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Salford City football Club

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Team Sheet

Salford City FC
1
Vaclav Hladky
3
Ibou Touray
4
Jason Lowe
5
Ash Eastham (c)
10
Ash Hunter
1 goals for Ash Hunter

Boyd 79'

12
Di'Shon Bernard
16
Jordan Turnbull
17
Richie Towell
Red card for Richie Towell
18
Oscar Threlkeld

Coutts 90+5'

24
Robbie Gotts

Burgess 90+12'

40
Ian Henderson
1 goals for Ian Henderson Yellow card for Ian Henderson

Thomas-Asante 79'

Mansfield Town
31
Aidan Stone
Yellow card for Aidan Stone

Pardington 75'

5
Ryan Sweeney
6
Farrend Rawson
9
Jordan Bowery
10
George Maris

Gordon 66'

14
James Perch (c)
16
Stephen Quinn

Ward 80'

20
Stephen McLaughlin
27
Tyrese Sinclair
29
Jason Law

Charsley 75'

32
George Lapslie

Reid 66'

Substitutes
31
William Evans
6
Tom Clarke
14
George Boyd
15
Luke Burgess
20
Mani Dieseruvwe
25
Paul Coutts
37
Brandon Thomas-Asante
Substitutes
30
Jamie Pardington
7
Harry Charsley
12
Kellan Gordon
19
Jamie Reid
21
James Clarke
24
Jaden Charles
25
Keaton Ward
Managers
Manager - Gary Bowyer
Managers
Manager - Nigel Clough
Match Officals
Referee - Anthony Backhouse
Assistant Referee - Peter Gooch
Assistant Referee - Richard Wrigglesworth

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Match
Report

Salford City’s steady climb towards the play-off places continued this afternoon as goals from Ash Hunter & Ian Henderson secured victory over Mansfield Town. Not a classic performance from the Ammies, who had to defend for stretches of the game, yet all that really matters at this stage of the season are points in the bag. With 3 league games left to play, it’s looking as if the final two play-off places might well be contested between Salford City, Forest Green Rovers, Exeter City and Newport County. Everything to play for, but Gary Bowyer’s side will have to negotiate the remaining 3 games without midfielder Richie Towell, sent off today for violent conduct

Just one change from the squad that conclusively beat Walsall on Tuesday evening, with Mani Dieseruvwe included among the substitutes in place of Tom James.

A beautiful spring afternoon at the Peninsula Stadium would start in fine style for the home side, although the first opportunity went the way of the Stags. Tyrese Sinclair – son of former Chelsea defender Frank – cut into the penalty area on the left before attempting to lift a shot over the advancing Václav Hladký. As usual the Czech keeper was up to the challenge, plucking the effort out of the air above his head.

Two minutes later Salford opened the scoring after Henderson’s squared ball from the right picked out Robbie Gotts. A dart to the line was followed by a dinked cross that was deftly controlled by HUNTER on the edge of the 6-yard box. A sharp spin was followed by a low angled shot that zipped between Aidan Stone and his right-hand upright. Leagie goal number 7 of the season for a player who – surprisingly – had not hit the net since scoring a winner at Barrow in December.

Great play from the former Fleetwood Town man and he’d produced a rare Salford City first half home goal. For a while it looked as if the Ammies would build on that early advantage as they played the ball around nicely, applying pressure on the Mansfield defence.

In the 12th minute Di’Shon Bernard slid a pass out to Towell on the right, advancing to collect the return. A few paces later Bernard drilled in a low 24-yarder from right of centre that proved simple for Stone to collect.

Salford’s first goal against Walsall on Tuesday came as a direct result of Henderson closing down the opposition keeper, and he almost repeated the trick here. Stone took his time on the ball and was a touch surprised by the speed of Henderson’s advance. The hurried clearance that followed clipped of the Salford striker but fortune was with the keeper this time as the contact proved too slight to significantly hamper the progress of the ball.

A solid Salford start that promised more goals, yet the balance of the game soon began to tip in Town’s favour. With 14 minutes played Stephen McLaughlin found space to push forward on the left, then delivered a decent cross to the near post. Jordan Bowery controlled before attempting a low pass inside, with Oscar Threlkeld anticipating the danger as he hoofed behind for a corner.

The Stags slowly started to increase their share of possession and looked capable of doing something with it. The lively Stephen Quinn floated in a cross from the left, and that one wasn’t too far in front of the rapidly advancing Jason Law.

Nigel Clough’s side have secured their League Two survival and almost got on level terms in the 25th minute. Sinclair nudged a pass up the left for Quinn to head for the line where he produced an excellent cross. George Lapslie rose highest to get in a towering, powerful header, with Hladký doing well to push the ball away to his left. Soon after that Sinclair attempted to curl one into the far top corner from the left-hand angle of the box and was disappointed to see the effort drop wide.

Eight minutes before half-time Sinclair tried again, lifting a free-kick from left of centre over the defensive wall and into the safe hands of Hladký.

That would be the final noteworthy incident of a half that had started positively from Salford, yet at the interval they were perhaps a little fortunate to be a goal ahead.

HALF-TIME: SALFORD CITY 1 MANSFIELD TOWN 0

There were no changes during the interval and the second half started as the first had done, with an early chance. This time it went Salford’s way after Towell played Bernard into space on the right. The subsequent cross was allowed to bounce its way across the box, finally reaching Henderson towards the far post. A decent chance for the Salford top-scorer yet he could only scuff a low effort wide of the upright.

At the other end Bowery met a long ball into Salford’s box, nodding the ball back for Lapslie. The midfielder tried his luck, hitting a 24-yard dipping volley from just right of centre without managing to test Hladký too severely.

Again Mansfield were seeing plenty of the ball in Salford’s half without managing to conjure too much of a threat. In the 57th minute Sinclair showed real determination as he forced his way into the box from the right only to see his 14-yarder blocked.

The Ammies had been quiet, but after Gotts crossed from the left, Threlkeld had an acrobatic effort on goal blocked. The ball fell for Towell who tried a low drive from distance, yet once again the shot crashed into a blue-shirted defender.

Salford City haven’t always been noted for clinical finishing this season, although there have been a number of notable exceptions. We had another one in the 62nd minute after Hunter’s pass up the left allowed Ibou Touray to get in a cross to the near post. The ball was partically cleared, but only as far as HENDERSON who hit a splendid hooked volley from 17 yards that beat Stone and dropped inside his right-hand post.

A healthy two-goal lead for the Ammies and Town manager Clough responded by introducing Jamie Reid and Kellan Gordon for Lapslie and George Maris.

The points seemed to be heading Salford’s way, but the home side suffered something of a blow with 22 minutes to play. Towell raced over towards the dugout touchline, closing down Stags’ substitute Gordon and getting in a robust challenge that saw both players rolling into touch. The Irish midfielder reacted to what seemed to be a touch of pulling from Gordon with an ill-advised swing of his boot, from a grounded position. He got the ball – and plenty of the man – with a referee having little option other than to red card a Salford player for the first time this season in a league game.

Towell will next be eligible for the first play-off semi-final, so hopefully we will see him in action again before the end of the season. For now, his teammates were left to negotiate the rest of the game a man short.

To be fair, they would make a very decent fist of it and could have extended their lead just 5 minutes later. Henderson latched onto a wayward Ryan Sweeney header on the right, only for his progress into the box to be curtailed by a clumsy challenge from Stone. The referee awarded penalty, and having adjudged Stone’s challenge to have been a genuine attempt for the ball, a yellow card for the keeper to go with it.

Henderson has been in scoring form recently, including that great strike earlier in the game. He would be denied another however as Stone atoned for his foul, springing low to his left where he pushed the ball away to safety.

A third goal would have pushed the game beyond Town’s reach, and they made another couple of changes after the penalty. Harry Charsley replaced Law and keeper Stone – having just saved a spot-kick – made way for Jamie Pardington.

Missed penalties apart, the game had gone quiet since the sending off and Salford sent on George Boyd and Brandon Thomas-Asante for Hunter and Henderson with 10 minutes to play.

The Stags were still looking for a way back into the match and in the 82nd minute Gordon’s run, parallel to the edge of the box, was finished off by a low shot that Hladký saved without any fuss.

With 6 minutes left a ball through Salford’s inside-left channel was pursued by Town defender Farrend Rawson who collided heavily with advancing keeper Pardington. The goalie was soon back on his feet, but unfortunately the motionless Rawson required treatment on the pitch prior to being stretchered off. The considerable delay meant that 11 minutes of time were to be added on, and it would be 10-vs-10 as the Stags had already used their 5 substitutes.

In the event Mansfield would prove unable to muster a chance during that extended injury time, with the only incidents of notes being two more Salford substitutions.

FULL-TIME: SALFORD CITY 2 MANSFIELD TOWN 0

Job done again for the Ammies who didn’t hit top gear yet kept their 3rd successive clean sheet – and 20th of the season – as well as scoring a couple of quality goals. Nigel Clough and Mansfield Town might feel that they should have taken a share of the spoils back to Nottinghamshire, yet they only managed to test seriously test Hladký once.

The promotion picture is clearing in League Two. Cheltenham Town are just about up, with Cambridge United and Bolton Wanderers looking likely to join them.

Tranmere Rovers and Morecambe look set for the top two play-off places, leaving the other two to be contested, realistically, by 4 clubs. Of those 4, Salford City are in by far the best current form.

Next up is a trip to Bradford City, whose fading play-off hopes were finally extinguished by defeat at in-form Port Vale today. It won’t be easy of course, but there are points up for grabs...

On a final - and bright - note, it was later confirmed that Mansfield’s Farrend Rawson was awake, and hopefully on the road to a swift recovery. Everyone at the Peninsula Stadium wishes him well.

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