S a l f o r d
C i t y
F o o t b a l l
C l u b

Salford City football Club

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Team Sheet

Salford City FC
26
Connor Ripley

Jeacock 67'

2
Donald Love
3
Ibou Touray (C)
1 goals for Ibou Touray (C)
7
Tyreik Wright
14
Matty Willock

Denny 52'

16
Jordan Turnbull
1 goals for Jordan Turnbull Yellow card for Jordan Turnbull
20
Aramide Oteh
1 goals for Aramide Oteh
22
Tylor Golden
24
Andy Smith
32
Liam Shephard
Yellow card for Liam Shephard
37
Brandon Thomas-Asante
2 goals for Brandon Thomas-Asante 2 goals for Brandon Thomas-Asante
Leeds United U21s
40
Dani Van den Heuvel
27
Amari Miller
30
Joseph Gelhardt

McGurk 46'

35
Charlie Creswell (c)

Kenneh 46'

39
Stuart McKinstry
42
Sam Greenwood
1 goals for Sam Greenwood Yellow card for Sam Greenwood
45
Liam McCarron
47
Jack Jenkins

Bate 46'

50
Max Dean
1 goals for Max Dean
52
Kris Moore
62
Jeremiah Mullen
Yellow card for Jeremiah Mullen
Substitutes
12
Zach Jeacock
8
Matthew Lund
9
Tom Elliott
11
Josh Morris
28
Alex Denny
Substitutes
55
Harry Christy
26
Lewis Bate
1 goals for Lewis Bate
32
Sean McGurk
51
Charlie Allen
54
Nohan Kenneh
56
Alfie Hughes
60
Harvey Sutcliffe
Managers
Manager - Gary Bowyer
Managers
Head Coach - Mark Jackson
Match Officals
Referee - Rebecca Welch
Assistant Referee - Lee Freeman
Assistant Referee - Peter Gooch
Fourth Official - Carl Boyeson

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Match
Report

A bracce from Brandon Thomas-Asante kept Salford’s EFL Trophy hopes alive as Leeds United’s U21s were beaten in an 8-goal thriller at The Peninsula Stadium. An end-to-end game ended with the Ammies’ recording their first group stage points, and now they must hope that Oldham Athletic lose their final game at Tranmere Rovers next Tuesday evening.

Gary Bowyer fielded a strong side for this one and right from the start there was plenty for the small, but vociferous crowd to enjoy. As early as the 2nd minute United’s Liam McCarron chased a ball through the inside-left channel, pursued by Tylor Golden, but a heavy first touch carried it through to home keeper Connor Ripley.

It was a busy start for McCarron who latched onto Sam Greenwood’s pass on the left before getting in a cross that dropped onto the roof of the net.

There’s some real talent in this Leeds team and they took a 9th minute lead, thanks to some sharp play. Salford’s Ibou Touray, facing his own goal on the left, had the ball poked away from him by Amari Miller. The home skipper might have recovered had it not been for a crafty shirt-pull from Miller that evaded the attention of the match officials. Leeds took full advantage as Joe Gelhardt collected the loose ball before squaring unselfishly inside for MAX DEAN. Andy Smith tried to close him down, but a low 12-yarder beat Ripley to his right, kicking off what would end up being something of a goal feast.

Leeds were looking good and Salford’s Liam Shephard picked up a yellow for a foul on Dean.

The Ammies began to look dangerous themselves and on the quarter-hour Thomas-Asante squared inside from the right for Matty Willock to slam in a low effort. Leeds keeper Dani Van den Heuvel did well, getting down to push the ball outside his left-hand post. Touray delivered the corner, left-footed from the right, yet although Andy Smith was underneath it, he could only glance a header wide of the far post.

Leeds had something of an escape soon afterwards as Willock attacked down the right before delivering low into the middle. Touray managed to turn but could only poke an 8-yard shot just outside the keeper’s left-hand post.

The game was being played at breakneck pace and it was Leeds’s turns to conjure a threat next. Stuart McKinstry’s low pass to the left was picked up by Dean whose right-footed flick rolled wide of the far upright. A couple of minutes later Charlie Cresswell’s forward pass played Greenwood clear of the defence and things were looking ominous for Salford. Without a red shirt anywhere near and with the whole of the goal to aim at, Greenwood planted a shot straight at Ripley.

A gilt-edged chance for Leeds and Greenwood picked up a yellow card within a minute following a challenge on Shephard that may have been borne out of frustration at the miss.

A cracking first quarter of the game, and there was little sign of the action slowing down. In the 26th minute Salford were level after Shephard lifted a pass to the edge of the box from midway and well left of centre. Jordan Turnbull beat his man to head back inside from the right, with Aramide Oteh flicking the ball on and Smith poking it forward. THOMAS-ASANTE was in just the right place to pounce, getting the better of Jeremiah Mullen to drill a low 6-yarder to Van den Heuvel’s left.

In a vibrant encounter McCarron’s diagonal run to the edge of the box was followed by a pass to Gelhardt whose left-footed 18-yarder wasn’t far wide of Ripley’s right-hand post.

United were firmly back on the offensive and went close again with half-an-hour on the clock. Dean nicked possession away from Shephard before advancing at speed to the edge of the box. The low shot spun off Smith and Ripley – already committed – did very well to stretch up a hand and push the ball around his left-hand post. From the corner McKinstry cracked in a shot from distance that may have troubled Salford’s keeper had it not crashed into Turnbull and behind for another corner.

Still level terms, despite the chances and Salford edged ahead from their next serious attack. Golden bundled past McCarron on the right before dinking a gem of a cross towards the far post. TOURAY beat Miller to nod home from just a few yards out, yet Leeds wouldn’t be behind for long.

Initially though the visitors had a spot more defending to do as Willock threaded a pass into the right-hand side of the area with Van den Heuvel moving quickly to smother before Golden could get to the ball.

A good spell for the Ammies but they would be pegged back 10 minutes before the interval. Gelhardt advanced wide on the left before rolling a pass inside for GREENWOOD to steer a consummate left-footed 15-yard finish low inside Ripley’s left-hand upright.

Breathless stuff, and there would be more to come before the end of the first half. Just 4 minutes after Greenwood’s leveller Thomas-Asante nudged a pass inside from the right, with Donald Love outmuscling McCarron on his way to the line. The cross arrived at thigh-height at the near post where OTEH opened his Salford scoring account with a close-range volley that slammed into the net without giving the goalkeeper a chance to save.

Not surprisingly Leeds searched for another equaliser and a Jack Jenkins pass to the right gave Miller a chance to cut into the box. There were options in the middle, but Miller decided to have a go, only to see his left-footed curler rise over the crossbar. During time added on Gelhardt's run to the edge of the area was followed by a pass to McCarron who could only lift a shot high over the target.

HALF-TIME: SALFORD CITY 3 LEEDS UNITED 2

Leeds made a triple substitution at the break as Geblardt, Jenkins and Cresswell made way for Sean McGurk, Lewis Bate and Nohan Kenneh respectively.

Surely the second half couldn’t be as entertaining as the first? Maybe not quite, but it would certainly run its predecessor close.

The visitors created the first post-restart chance as McKinstry’s pass played Greenwood into space on the left and a fizzing low shot forced Ripley down to push the ball wide of the near post. Salford countered, with Thomas-Asante finding Oteh in space, left of centre and about 12 yards out. A big chance for the Ammies but although Oteh’s delicate lifted effort was a good idea, it dropped just outside the far post.

Both sides were obviously still committed to attacking football and in the 50th minute Miller’s right of centre shot hit Turnbull, with the referee correctly ignoring Leeds’s claims for handball.

Alex Denny replaced Willock for Salford after that, and Leeds could have been back on level terms in the 55th minute. Another fluid build-up ended with substitute McGurk hitting a powerful 18-yard volley that appeared to spin of Ripley’s chest and wide of his right-hand upright. The corner dropped to the far post where Kris Moore got in an effort that had Ripley stretching to claw the ball away.

This was still very much anybody’s game, but Salford gave themselves a two-goal cushion in the 58th minute. Denny found an opening on the right-hand side of the box, hitting a shot that Van den Heuvel could only push to his right. The chase was on, but although Thomas-Asante got there first to hammer in an effort, the combination of Moore and Kenneh was enough to deflect the ball up onto the bar. Oteh met it as on the drop with an acrobatic mid-air effort, yet Dean was there again to get in a block that sent the ball spinning wide of the keeper’s right-hand post. Heroic defending from Leeds, but they would perform rather less well from the corner. It was as simple as you like for Salford as Shephard’s delivery fell to the edge of the 6-yard box where the centrally positioned THOMAS-ASANTE guided a header between Van den Heuvel and his left-hand post.

A blow for the visitors and for the first time during the evening the intensity of the game began to drop a little. Golden had a go from the right, only to see his effort deflected wide and that was about it until Salford replaced keeper Ripley with Zach Jeacock on 67 minutes.

A rare chance for the Birmingham City loanee to impress, yet his first contribution would be to pick the ball out of his own net. The fault lay elsewhere however, as Golden met a cleared Salford corner by attempting a pass to the right. Substitute BATE anticipated to nip in and set off at an impressive speed, driving forward with Golden doing his best to catch up. He wouldn’t make it and the Leeds substitute got it into the penalty area, a little left of centre, where his perfect little chip beat the advancing Jeacock to drop into the net.

Great play from Bate, and it was definitely a case of ‘game on’ – not that it had really been anything else up to this point.

As it happened though, Salford would restore their two-goal lead within another minute of play. Touray’s corner from the left dropped to Turnbull at the far post, and he could only prod the ball back inside. Thomas-Asante poked a diagonal effort towards goal and after TURNBULL took a swipe at it, the ball bobbled just inside Van den Hauvel’s right-hand post.

Encouraged by the vocal travelling support, Leeds did their best to retrieve something from their evening. Thirteen minutes from time Greenwood tried his luck from a right of centre free-kick from almost 30 yards out. Jeacock elected to punch over his bar and from the corner McGurk hit a 30-yarder low and wide of the keeper’s left-hand post.

At the other end Thomas-Asante’s touch allowed Tyreik Wright to get in a rising, angled effort from the right that was saved by the keeper.

Leeds continued to press and Greenwood’s 25-yard free-kick from a central position dropped over the crossbar. Six minutes from time McCarron got into the box on the left, but could only lift an effort high over Jeacock’s crossbar.

Salford could have scored a 6th in the 87th minute as Wright drilled in an angled shot from the right that Van den Heuvel pushed onto the post and behind for a corner. From that set-piece Oteh had a go, only to see the shot saved by the keeper. The same player had a close range prod blocked by Van den Heuvel after that and the keeper denied him again in the penultimate minute, getting behind an effort from 22 yards out.

FULL-TIME: SALFORD CITY 5 LEEDS UNITED 3

It may be a bit of a cliché, but this truly was a great advertisement for the Papa John’s EFL Trophy and the inclusion of Under 21 teams. In terms of pure entertainment, we haven’t seen a game like this for some time, although both sets of coaching staff will probably have a word about some of the defending on show.

It’s a shame that only 427 were here to witness the spectacle, with almost half of those travelling from Yorkshire in support of Leeds United’s U21s.

It’s fair to say that we will hear a lot more about some of these Leeds United youngsters in the future, but for now their EFL Trophy campaign is over. The same might be true for Salford City, who must now wait until next Tuesday to see if they will progress to the knockout stages.

In the meantime, let’s hope for more of the same when the Ammies perform before a national TV audience at Dagenham & Redbridge in the FA cup on Monday evening. Before that, the Under 18s begin their FA Youth Cup campaign at the Peninsula Stadium, with Blyth Spartans providing the opposition on Thursday (kick-off 7pm). Get yourselves down to that one – you don’t want to miss another cracker…

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