw
4
Josh Falkingham (c)
7
George Thomson
10
Aaron Martin
12
Jake Lawlor
14
Brendan Kiernan

Power 74'

18
Jack Muldoon
1 goals for Jack Muldoon

March 74'

20
Connor Hall
22
Ed Francis
1 goals for Ed Francis
27
Jay Williams
28
Josh McPake
Substitutes
31
Hayden Evans
5
Ash Eastham
6
Tom Clarke
11
Bruno Andrade
17
Richie Towell
25
Paul Coutts
37
Brandon Thomas-Asante
1 goals for Brandon Thomas-Asante
Substitutes
25
Melvin Minter
8
William Hondermarck
15
Connor Kirby
24
Josh March
26
Kevin Lokko
30
Simon Power
Managers
Manager - Richie Wellens
Managers
Manager - Simon Weaver
Match Officals
Referee - Marc Edwards
Assistant Referee - Barry Gordon
Assistant Referee - Ian Smedley
Fourth Official - Gary Hilton

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Match
Report

The first game of the second half of Salford City’s EFL League Two season ended in disappointing fashion as visitors Harrogate Town snatched a leveller deep into time added on. Robbie Gotts notched his first goal as an Ammie during the first half only for a defensive error to give Town an equaliser. Manager Richie Wellens made the bold decision to introduce 4 substitutes early in the 2nd half and one of them – Brandon Thomas-Asante – restored the lead. It seemed as if the Ammies would see out the game and jump into 2nd place, only for a determined Town side snatched a share of the spoils right at the death.

There were a couple of changes from the side that drew at Newport last Saturday. Hibernian loanee Tom James made his debut at right-back, with Luke Burgess drafted into the forward line in place of Tom Elliott.

The Ammies started positively but the opening quarter of an hour produced just a couple of half chances. Ian Henderson got a shot away inside the box only to see it deflected away off one of a crowd of blue shirted defenders. It was Ash Hunter’s turn to threaten next but after cutting inside from the left his effort from about 22 yards cleared the crossbar.

Modest early promise for Salford and a fine finish gave them the lead on 21 minutes. Oscar Threlkeld’s low forward pass picked out GOTTS, just outside the area and left of centre. A good first touch then a smart turn inside took the Leeds loanee away from his marker before a powerful low shot beat James Belshaw as it flashed inside his right-hand post.

A first Salford City goal for the Harrogate born Gotts, and one he’ll remember for some time.

All going to plan for the Ammies and they would continue to dominate possession for a while after going ahead.
Harrogate were struggling to make attacking headway yet in the 26th minute Ed Francis lofted a cross from deep on the left. Václav Hladký was forced into proper action for the first time as he got up under pressure to punch clear.

At the other end Jordan Turnbull controlled a dropping ball just outside the area before turning a short pass back for James. The full-back hit an effort from 25 yards and right of centre that didn’t quite dip enough to trouble Belshaw. Soon after that Luke Burgess collected a Gotts pass on the left-hand edge of the box before laying the ball back to the advancing Hunter. The low 20-yarder that followed was nicely struck and on target until Belshaw dropped to his right to save and hold.

Having largely been in control so far the Ammies chose to sit back a bit as half-time approached. Nine minutes before the interval Town won a free-kick in a dangerous position after Brendan Kiernan was fouled. Francis had a go but the effort dropped outside Hladký’s left-hand post before slamming into the advertising boards behind the goal.

A first real effort of the half for Harrogate, yet less than a minute later they were on level terms. Threlkeld was pressurised by Town players inside his own half before the ball was prodded back into what appeared to be the safe custody of Di’Shon Bernard. The defender has been in fine form since joining on loan from Manchester United but here seemed to stumble as he poked the ball back in the direction of Hladký. The pass was woefully short, allowing JACK MULDOON to nip in and place a crisp low finish to the keeper’s left.

Having restored parity Town very nearly went into the interval ahead after the lively Josh McPake played a pass inside from the left. Connor Hall teed himself up before slamming in a shot that Hladký could only push away. Aaron Martin stretched to get his head to the dropping loose ball but it was a difficult chance and he could only direct an effort wide of the stranded keeper’s right-hand upright.

It would have been harsh on Salford to have gone behind after that very decent opening half hour, but warning had been served that their opponents were certainly up for the scrap.

HALF-TIME: SALFORD CITY 1 HARROGATE TOWN 1

A much-encouraged Town side started the second half on the front foot, with McPake moving inside from the left flank within 2 minutes of the restart. The low shot that followed was decent, but Hladký got down quickly to make the save.

Harrogate went even closer in the 49th minute when a ball played to the left-hand side of Salford’s area was nudged inside for Kiernan. From about 15 yards out the Londoner hit a first-time effort off the outside of his right boot, only to see the ball clip off the bar.

Salford countered at speed with Gotts’ diagonal ball from the right giving Hunter the opportunity to race forward through the inside left channel. The lad has pace and he used it to get into the box before trying to squeeze a left-footed 16-yarder between Belshaw and his right-hand post. The keeper was equal to it, pushing the ball around post for a corner that spun off a defender and just wide of the goal.

Ammies’ boss Wellens obviously wasn't too impressed with his side’s start to the second half, registering a first for the club in a league game as he introduced 4 substitutes at the same time. On came Tom Clarke, Richie Towell, Thomas-Asante and debutant Paul Coutts, for James, Hunter, Threlkeld and Burgess respectively.

Nearly half a new outfield line-up introduced into the fray, and Salford’s share of possession certainly increased after those changes. With 20 minutes to play Towell passed to Henderson on the right then moved forward to receive the return ball. From outside the box and right of centre the Irish midfielder let fly with a powerfully struck effort that Belshaw could only palm out. THOMAS-ASANTE had followed up and the ball seemed to spin off his leg and into the net from close range. Not the most elegant goal the young striker will score, but he’ll be happy enough with his first league strike of the season.

Back in the lead, but once again the Ammies wouldn’t really build on their advantage. Just a couple of minutes later McPake squared from the left for George Thomson to smash in an 18-yarder that was brilliantly blocked by home skipper Jason Lowe.

For Salford, Gotts’ raking pass to the left was collected by Towell whose low delivery into the middle was hacked clear by Town captain Josh Falkingham.

After that it was Harrogate who made most of the attacking running, although the home defence was holding firm. That situation persisted until the final minute of the 90 when Town substitute Josh March found McPake on the left-hand side of the box. The Rangers loanee had a little space and almost took advantage with a low shot that was bare inches wide of the far post.

A warning for the Ammies, yet it wasn’t really heeded as Town unlocked the home defence again in the 2nd minute of time added on. Falkingham lifted a fine diagonal pass from deep to the right-hand side of the area where it was controlled by substitute Simon Power. A low, hard delivery into the middle found its way to March whose low, first-time 7-yarder seemed destined for the net. Salford fans are accustomed to keeper Hladký pulling off great saves and he produced another here, extending a leg to deflect the ball behind for a corner.

A fine stop that drew a fist-bump from March who must have thought he’d rescued a point for his team.

In the event, that point would be salvaged from the subsequent corner, and with Belshaw roaming forward to join the attack Thomson’s delivery wasn’t cleared. A bit of a melee developed inside the area and when the ball was prodded to the right for FRANCIS he gleefully slotted home from close range.

Salford keeper Hladký protested to the assistant referee – presumably for offside – but earned only a yellow card for his pains. The goal stood and the Ammies had lost 2 precious points during injury time for the second time in three home games.

FULL-TIME: SALFORD CITY 2 HARROGATE TOWN 2

The timing of Harrogate’s second equaliser means that this result can only be regarded as a major disappointment, yet the North Yorkshire side could – with some justification – claim that they deserved a share of the spoils.

Salford’s early dominance yielded a good goal but Simon Weaver’s side accepted the invitation to get back into the game after the Ammies let the intensity of their performance slip. That bold quadruple substitution made a difference, but after going ahead again Richie Wellen’s side once again lost their grip on the game.

There were positives of course, but the knack of finishing games off really does need to be acquired. The Ammies have scored just 9 goals in their last 10 league outings and the 16 point haul from that run of games really should have been higher.

With more games played than most of their promotion rivals, Salford need to put together a run of wins and what better time to start than at home to current leaders Cambridge United on Tuesday evening?

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