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Salford City football Club

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Team Sheet

Salford City FC
Nick Hayes
Tom Elliott

M.Touray 71'

Jordan Turnbull
Richie Towell
James Wilson
Alex Denny
Yellow card for Alex Denny
Tylor Golden
Liam Loughlan
Alex Doyle
Yellow card for Alex Doyle
Dan Hawkins

Ditchfield 80'

Brandon Thomas-Asante

Shepherd 80'

Manchester United U21
Nathan Bishop
James Garner
Ethan Laird

Taylor 56'

Teden Mengi (c)
1 goals for Hannibal Yellow card for Hannibal

Stanley 86'

Arnau Pugimal
1 goals for Arnau Pugimal

Haygarth 46'

Will Fish
Anthony Elanga
1 goals for Anthony Elanga
Di'Shon Bernard
Charlie McCann
1 goals for Charlie McCann
Mark Helm
2 goals for Mark Helm 2 goals for Mark Helm
William Evans
Ibou Touray
Luke Armstrong
Oscar Threlkeld
Harry Ditchfield
Will Shepherd
Momodou Touray
Ondrej Mastny
Luca Ercolani
Max Taylor
Ethan Galbraith
Connor Stanley
Max Haygarth
Manager - Graham Alexander
Lead Coach - Neil Wood
Match Officals
Referee - Peter Wright
Assistant Referee - Robert Atkin
Assistant Referee - Thomas Harty
Fourth Official - Peter Gibbons

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Salford City’s 2020-2021 EFL Trophy campaign got off to a bumpy start as Manchester United’s Under-21s ran in 6 unanswered goals at the Peninsula Stadium. In truth that one-sided scoreline doesn’t quite tell an accurate story of the evening.
Nevertheless, Neil Wood’s young charges can be satisfied with an excellent performance and the Ammies need points from Morecambe and Rochdale if they are to progress in this season’s competition.

As might be expected, there were changes from the side that beat Rotherham United on Saturday, with five players making their competitive debut for the club. The Ammies qualified for the final of the EFL Trophy last season, although that game -vs- Portsmouth is yet to be played or even rearranged.

The visitors looked lively from the start and within the opening 5 minutes Anthony Elanga’s powerful run threatened to unlock Salford’s defence. An Alex Doyle foul averted the danger, temporarily, but the impressive James Garner went very close from the subsequent free-kick.

That would prove to be a brief respite for the Ammies who fell behind in the 8th minute. Garner was the provider this time, slipping a pass through for HANNIBAL who let fly with a 16-yarder that gave Nick Hayes no chance.

Soon after the goal another incisive ball from Garner gave winger Arnau Pugimal the chance to cut inside, only for the shot to go narrowly wide.

United’s youngsters were playing some good stuff and could have extended their lead with 17 minutes played. Pugimal’s pass sent full-back Ethan Laird into the area on the right, and his cross dropped temptingly for Elanga. The volley thumped off the turf, then rose to come back off the crossbar with Pugimal’s follow-up effort flashing just wide of Hayes’ right-hand post.

Salford hadn’t managed to create too much in front of goal, but as the half progressed, they began to find some attacking impetus. Brandon Asante made ground on the left, getting into the area before pulling a low ball back into the path of Richie Towell. The midfielder was under defensive pressure but will be disappointed with a 12-yard rising effort that failed to trouble United keeper Nathan Bishop.

The Ammies probably should have levelled the scores soon after Towell’s cross found Tom Elliott only for the big striker to plant a header straight at Bishop.

In the 27th minute Mark Helm’s break on the left was followed by a neat finish, only for the assistant’s raised flag to chalk that one off.

Once again though, any sense of Salford relief would be short-lived. Just before the half-hour Elanga made a powerful run on the right before delivering low ball into the middle. PUGIMAL was in the right place to slam a 10-yarder into the net to make it 2-0.

Salford needed to find a response and Asante’s left-of-centre free-kick forced Bishop to scoop the ball around his right-hand post. Asante was involved again 9 minutes before the break, playing a low ball from the right towards the near post. Dan Hawkins was there, but his attempts to dig out possession were thwarted as Bishop got down to smother the danger.

There was a moment of diversion a couple of minutes before half-time when the referee and fourth official swapped roles, presumably due to injury, and both teams had time to create another chance. For Salford, Towell’s run through the inside-right channel ended with a low 20-yarder across Bishop but wide of the far post. The visitors pushed forward during time added on, with Laird’s cross dropping for the waiting Helm until Towell stretched to hook the ball away.


The Ammies already had plenty of work to do if anything was to be rescued from this tie, but their job became markedly more difficult with 2 minutes of the restart. Hannibal’s cross from the left was a good one, with home keeper Hayes attempting to punch, with HELM apparently getting the final touch as the ball dropped over the line.

Elanga fired extravagantly high of the target from the left-hand angle of the area, but otherwise the game had entered a relatively quiet spell.

The Ammies remained industrious, plugging away in search of a goal that should have arrived with an hour played. Asante’s delivery, from deep and wide on the left, was a peach. Hawkins had found space inside the penalty area but from 8 yards out and with the goal at his mercy could only glance a tame header at Bishop.

Had that one gone in the rest of the game may just have panned out differently. As it was, United would turn a healthy lead into a thumping win during the time that remained.
The Reds would double their 3-goal advantage in the space of 5 minutes, with the first of those coming in the 70th minute.

Helm did well on the right before tucking a pass inside for CHARLIE McCANN to apply a clinical finish from 18 yards that zipped inside Hayes’ left-hand post.

Home manager Graham Alexander introduced forward Mo Touray into the action and the summer signing from Newport County should have marked his debut with an instant goal. Asante advanced with purpose on the right, directing a low ball across goal and towards the far post. Touray arrived on cue but from point-blank range seemed to turn the ball off the post, with the grounded Bishop just about claiming possession.

A great chance for the Ammies, but they were to concede another goal almost immediately after it. Garner was the architect, driving forward before picking out HELM who took a touch before placing a neat finish past Hayes.

Just a couple of minutes later the evening’s scoring was concluded after Hannibal’s pass sent ELANGA into space on the left. A low finish across Hayes duly followed and Salford were now 6 down.

The home side continued to press in the hope of recording a consolation goal with Golden’s half-volley from right-of-centre dropping wide of the far upright. At the other end Garner crashed a ferocious effort from distance wide of Hayes’ right-hand post after another typically crisp United build-up.

It wasn’t to be Salford’s night, a fact underlined in the penultimate minute of the 90 when Towell hit a dipping 22-yarder from right-of-centre that had the beating of Bishop. A great effort, but the ball clipped off the top of the bar and into the empty West Stand.


An evening that probably has to be filed as a learning experience for a young Salford side, several of whom were making their first competitive appearances. United’s Under 21s had plenty of quality, pace and physical strength and were certainly a few rungs up the ladder from the Villa and Wolves sides the Ammies faced in last season’s competition. Some of the visiting side have first-team experience and it’s not a stretch of the imagination to say we’ll hear more of these lads in the future.

The scoreline was a touch harsh on Salford who worked hard, were worth a goal or two of their own and would probably like to forget that 5 minute second-half spell that turned a defeat into a rout.

Two teams qualify for the knock-out stage and there are 6 points still to play for.