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Salford City football Club

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Team Sheet

Salford City FC
Tom King
Ibou Touray
Jason Lowe
Matthew Lund
Josh Morris
Matty Willock
1 goals for Matty Willock
Jordan Turnbull
Yellow card for Jordan Turnbull
Conor McAleny
Liam Shephard
Brandon Thomas-Asante
Ian Henderson (c)
Leyton Orient
Lawrence Vigouroux
Tom James
Connor Wood

Sweeney 87'

Dan Happe
Paul Smyth

Sotiriou 88'

Craig Clay

Archibald 51'

Dan Kemp
Aaron Drinan
Darren Pratley (c)
Yellow card for Darren Pratley (c)
Omar Beckles
1 goals for Omar Beckles
Hector Kyprianou
Zach Jeacock
Tom Elliott
Luke Burgess
James Melhado
Tylor Golden
Kelly N'Mai
Liam Loughlan
Sam Sargeant
Theo Archibald
Ruel Sotiriou
Matt Young
Jayden Sweeney
Shadrach Ogie
Dan Nkrumah
Manager - Gary Bowyer
Manager - Kenny Jackett
Match Officals
Referee - Andrew Kitchen
Assistant Referee - Lisa Rashid
Assistant Referee - Steven Rushton
Fourth Official - Peter Gooch

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Salford City’s season started with a peach of a goal from debutant Matty Willock, yet Gary Bowyer’s side had to settle for a single point. A lively and enterprising performance from the Ammies probably merited a win, but in the end, there was plenty of encouragement for the hectic schedule ahead. The first competitive fixture in front of the fans at the Peninsula Stadium in 17 months, and it would prove to be an entertaining one.

Following a summer of reconstruction, 5 of Salford’s starting line-up were making their competitive debuts for the club. As well as Willock, keeper Tom King, full-back Liam Shephard, Matty Lund, Josh Morris and Conor McAleny had their first proper chance to impressive.

A morning of heavy rain hadn’t abated when the game got underway but the first sniff of excitement took only 2 minutes to arrive. Ibou Touray pushed forward on the left before delivering a pacey, low cross into the 6-yard box. It needed a touch, but there was no red-shirted forward on hand to provide it.

The action switched to the West Stand end where Tom James – who spent time on loan with Salford last season – lashed an effort high over the crossbar.

The teeming rain made conditions, and subtle football, difficult for both sides and for a while neither managed to conjure much of a threat. It was Orient who emerged from the quiet spell first and in the 12th minute a loose pass from Jordan Turnbull was picked up by Paul Smyth. A purposeful run on the right opened up possibilities for the visitors, but the final ball to the near post was comfortably gathered by King.

There was a better chance for the visitors soon after as Aaron Drinan beat King to a ball played into the left-hand side of the area. The Orient man darted past Salford’s keeper but with the angle very tight could only drill a low effort across the face of goal.

A Dan Kemp corner was met by Omar Beckles but the big defender failed to trouble King with his header.

A decent spell for the O's but once again we had a lull before the next opportunity came along. It went the way of Orient as Smyth chased a ball into the box, left-of-centre, only to go to ground dramatically as he tried to get past King. The referee was unimpressed, King even less so and Smyth duly incurred the wrath of the West Stand.

Lively without too many clear-cut chances so far, and a 30-yard Morris free-kick from a central position dropped harmlessly over the crossbar.

The Ammies went close just before the half-hour as McAleny slid a pass inside from the left for Lund to skim a low shot just outside Lawrence Vigouroux’s right-hand upright. At the other end Smyth latched onto a long ball on the right before slamming in an angled effort that King did well to push around the near post.

The corner caused problems in Salford’s defence and King made a save before a prodded clearance found Darren Pratley on the edge of the box. The O’s skipper hit a low drive that King blocked with his feet, but the keeper was out of luck as the loose ball fell for BECKLES. From 10 yards out and right of centre he made no mistake and Kenny Jackett’s side were ahead.

A blow for the Ammies but they responded well, exerting some real pressure on Orient’s goal. The ball almost settled for last season’s top-scorer Ian Henderson to have a go, only for Craig Clay to get across at speed to boot behind for a corner.

Nine minutes before the break McAleny tried a snap-shot from just outside the box, but he was off-balance and the effort rolled harmlessly wide of Vigouroux’s left-hand upright.

The Ammies continued their search for a leveller and it arrived in grand style 3 minutes before half-time.
Touray’s short pass inside from the left found WILLOCK and he shimmied away from a marker before launching a rising effort that flew past Vigouroux and high inside the far post.

It’s a bit early to be talking Salford goal of the season, but that one will probably be a fair contender when May rolls around - a great way for the former Manchester United midfielder to officially announce his Ammie arrival.


The Ammies started the second half as they had the first, with Touray drilling in a low cross from the left. This time it seemed to take a flick off a defender on its way wide of the far post, but the referee awarded a goal kick.

Salford were restarting well and Brandon Thomas-Asante slipped a pass through for McAleny whose powerful, swerving effort from right-of-centre was pushed away by Vigouroux before being cleared by Connor Wood.

Seven minutes into the second half Thomas-Asante used his strength and guile to turn inside a defender on the right-hand side of the area. A thumping effort on goal followed but the angle was challenging and Vigouroux was well positioned at the near post to push behind. Morris delivered the corner to the near post where Henderson got up to head wide.

In the 56th minute Thomas-Asante finished off a good move with a close-range finish but hopes of a 2nd Salford goal of the afternoon were dashed by the assistant’s raised flag.

A promising start to the second half from Salford, yet despite knocking on the door they hadn’t managed to take the lead. Orient had been forced to concentrate on the defensive side of their game since half-time but they began to venture forward again.

With 64 minutes played Wood curled in a good delivery from deep on the left, with Jason Lowe forced to concede a corner courtesy of a diving header. Soon afterwards James did well on the same flank, switching onto his favoured right foot before floating a decent cross into the box. Beckles got in a header only to see it drop amongst the Orient fans gathered behind King’s goal.

For Salford, Morris hit a low 12-yarder from the right, with Vigouroux managing to deflect that one behind off his feet. The O’s countered from the cleared corner with Smyth doing well to stay on his feet following a robust challenge. A tempting delivery across the face of goal followed, with nobody close enough to get a touch.

A bit of end-to-end football to usher in the game’s final quarter and Salford would carve out a great chance in the 68th minute. Morris lifted in a left-foot cross from the right-hand edge of the penalty area. Lund was the target and the former Rochdale rose at the far post to put in a downwards header back across goal. The redoubtable Vigouroux may well have been beaten this time but it didn’t matter as the ball bounced wide of his left-hand upright.

The game had settled into a pattern of Salford doing the pressing and the visitors looking to break when they could. With 15 to play Thomas-Asante once again created space for himself on the right-hand side of the box. There were options in the middle, but the young forward elected to hammer in a rising shot from the angle. Worth a try, bit Vigouroux was equal to it again, pushing the ball behind for a corner.

Salford’s Turnbull picked up the afternoon’s first booking for a foul on the tricky Smith as the game entered its final 10 minutes. Kemp lined up the free-kick from almost 25 yards and his left-footed shot dropped just wide of King’s left-hand post.

Close for the O’s but it was the home side who spent what remained of the game on the front foot. A Morris corner from the left almost fell for Thomas-Asante right in front of goal with 6 minutes left but Orient were in no mood to relinquish a point that they’d worked very hard for.

Thomas-Asante had another go in the 87th minute, picking up Turnbull’s pass before turning to hit a low 20-yarder. A decent effort, but Vigouroux dropped to his right to make a comfortable save.

There were 3 minutes of time to be added on, but neither keeper would was tested again and for the 3rd time in 4 visits Orient headed back to E10 with a 1-1 draw and the point that goes with it.


It would have been nice to start 2021-2022 with a win, and that powerful second half performance probably should have secured one. Nevertheless, there are encouraging signs that Gary Bowyer’s rebuilt side have already worked hard on the gelling process.

A special word is due for Jason Lowe who was drafted in to play in the heart of Salford’s defence due to the absence of skipper Ash Eastham. A relatively unfamiliar role for the former Bolton man but be hardly put a foot wrong in his 50th appearance and looked comfortable on the ball. All the lads making their debuts did well too,

With 4 home games and 1 away during August, there’s a chance to put points on the board early on. Sutton United are the next visitors to the Peninsula, making their way north for a rearranged game next Saturday. After that, Swindon Town and Newport County provide the opposition on the 21st and 28th respectively.

Great to see supporters back at the Peninsula this afternoon – we’ve missed you all. Here’s to a season that will be remembered for the football…

In the meantime, answers on a postcard for the last time Salford City completed a game without fielding a substitute…