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
1
Tom King
2
Donald Love
Yellow card for Donald Love
4
Jason Lowe (C)
6
Corrie Ndaba

Touray 78'

7
Ryan Watson

Henderson 84'

8
Matthew Lund
Yellow card for Matthew Lund
10
Ash Hunter
Yellow card for Ash Hunter

Bolton 77'

16
Jordan Turnbull
24
Matt Smith
Yellow card for Matt Smith
37
Brandon Thomas-Asante
42
Theo Vassell
Port Vale
26
Aidan Stone
4
Brad Walker
Yellow card for Brad Walker
5
Connor Hall
6
Nathan Smith (C)
7
David Worrall
8
Ben Garrity
9
James Wilson

Amoo 80'

11
Mal Benning
Yellow card for Mal Benning
13
Jamie Proctor
Yellow card for Jamie Proctor
16
Aaron Martin
20
Harry Charsley
Substitutes
31
Joel Torrance
3
Ibou Touray
15
Luke Burgess
17
Stephen Kelly
24
Luke Bolton
32
Liam Shephard
40
Ian Henderson
Substitutes
22
Tomáš Holy
3
Dan Jones
17
Jake Taylor
19
David Amoo
21
Sam Robinson
24
Kian Harratt
29
Ryan Edmondson
Managers
Manager - Gary Bowyer
Managers
Assistant Manager - Andy Crosby
Match Officals
Referee - Darren Handley
Assistant Referee - Richard Wrigglesworth
Assistant Referee - David Hunt
Fourth Official - Richard Wild

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Match
Report

Salford City tasted defeat for the first time in 12 outings as Port Vale edged a muscular encounter at The Peninsula Stadium. A second half goal from Harry Charsley proved just enough for The Valiants – a rare scoring opportunity taken during what was a tight, hard-fought and occasionally tetchy affair. This was a game that might just have pushed The Ammies to the brink of League Two’s automatic promotion places but they must now instead focus attention on securing a play-off place.

Gary Bowyer made a single change to the side that started Saturday’s impressive win at Hartlepool, with Matty Lund slotting into midfield in place of Stephen Kelly.

A damp evening in Salford and after a tentative start the first sign of needle arrived after just 4 minutes when Theo Vassell and Jamie Proctor were warned by the referee following a robust clash.

In terms of football, the first chance of the game came along in the 7th minute after Proctor got in a clearance that was collected by David Worrall on the right. A pacey advance was followed by a lofted pass to the far side, collected by Mal Benning who delivered just beyond the far post. Former Salford striker James Wilson stretched to make airborne contact with his left foot, but the angle was very tight and the ball flew high and wide of the target.

A good break from Vale and within a minute they did it again as Benning picked up Aidan Stone’s throw to the left. Possession was moved forward to Proctor who cut inside between Matt Lund and Jason Lowe before playing Wilson into the left-hand side of the area with a low forward ball. Having escaped the attention of Theo Vassell Wilson drilled in a low effort from a very tight angle that should have been fairly straightforward for King – crouching at the near post – to deal with. The ball hadn’t read that script as it spun off the keeper then clipped the inside of the upright before rolling temptingly across the face of goal. Charsley got to it before Jordan Turnbull and Corrie Ndaba although the latter did just enough to limit the Vale man to a low, angled prod that King got across well to block.

Two very presentable early opportunities for The Valiants and Salford had got away with a little bit of shaky defending.

The first sniff of unease for the 1,200 plus vocal Valiants gathered behind Stone’s goal was a long Ash Hunter throw from the left that looked like dropping for Ryan Watson at the near post. In the event it was Stone who got there, punching clear effectively. On 10 minutes Watson had a go from distance only to see the effort clear the East Stand.

A couple of minutes later the Proctor – Vassell tussle resumed with the Vale man picking up the game’s first yellow card.

Modest stuff from The Ammies and in the 16th minute Vale again went close to taking the lead. Another decent move culminated in Benning picking up a headed clearance outside the penalty area before playing a pass left for Wilson. Connor Hall was advancing into space wide on the left and he received Wilson’s pass before lifting a good cross that fell to the far angle of the 6-yard box. Worrall arrived to plant a firm downwards header that clipped off teammate Benning in front of goal and behind for a goal kick.

There was another yellow for Vale after that as Brad Walker went into the referee’s notebook for a heavy challenge on Matt Smith. Ash Hunter became Salford’s first entry and in the 24th minute Matt Smith made the caution count 2-2 after a clash with Nathan Smith that left the Vale man on the turf clutching his face.

The game was getting feisty but Salford managed to record their first decent effort on goal as Hunter’s low 16-yarder from just inside the left-hand angle of the box passed outside the far upright.

Generally though Port Vale looked more likely to open the scoring and went close just past the half-hour. Once more a patient, passing build-up almost paid dividends after Benning nudged a pass forward to Proctor on the left and he moved possession inside for Wilson. A drop of the shoulder made a little space on the left-hand side of the box and a low delivery into the middle quickly followed. Donald Love’s clearance dropped for Walker just outside the box and he tried a lobbed 23-yarder that dropped just outside King’s left-hand upright.

Salford had been relatively quiet in front of goal, but they carved out a good chance 8 minutes before the interval. Ndaba’s long, high ball forward from the left-back position was flicked on by Matt Smith before Brandon Thomas-Asante did well to get ahead of Proctor and nod to the left. Lund was in space and left fly with a 20-yard left of centre half-volley that Stone was behind all the way. Even so, the keeper spilled the ball and had to smother quickly as it rolled slowly towards goal.

The Ammies went even closer to pinching the lead during the 4th minute of time added on at the end of the first half. Thomas-Asante did the hard work, latching onto a throw-in down the left before turning away from Proctor. Having got into the penalty area the Salford striker got past Proctor again, tight to the line, before crossing low to the near post. Lund was 6 yards out as he hit a first-time rising effort that clipped of the outside of upright and out for a goal kick.

That was it for a first half that ended with teeming rain and despite that brace of late Salford chances a level scoreline wasn't particularly unfair.

HALF-TIME: SALFORD CITY 0 PORT VALE 0

Attacking the end populated by their supporters, Vale started the second half on the front foot and Salford soon had some defending to do. Just 2 minutes after the restart Proctor played a pass inside from the left for Wilson to hit a low 19-yarder that spun off Turnbull and behind.

Port Vale were pressing with commendable energy and Nathan Smith passed right for Wilson who moved the ball on for Worrall out wide. The cross took a deflection off Ndaba and having continued his run Nathan Smith got up on the edge of the 6-yard box only for the ball to drop just over his head.

The Ammies were struggling to maintain possession in Vale’s half although on 55 minutes Thomas-Asante found space to get in a left of centre 22-yarder that smacked into Nathan Smith on the edge of the box.

Vale were soon back on the attack, hustling Salford out of possession inside their own half of the pitch. Worrall tricked his way inside and past Hunter on the right before delivering a great cross that dropped just beyond the far post. Proctor got there ahead of a defender only to send a close-range, angled header wide of the upright.

Salford were relying on the odd half-chance and on 58 minutes Hunter tried a snap-shot from distance that hit Aaron Martin before Stone could be troubled.

The Valiants had been threatening to score since the second half restarted and in the 59th minute they went ahead. Worrall’s cross from the right was poked away by Watson, yet only as far as Nathan Smith who duly nodded back inside. Ben Garrity and Watson stretched to make contact but it was the Vale man who managed to hook a low diagonal ball to the left where CHARSLEY wrong-footed Turnbull before lifting a 7-yarder between King and his right-hand post.

A nice finish from the Vale man and in truth the visitors deserved to be ahead.

The Ammies needed to turn the tide, but the next chance went they way of Vale as well. Proctor’s cross from the left-hand angle of the penalty area dropped to the far post were Nathan Smith got in a looping header that dropped into King’s hands.

A game that had always been simmering away took a hostile turn midway through the second half after Love was penalised for a heavy challenge on Worrall. It was probably worthy of a yellow card but Vale’s players were adamant that a red should be the outcome, making their feelings clear to the referee. A spot of pushing and shoving broke out, with Lund and Wilson barging each other before the latter went to ground holding his face. It looked unconvincing but after discussion with his assistant and the fourth official the referee booked Love for the foul and Lund for his part in the altercation. Wilson, who thankfully made a quick and complete recovery, escaped censure despite sharing Lund’s culpability.

The break in play was extended as the referee and fourth official engaged in a lively discussion with Salford manager Bowyer, but eventually the game was allowed to resume.

Port Vale would doubtless have been pleased with the way the game was going, but Salford’s long unbeaten run hadn’t come about by accident. The Ammies pushed forward and an Ndaba effort from 25 yards and left of centre deflected off Garrity before rising high then dropping on a course that would take it just underneath the crossbar. Stone did very well, adjusting his position before stretching to push the ball over. Hunter took the corner from the left and Turnbull got up to meet it, sending a header wide of Stone’s left-hand post.

Salford made a couple of substitutions after that as Luke Bolton came on for Hunter and Ibou Touray replaced Ndaba. For Vale, Wilson made way for David Amoo.

With 7 minutes to play Garrity bundled his way through the inside right channel yet having done the hard work his attempt to square to the left for the unmarked Amoo was intercepted by a defender.

Ian Henderson was sent on in place of Watson for the last few minutes and Salford spent them trying to force an equaliser. Touray’s corner from the left found Matt Smith, 8 yards out, and his dipping header had to be touched over the crossbar by Stone. In the 86th minute Bolton advanced on the right before playing a ball inside for Henderson who was nudged over by Benning just outside the penalty area. Touray it was who lined up the free-kick, about 19 yards out and right of centre, but his effort slammed into the wall before being cleared.

There was a minimum of 6 minutes time to be added, but with Vale getting men behind the ball the home side were unable to find a late way through. In the 5th of those minutes Lowe drilled in a low cross from wide on the right but Stone was able to smother the danger at the near post.

The final whistle confirmed a vital win for Port Vale who now have a 3-point advantage over 4th placed Northampton Town. Salford drop down to 10th due to now having the same goal difference as Swindon but with less goals scored.

FULL-TIME: SALFORD CITY 0 PORT VALE 1

Salford City’s long unbeaten run was always going to come to an end, but it’s disappointing it had to be tonight. Having hauled themselves into contention with a fine sequence of results The Ammies were within touching distance of the top three places – something that would have been seen as rather unlikely just a few weeks ago. A win this evening would have lifted Gary Bowyer’s side into the play-off places, and just a single point outside the automatic promotion slots.

Football is all about fine margins of course, and instead that gap is now 7 points with just 6 games to play.
It may be that the play-offs present Salford City's best chance of playing League One football during season 2022-2023 and this setback need not hugely affect that prospect.

A quick, positive response would be ideal, and the next game is on Saturday when mid-table Harrogate Town visit The Peninsula Stadium. After that come Easter games at Bristol Rovers and at home to Barrow.

Six huge games to come and the aim is simple – win as many of the 18 points on offer as we can, and see where it leads us as the journey continues.

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