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Salford City football Club

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Team Sheet

Salford City FC
Vaclav Hladky
Ibou Touray
Jason Lowe
Ash Eastham (c)
Tom Clarke
Luke Armstrong

Elliott 63'

Darron Gibson
Ash Hunter

Turnbull 87'

Bruno Andrade

Thomas-Asante 80'

Oscar Threlkeld
Ian Henderson
1 goals for Ian Henderson
Rotherham United
Jamal Blackman
Yellow card for Jamal Blackman
Joe Mattock
Shaun MacDonald
Richard Wood (c)
Freddie Ladapo
Chiedozie Ogbene
Jamie Lindsay

Crooks 71'

Kieran Sadlier
Wes Harding
Michael Ihiekwe

Jones 77'

Michael Smith

Vassell 56'

Nick Hayes
Tom Elliott
Jordan Turnbull
James Wilson
Alex Denny
Tylor Golden
Brandon Thomas-Asante
Viktor Johansson
Billy Jones
Adam Thompson
Kyle Vassell
Clark Robertson
Angus MacDonald
Matt Crooks
1 goals for Matt Crooks
Manager - Graham Alexander
Manager - Paul Warne
Match Officals
Referee - James Oldham
Assistant Referee - Gareth Mellor
Assistant Referee - Peter Gooch
Fourth Official - Aaron Jackson

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The first game of season 2020-2021 provided quite a few Ammie firsts. Ian Henderson scored a debut goal and it was Salford City’s first ever in the League Cup. That goal helped the Ammies on their way to a first ever win in the competition, and this was the first time they’ve beaten a team that plays at EFL Championship level. In the end it took a penalty shootout to book a place in tomorrow’s second (and third) round draws, but that won’t concern Graham Alexander too much. On a less celebratory note, never before have Salford City played a competitive fixture behind closed doors but there was little anybody could do about that one.

Other than Henderson, three other players made their first appearances in a Salford shirt, although due to kit delivery difficult those shirts were black today. First Ammie outings then for Czech keeper Vaclav Hladky, midfielder Jason Lowe and central defender Tom Clarke. Jordan Turnbull would make a brief debut from the bench.

The game opened tentatively, although the Millers were the first to show some sign of attacking teeth. Within the opening minute or two Freddie Lapado picked out Michael Smith inside the area but he could only hook an effort over the bar.

That would prove to be an isolated early chance, but Rotherham continued to see more of the ball as they attacked the West Stand end. In the 13th minute a jinking run from Lapado took him into the box, right of centre, but Ibou Touray was on hand to get in a clearance.

The Ammies were looking reassuringly solid at the back yet were struggling to make an impact at the other end of the pitch. On 19 minutes Bruno Andrade picked up a loose defensive header on the left before a darting run and some nifty footwork gave him the chance to cross. There were black shirts arriving in the box, but the delivery evaded all of them and was routinely cleared.

Rotherham countered at pace, with Chiedozie Ogbene cutting in sharply from the left before trying a left-footed 20-yarder that dropped over the crossbar. The lively Ogbene was at it again seconds later, this time getting in a low shot that was well saved by Hladky in the home goal. The ball went loose but just as Smith looked set to nod home the assistant raised his flag.

This was a good spell for the visitors and on the half-hour Kieran Sadlier hit a speculative effort from outside box that dropped low just outside Hladky’s right-hand post.

The game hadn’t been a classic so far, but the Millers were on top and should have gone ahead 8 minutes before half-time. A nice move started with Michael Ihiekwe’s ball down the right where Ogbene avoided the attentions of Ibou Touray before knocking a pass inside. Lapado moved the ball on to Jamie Lindsay whose rising 20-yarder was well struck. Hladky was equal to it as he pushed the ball over the crossbar at the expense of a corner.

A fine save from the former St. Mirren man who would go on to record an impressive first appearance for his new club. He would soon be forced into action again soon as Joe Mattock crossed from tight to the line on the right. Ihiekwe was on the end of that one and Hladky did well to hold on to the powerful header that followed.

That would be it as far as the first-half was concerned, and the Millers might well have felt unlucky not to have turned all their possession and handful of good chances into a goal.


There would be a scare of the Ammies within a few minutes of the restart as Lindsay found himself inside the box with the ball at his feet. It was a case of Clarke to the rescue however as the former PNE stalwart slid in with a perfectly timed and probably goal saving challenge.

It was Hladky’s turn to deny the Millers next as the keeper got down well to keep out Wes Harding’s crisply struck 18-yarder.

The second half was following the pattern of its predecessor as the visitors looked most likely to open the scoring. Sadlier produced a dangerous cross, whipped in from the left, with Hladky having to go full stretch to push it away to the far side.

There was more pressure for the home team to absorb and after lines were not cleared, Ogbene pounced onto a loose ball inside the box. The low left-footer was goal-bound, but once again Hladky was there, deflecting the ball to safety off his legs.

The Ammies had struggled to cause Millers’ keeper Jamal Blackman any moments of real concern, but they almost managed to edge ahead just after the hour. Touray’s nicely delivered free-kick, left-footed from deep on the right, caught out the Rotherham defence with Ash Eastham looking to get onto the end of it. The Ammies’ skipper stretched but failed to make contact and this rare Salford chance was gone.

Rotherham broke forward quickly with Lapado passing to Ogbene who in turn picked out Sadlier on the left. With defenders closing in the Irish midfielder snatched at a left-footer that skewed high and wide of Hladky’s right-hand upright.

With 25 minutes to play Salford manager Alexander replaced Luke Armstrong with big striker Tom Elliott as he attempted to invigorate his side’s attacking options. The change would eventually pay dividends, but in the meantime the proceedings grew a little scrappy as both sides struggled for quality in the final third.

With 14 minutes left Rotherham’s Shaun MacDonald launched a mighty free-kick from wide on the right, on the halfway line. The ball dropped to the edge of Salford’s area where Richard Wood got in a header that proved simple for Hladky.

Asante came on for Andrade as the game entered its closing 10 minutes although the respective rearguards were looking set to record clean sheets. That situation changed 7 minutes from time as Oscar Threlkeld's lofted diagonal ball from the right caused real consternation for the Rotherham defence. Elliott looked to latch onto the delivery as it dropped but before he could get off a shot a clattering challenge from Blackman – aided and abetted by Ihiekwe – knocked him off his feet. The referee pointed at the spot and Salford had a great chance to snatch a late lead.

HENDERSON was the man entrusted with the spot kick and he hit a low shot to Blackman’s right. The keeper got a solid touch, but fortune was against him as the ball squirmed inside the upright and into the net.

The Millers – as you would expect – piled forward in the aftermath of that goal, but Salford’s new look defence had settled well and were looking a tough nut to crack. With less than 3 minutes left defender Jordan Turnbull – another debutant – came on for Ash Hunter as the home side looked to protect their advantage.

Five minutes of time added on gave Rotherham renewed hope and they almost snatched a leveller in the 4th of those. Joe Mattock’s cross from the left was a good one and Eastham, facing his own goal, almost scored one as his header crashed off the bar and away to relative safety.

A dramatic escape for the Ammies, but their luck wouldn’t last. The 5 minutes were already over when Sadlier delivered a cross, and the home defence struggled to clear their lines. The ball bounced around the box a bit before substitute MATT CROOKS managed to nod home, forcing the tie into a penalty shoot-out.


Spot-kicks it was, and they would be taken at the East Stand end. The heavens opened as the teams prepared themselves for a shoot-out that went something like this…

1-0 Touray. Low shot that beat the keeper to his left.
1-0 Vassell. Low effort that clipped the outside of the keeper’s left-hand post.
2-0 Henderson. Low shot to Blackman’s left, with the keeper going the other way.
2-1 Lapado. Powerful effort high to the keeper’s right as Hladky went the wrong way.
3-1 Gibson. Sent Blackman the wrong way, smashing a shot inside his right-hand post.
3-2 Sadler. Hladky went the right way but was beaten by a pacey finish to his right.
4-2 Asante. Blackman went to the left, the ball to his right.
4-2 Mattock. Low shot to Hladky’s right, with the keeper guessing correctly to make a fine save.

RESULT: SALFORD CITY 1 ROTHERHAM UNITED 1 (Salford win 4-2 on pens)

A good start to an unusual campaign as Championship newcomers Rotherham were overcome to book a place in the Carabao Cup Second Round. The Millers will probably feel a touch aggrieved at this result, having had more possession and chances than their hosts, but even so this was a close affair. Salford defended well, and there are already real signs that the summer recruits will add quality and experience to the squad. There were plenty of decent individual performances but a special word is due for keeper Vaclav Hladky who looks to be a particularly shrewd signing.

That agonisingly late Rotherham equaliser could well have adversely affected Graham Alexander's side but they kept their composure admirably to rattle home four well-taken penalties.

A first step on a long road, but the the signs are very promising indeed.