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
Vaclav Hladky
3
Ibou Touray
Yellow card for Ibou Touray
4
Jason Lowe
5
Ash Eastham (c)
6
Tom Clarke
10
Ash Hunter
Yellow card for Ash Hunter

Andrade 90+1'

12
Di'Shon Bernard
18
Oscar Threlkeld
19
James Wilson
1 goals for James Wilson

Turnbull 83'

37
Brandon Thomas-Asante

Burgess 83'

40
Ian Henderson

Dieseruvwe 89'

Walsall
13
Jack Rose
2
Cameron Norman
5
James Clarke (c)
6
Dan Scarr
8
Liam Kinsella
10
Josh Gordon
11
Elijah Adebayo

Lavery 77'

12
Alfie Bates

Guthrie 56'

15
Wes McDonald
23
Emmanuel Osadebe

Scrimshaw 56'

24
Hayden White

Nolan 77'

Substitutes
21
Nick Hayes
9
Tom Elliott
11
Bruno Andrade
15
Luke Burgess
1 goals for Luke Burgess
16
Jordan Turnbull
20
Mani Dieseruvwe
Substitutes
1
Liam Roberts
4
Mat Sadler
7
Stuart Sinclair
9
Caolan Lavery
16
Danny Guthrie
17
Jack Nolan
28
Jake Scrimshaw
Managers
Manager - Richie Wellens
Managers
Manager - Darrell Clarke
Match Officals
Referee - Scott Oldham
Assistant Referee - Wayne Grunnill
Assistant Referee - Abbas Khan
Fourth Official - Paul Stonier

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Match
Report

Two goals of real quality sealed a valuable win and extended Salford City’s run of unbeaten league games to five. That’s a sequence that has seen the Ammies concede just one goal – a hotly disputed penalty when league leaders Newport County visited the Peninsula Stadium 11 days ago. On an increasingly chilly Boxing Day afternoon a nicely worked move was finished clinically by James Wilson after 16 minutes, with substitute Luke Burgess’ virtuoso effort wrapping up the points just before the end. Richie Wellens side now sit in 6th place, just 5 points adrift of top spot.

There were no changes from the lineup that started the previous two league games, although on the bench Burgess’ return came at the expense of Mo Touray.

Both sides had been on a good run of form, with Salford looking particularly lively during the opening exchanges. Nevertheless, the first attempt on goal came from the Saddlers as Liam Kinsella’s 5th minute shot from the edge of the area flashed just wide of the target.

A few minutes later Darrell Clarke’s men threatened again when Josh Gordon’s pass to the left picked out Wes McDonald’s run. The angle was a little bit tight and although McDonald got his angled shot on target, Václav Hladký had positioned himself to make a routine save.

Some half-chances for the Saddlers and there would be another in the 15th minute. Alfie Bates lined up a free-kick, about 25-yards out and left of centre but Hladký was behind that one all the way.

Walsall had made the early running in terms of chances created only to fall behind in the 16th minute. Jason Lowe made sure he won possession on halfway, then advanced a little before nudging a pass to the right for Ian Henderson. A ball down the flank sent Brandon Thomas-Asante on a run towards the line and the former MK Don slammed in a low cross. Walsall’s defence could only watch as WILSON arrived on cue to guide a low finish home from a few yards out.

The Thomas-Asante / Wilson combination struck at virtually the same point during last week’s win at Harrogate and this was a very nicely constructed build-up, topped off by a clinical finish.

Walsall could have levelled almost immediately as Emmanuel Osadebe hit a volley, yet once again the effort wasn’t well enough struck to trouble Hladký unduly.

The Ammies carved out another opportunity midway through the first half, with Henderson sliding a pass into the right-hand side of the box. Thomas-Asante latched onto it but from just inside the angle of the area could only lift an effort high over the crossbar.

The Saddlers had recorded 4 consecutive wins prior to this game, scoring 12 goals into the bargain. They continued to press here and when Bates’ corner from the right dropped just beyond the far post central defender Dan Scarr got up to head just wide. It wasn’t long before Bates delivered another corner from the same side and this time Scarr’s downwards header was blocked before the ball was scrambled clear.

A lively first half continued to produce goalmouth action and 14 minutes before the interval Ash Hunter’s lofted cross-field ball dropped for Tom Clarke on the right. A quick-one two with Thomas-Asante gave the former PNE defender a sight of goal, only for Osadebe to snake out a foot in the nick of time. The subsequent corner was met by Scarr but his header dropped for Thomas-Asante who spun to power a low, left-footed 14-yarder just wide of Jack Rose’s left-hand post.

Shortly after that Hunter’s right-of-centre free-kick dipped towards the far post, with Rose suffering a moment or two of anxiety before the ball dropped wide of the upright.

The Ammies finished on the front foot, and with 41 minutes played Ibou Touray crossed low into the area from the left. Wilson’s attempt was fumbled by Rose with Henderson unable to adjust himself to get in a shot.

HALF-TIME: SALFORD CITY 1 WALSALL 0

A one-goal advantage for Salford as the second half got underway, and they had some defending to do as the visitors looked for an equaliser. There was plenty of possession for Walsall, although they were finding it difficult to break down a disciplined and determined home defence.

The first real opportunity of the second half came from a set-piece in the 53rd minute. Hunter always fancies his chances from range and his 25-yard free kick from right-of-centre skimmed the roof of the net after curving to dip just over the bar.

Saddlers’ manager Clarke made a couple of changes after that and one of them almost set up a goal in the 59th minute. Danny Guthrie’s clever corner from the right arrived low at the near post where it was met by Elijah Adebayo. Not the easiest chances, yet the Walsall man will be disappointed at seeing his first-time side-footer skip low outside Hladký’s left-hand upright.

Walsall were rolling forward again but were almost caught out on the hour as the home side looked to hit on the break following a misplaced Guthrie pass. Wilson’s low, diagonal ball to the left found Hunter who from an angle and about 10 yards out could only guide an effort into the side-netting.

The Ammies created another well-worked opportunity 5 minutes later, despite Di’Shon Bernard almost being caught in possession by the lively Gordon. The Manchester United loanee recovered well then played a glorious low pass through the inside-left channel off the outside of his right boot. Hunter collected that one before passing inside for Henderson who moved the ball right for Thomas-Asante. The angled 20-yarder that followed was nicely hit but relatively straightforward for Rose to deal with at the near post.

Walsall had a penalty shout turned down midway through the second half after Gordon went down inside the box following contact from Touray. You see these given, but the referee was handily placed and showed no inclination to award a spot kick.

Salford were looking strong as the half progressed and Oscar Threlkeld had a shot from distance charged down, with the ball spinning wide of Rose’s left-hand post for a corner. Threlkeld turned creator minutes later, nudging a pass forward for Hunter whose shot from distance crashed into Walsall defender Scarr.

With 14 minutes left Hunter’s 25-yarder dropped wide of Rose’s right-hand post and Walsall launched a determined attack from the goal kick. Substitute Jake Scrimshaw’s shot from inside the box was blocked by home skipper Ash Eastham before Adebayo crossed back in from the right. Gordon tried an acrobatic, ambitious diving header only for the ball to spin off his head before dropping outside the far post.

The Saddlers made a couple more substitutions before a low Cameron Norman shot pinballed around the box until lines were eventually cleared.

A share of the points was still very much up for grabs as far as Walsall were concerned, and with 7 minutes left Burgess & Jordan Turnbull replaced Wilson & Thomas-Asante.

One of those substitutes would finally settle the game in Salford’s favour, although there seemed to be little immediate danger as Threlkeld passed inside from the left for Lowe. The former Bolton midfielder stroked a pass to the right for Burgess who would produce a bit of magic to score his 3rd of the season. A diagonal run inside, allied with a dropped shoulder and some tight ball control, took him past James Clarke & Scarr. Covering defender Norman was bamboozled by a classy stepover and BURGESS had tricked his way into acres of space. A low left-footer from 12 yards and left-of-centre squeezed between Rose and his left-hand post to effectively make the points safe.

A fantastic goal, but Walsall were not about to give up on their unbeaten run. The visitors pushed forward in search of a lifeline but were almost caught on the break during time added on. Touray broke up an attack and his controlled pass picked out Burgess in the middle of the park. A low pass to the left sent Hunter away on a run that took him into the penalty area on the left. With Liam Kinsella bearing down, Hunter switched the ball onto his right foot before lifting in a 10-yarder that Rose managed to touch onto the bar.

A three-goal margin of defeat would have been harsh on the Saddlers but Rose’s fine save made no difference to the outcome of an entertaining encounter.

FULL-TIME: SALFORD CITY 2 WALSALL 0

Another satisfying performance and result for Salford City, who are becoming rather hard to break down and beat. Only one team outside of the Premier League has conceded less goals than the Ammies, and it’s that meanness at the back that is underpinning an increasingly impressive sequence of results.

It does no harm to have an instinctive, classy finisher like Wilson clicking into gear either.

Richie Wellens is beginning the process of putting his own stamp on Salford’s style of play and an unbeaten home league record that will extend beyond the new year is a sign of definite progress.

Next up are away trips to Mansfield Town (29th December) and Leyton Orient (2nd January). No game is easy in the EFL but the Ammies certainly have no need to fear anyone…

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