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Salford City football Club

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Team Sheet

Salford City FC
31
Hayden Evans
3
Ibou Touray
Yellow card for Ibou Touray
5
Ash Eastham (c)
11
Bruno Andrade
16
Jordan Turnbull
19
James Wilson
1 goals for James Wilson

Fielding 84'

24
Martin Smith
28
Alex Denny
32
Tylor Golden
33
Liam Loughlan

Hunter 84'

37
Brandon Thomas-Asante

Dieseruvwe 79'

Morecambe
12
Mark Halstead
2
Kelvin Mellor
3
Stephen Hendrie
Yellow card for Stephen Hendrie
4
Nathaniel Knight-Percival
Yellow card for Nathaniel Knight-Percival
5
Sam Lavelle (c)
7
Jordan Slew
8
Toumani Diagouraga
17
AJ Leitch-Smith

Phillips 80'

18
Ben Pringle
19
Liam McAlinden

Price 71'

24
Yann Songo'o
Substitutes
1
Vaclav Hladky
10
Ash Hunter
1 goals for Ash Hunter
20
Mani Dieseruvwe
23
Kevin Berkoe
27
Hayden Campbell
35
Sam Fielding
36
Dan Hawkins
Substitutes
1
Jake Turner
9
Cole Stockton
14
Alex Kenyon
15
Liam Gibson
20
Adam Phillips
21
Ryan Cooney
23
Freddie Price
Managers
Manager - Graham Alexander
Managers
Manager - Derek Adams
Match Officals
Referee - James Bell
Assistant Referee - Matthew Parry
Assistant Referee - Paul Stonier
Fourth Official - Thomas Parsons

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Match
Report

The Ammies have a fighting chance of progression to the knockout stages of The EFL Trophy following this comfortable 2-0 win over fellow League Two side Morecambe. A goal right at the end of each half was enough to see of the Shrimps and Salford City now need to win their final game – at Rochdale in November – to book a place in the next round.

There were changes from the side that drew with Forest Green Rovers at the weekend, starting in goal where academy keeper Hayden Evans was handed his first-team debut. Martin Smith, Liam Loughlan and Alex Denny were drafted into the midfield, with James Wilson replacing Tom Elliott up front. Among the substitutes were Mani Dieseruvwe (back from injury) plus recent signings Kevin Berkoe and Hayden Campbell.

Despite the relatively modest final score, Graham Alexander’s side would dominate proceedings for most of the evening and could have gone ahead within two minutes of the start. Ibou Touray’s free-kick from distance and right of centre seemed to be dipping under the bar until Shrimps keeper Mark Halstead produced a fine save, stretching to tip the ball over.

The early impetus remained with Salford and on 6 minutes Tylor Golden’s pass to the right sent Brandon Thomas-Asante on a run into the box that almost took him to the line. A neat cut-back found Bruno Andrade on the edge of the area, with Morecambe defender Kelvin Mellor getting in a tremendous sliding block to send the shot spinning over the crossbar.

Thomas-Asante had a go after that, trying his luck with a low 22-yarder that zipped just wide of the keeper’s right-hand upright.

Salford were exerting pressure, winning corners and passing the ball around nicely, with Morecambe getting men behind the ball to defend. On 15 minutes the possession fell nicely for Denny, just right of centre and 18 yards out, only for his half-volley to drift wide of Halstead’s left-hand post.

Plenty of possession for the Ammies, but chances on goal became rare as the half progressed. Midway through the half Denny’s cross-field ball to the left found Thomas-Asante whose pass inside was perfect for Andrade. The Portuguese winger moved to his right a pace or two before drilling a low effort straight at Halstead.

Salford were in control, with debutant keeper Evans yet to be tested, but the opening goal continued to evade them. Twelve minutes before half-time Denny made space to clip a pass for Loughlan to collect but the former Leicester man’s shot went wide of the target.

Three minutes later the deadlock was almost broken as Wilson hammered in a low left-footer from the edge of the box. It looked a goal all the way, but Halstead pulled out another great stop, dropping smartly to the right before extending a strong right arm that stopped the ball in its tracks.

The Shrimps hadn’t managed to create too much in terms of goalscoring opportunities, with their first real effort coming a few minutes before half-time. Jordan Slew’s pass to the right found AJ Leitch-Smith whose angled effort flashed wide of the near post. Not a bad effort, but the assistant’s flag had been raised to indicate an offside decision against the former Curzon Ashton loanee.

It was looking as if the Ammies would be denied a goal, despite their domination, but the visiting defence was finally cracked open during the last minute of the 45. Andrade's low pass into the middle from the left was contested by Thomas-Asante and Halstead, with the latter doing just enough to keep the ball out. His efforts would be to no avail as WILSON pounced to guide a rising, close-range shot into the net.
Perfect timing from Salford’s point of view and Wilson’s first of the season gave them a deserved half-time advantage.

HALF-TIME: SALFORD CITY 1 MORECAMBE 0

The first opening of the second half went the way of the home side, within a few minutes of the restart. Thomas-Asante’s pass found Golden and it was Wilson who met the cross with a header. Halstead seemed to be decently positioned to deal with that one, but the matter didn’t arise as the ball struck a defensive head before going behind.

One-nil is a fragile scoreline, regardless of the balance of play, and Morecambe almost cancelled out Salford’s lead in the 54th minute. A decent forward ball sent Slew racing clear of the Ammies’ defence, right through the middle. It was a case of Golden to the rescue as the summer signing from Wigan recovered impressively before getting in a top-quality sliding challenge to deny the Morecambe man a shot on goal.

The second half was limbering up to be quieter – and a bit more even – than the first and was nearly halfway over before the next incidents of note were recorded.

Thomas-Asante turned nicely outside the box, only to be felled by a hasty challenge. Andrade took responsibility for the set-piece but couldn’t keep his effort on goal down. At the other end the Ammies were nearly caught out after Stephen Hendrie directed a low ball from the left into the 6-yard box. Liam McAlinden got a touch, but the Shrimps were out of luck as the ball flashed right across the face of goal without getting another.

This game wasn’t over yet, and Salford set about the task of getting what would be a decisive second goal. With 16 minutes left Smith slid a pass to the right for Wilson, about 15 yards from goal. The angled shot had power and direction, but Halstead was alert at his near post as he pushed the ball wide for a corner.

The Shrimps needed to take something from this game and a handball shout against Ash Eastham inside Salford’s area was ignored by the referee. Soon after that Andrade was forced into a rushed clearance from just in front of the goal line as the visitors did some late pressing.

With just over 10 minutes to play, Dieseruvwe came on for Thomas-Asante to make his first Salford appearance since January. Five minutes after that, on came Ash Hunter and Sam Fielding for Wilson and Loughlan.

Any hopes that Morecambe may have harboured in terms of taking a reward back up the M6 were finally dashed in the 2nd minute of time added on. Andrade got past Hendrie on the right before slotting a low ball towards the near post. Substitute HUNTER moved quickly to get on the end of it before finishing with style, giving Halstead no chance to save.

That was that and Morecambe’s 2020-2021 EFL Trophy aspirations bit the dust with the final whistle. The Shrimps can still make their mark on the group however as they face current group leaders Manchester United (U21s) in their final game.

FULL-TIME: SALFORD CITY 2 MORECAMBE 0

In the end this result was probably a fair one, although it took the Ammies a while to go ahead and Morecambe had a couple of very presentable chances to level before they were finally sunk by Hunter’s late goal.

Salford manager Alexander will be pleased by his team’s application over the 90 minutes and be encouraged by the performances of the younger lads in today’s line-up.
Golden looks a real prospect at right-back, with both Denny and Loughlan doing themselves justice in the middle of the park. A word is also due for keeper Evans who kept a clean sheet on his debut, and although not tested too much by direct efforts on goal showed composure and distributed the ball intelligently.

The final act of the EFL Trophy group stage drama will be played out at Spotland on 10th November and Salford could actually finish anywhere between 1st and 4th. More pertinently, it looks like only a three-point haul from that game will – realistically – be enough.

https://salfordcityfc.co.uk