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Salford City football Club

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Team Sheet

Scunthorpe United
1
Rory Watson
3
Mason O'Malley
4
Alex Kenyon
Yellow card for Alex Kenyon
5
George Taft (C)
6
Emmanuel Onariase
9
Ryan Loft
1 goals for Ryan Loft Yellow card for Ryan Loft
11
Myles Hippolyte

Millen 68'

12
Jai Rowe
18
Jake Scrimshaw

Jarvis 81'

25
Alex Perry
Yellow card for Alex Perry
26
Hayden Hackney

Pugh 81'

Salford City FC
26
Connor Ripley
2
Donald Love
4
Jason Lowe
Yellow card for Jason Lowe
5
Ash Eastham (C)
8
Matthew Lund
11
Josh Morris
16
Jordan Turnbull
18
Conor McAleny
1 goals for Conor McAleny

Dackers 89'

30
Kelly N'Mai
Yellow card for Kelly N'Mai

Oteh 60'

32
Liam Shephard
37
Brandon Thomas-Asante
Yellow card for Brandon Thomas-Asante
Substitutes
31
Jake Balme
2
Ross Millen
7
Devarn Green
8
Alfie Beestin
16
Lewis Thompson
19
Aaron Jarvis
23
Tom Pugh
Substitutes
12
Zach Jeacock
20
Aramide Oteh
22
Tylor Golden
24
Andy Smith
28
Alex Denny
36
Marcus Dackers
42
Theo Vassell
Managers
Manager - Keith Hill
Managers
Manager - Gary Bowyer
Match Officals
Referee - Josh Smith
Assistant Referee - Jonathan Hunt
Assistant Referee - Sam Lewis
Fourth Official - Andy Haines

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Match
Report

The Ammies brought a point home from their trip to The Sands Venue Stadium thanks to a second half performance that could just have earned all three. Scunthorpe United went ahead thanks to the sort of lucky break that Salford’s opponents seem to be getting recently, but Gary Bowyer’s side rallied strongly after the interval. Denied two penalty shouts that seemed to have “stonewall” written all over them, a quality Connor McAleny finish earned a share of the spoils.

Injuries and international call-ups restricted Salford City’s options for this game, with two players making their first EFL starts for the club and another making his full debut. Manager Bowyer currently has to manage without the services of keeper Tom King and outfield players Luke Burgess, Tom Elliott, Ian Henderson, Ash Hunter, D’Mani Mellor, Corrie Ndaba and Matty Willock – all injured. As if that wasn’t enough, Ibou Touray and Tyreik Wright are away with The Gambia and Republic of Ireland U21s respectively.

As a result, there were a number of changes from the side that lost at home to Exeter City a fortnight ago in the Ammies previous EFL League Two outing. Donald Love was drafted in at left-back for his first league start for the club. Further upfield in came Kelly Nmai (starting for the first time in a league game) and Conor McAleny for Elliott and Willock. Among the substitutes were former Wrexham defender Theo Vassell (signed as a free agent earlier this week) and Marcus Dackers (recalled from a successful loan spell with Stalybridge Celtic).

Scunthorpe United have endured an unhappy start to their season and started this game in 24th place, but they almost found a way through within a minute of the start. Jai Rowe hoisted forward a free-kick from a deep position wide on the right. The ball dropped into the penalty area where the stretching Jake Scrimshaw narrowly missed making contact before Connor Ripley collected.

The first half would certainly not prove provide a feast of attacking football, yet Salford passed the ball around nicely early on, albeit without doing much of note in the final third. The Ammies won a few corners and a free-kick or two, with hosts Scunthorpe United largely looking to hit on the break.

Shephard’s corner found the head of Lund beyond the far post on 7 minutes, but the former Rochdale man couldn’t get his effort on target.

The first Scunthorpe chance of any note arrived shortly afterwards as Mason O’Malley made ground on the left before getting in a cross. Scrimshaw got up to meet it, but under considerable defensive pressure from Jordan Turnbull could only glance a header well wide of the far post.

There was rather more danger for Salford to deal with on 19 minutes after Love was dispossessed outside the left-hand angle of his own penalty area. Scrimshaw was onto the ball in a flash, pulling back a pass low and to the edge of the box where Ryan Loft had a shot blocked. Possession fell for Hayden Hackney who had a go from 22 yards and just left of centre, only to lift the ball clear of the crossbar.

Middlesbrough loanee Hackney threatened again a couple of minutes later, collecting Loft’s pass to the left before attempting to curl home from about 25 yards out. Ripley’s dive may well have been beaten but the shot dipped just wide of the far upright anyway.

At the other end Josh Morris lined up a centrally positioned 25-yard free-kick before hitting a dipping effort that the stretching Rory Watson managed to tip over.

With 27 minutes played Loft crossed from the left for Scrimshaw to get in a header that was blocked. The grounded Scunthorpe forward tried to sweep the loose ball home but couldn’t get a decent contact before a defender hacked clear.

A flurry of chances to enliven the half, but it would take a stroke of fortune for The Iron to take a 37th minute lead. Hackney chipped a ball from deep into the left-hand side of the area, with Myles Hippolyte chesting the it into the path of O’Malley. Matty Lund just got ahead of the Scunthorpe man but could only poke a low pass back to Ripley. The on-loan keeper tried a hurried first-time clearance that cannoned into O’Malley and back across the 6-yard box for LOFT to arrive before Love and apply a simple 4-yard finish.

That would prove to be the last meaningful action from a disappointing first half and the Ammies trooped back the dressing room a goal down.

HALF-TIME: SCUNTHORPE UNITED 1 SALFORD CITY 0

Salford’s vocal travelling support were hoping for a better half from their team, but it took a little while for proceedings to warm up after the restart. The Ammies saw plenty of the ball, again looked promising to a point yet failing to create any early chances thanks to a succession of so-so final balls and decisions.

Nmai was booked for a heavy challenge on Hackney in the 56th minute and his side nearly paid an even heavier penalty. The free-kick, from deep on the left dropped beyond the far post where Emmanuel Onariase arrived on the run, heading back inside. The ball spun off Love’s foot then squirmed under Ripley and over the line. Cue jubilation among Scunny players and supporters and a measure of despair from their Salfordian equivalents, but only until everyone noticed the assistant’s raised offside flag.

Something of an escape there for the Ammies but it seemed to spur them into action. Just a couple of minutes later a Scunthorpe attack broke down, with Lund moving forward inside his own half. A threaded forward ball was perfect for McALENY to run onto, getting between George Taft and Onariase before slotting a low 20-yard from just right of centre between the advancing Watson and his left-hand post.

A quality assist and finish for Salford, from two players who had both had spells with Scunthorpe United before arriving at The Peninsula Stadium. From that point on the Ammies looked the more likely side to secure the two extra points as they finally slipped into a more fluent attacking style.

Just a minute or so after McAleny’s leveller, Love drifted inside from the left and finding himself in space let fly with a rising effort that flew high and wide of the far upright.

There was a controversial incident in the 62nd minute as Thomas-Asante used his strength and trickiness to get into the box from the right. The striker stayed on his feet despite a clip on the edge of the area from Hackney but couldn’t do the same after appearing to be tripped by home skipper Taft. Salford City have yet to be awarded an EFL League Two penalty this season, but it looked as if that record would come to an end here. The referee had a surprise up his sleeve as he not only turned down the penalty appeals but also yellow-carded Thomas-Asante for simulation.

It certainly looked like a clear penalty from behind the goal but once again the Ammies were out of luck. They were certainly getting the upper hand however, yet always had to keep an eye on the occasional Scunthorpe break.

In the 67th minute Loft advanced into space on the right, with Salford looking stretched as he squared a ball inside. Alex Perry, unmarked, was the target but Loft’s disappointing delivery was scooped up by Ripley.

There was a several minute break in play after a clash of heads between Morris and O’Malley, with the Scunthorpe man requiring treatment before being deemed fit to carry on.

There was a further moment of controversy in the 72nd minute after Salford substitute Remi Oteh made ground on the left before slipping a pass inside for Morris. What looked suspiciously like a trip left the former Fleetwood midfielder on the deck, yet once again the referee was unimpressed by what looked a pretty solid penalty shout. The loose ball fell nicely for Lund but from 20 yards and a little left of centre he could only lift a shot high into the stand behind Watson’s goal.

At the other end O’Malley’s cross from the right was controlled by Scrimshaw before the ball was nudged to Loft whose shot was deflected wide.

It’d be wrong to suggest that the Scunthorpe goal was under siege, but accurate to say that Salford’s forays forward generally carried more menace than their hosts’. Thomas-Asante had a shot charged down by Alex Kenyon on the edge of the penalty area and with 10 minutes to play Morris hit one from a similar range that was stopped and held by the keeper.

Fortune almost smiled on the Iron again 5 minutes from time as substitute Tom Pugh advanced on the left before lofting over a cross that dropped over Ripley’s head then came back off the inside of the far post. Fellow sub Aaron Jarvis couldn’t force home the loose ball and the game was still finely balanced.

Loft displayed decent control as he used his head to deftly bring down a high ball to the left before cutting inside. The shot was less impressive, clearing the stand behind Ripley's goal.

Dackers replaced McAleny during the penultimate minute of the 90 and the big 18-year-old would put himself about during the time that remained. That earlier clash of heads contributed to 7 minutes of time being added on and in the 3rd of those Liam Shephard aimed a low cross from the right towards the near post. Watson couldn’t hold on and as the ball went loose Dackers almost got there before a defender could punt clear.

Soon after that Oteh collected the ball inside the box, on the right, before clipping a pass inside for Thomas-Asante. A dart inside was followed by a low left-footer from 18 yards that wasn’t too far wide of Watson’s left-hand post.

The final few minutes failed to provide any chances and the game ended all square.

FULL-TIME: SCUNTHORPE UNITED 1 SALFORD CITY 1

Scunthorpe United have shown early signs of recovery since Keith Hill occupied the managerial hot-seat a few weeks ago. Nevertheless, Gary Bowyer would have been looking to take 3 points from this game and will be disappointed particularly with his side’s first-half showing.

Faced with moderate opposition the Ammies looked lacklustre during the first half, lacking urgency and a threat in the final third. Even so, they didn’t really deserve to trail at the interval, and although they didn’t upgrade to a classic performance after the break there was a definite improvement.

Even so, Watson in the home goal wasn’t exactly overworked during the second half yet could have been forced to face at least one, if not two spot-kicks.

On the other side of the coin Scunthorpe had a couple of chances themselves and saw Pugh’s effort come back off the woodwork.

An uneven day at the office for the Ammes who could have taken all 3 points yet might have gone home empty-handed too. In the end then, perhaps the draw wasn't too unfair.

It is proving difficult to force a way into the top half of the table – the Ammies haven’t managed that all season. As thing stand, they are much closer in terms of points won to Scunthorpe at the bottom of the league than Forest Green Rovers at the top.

Next week sees a trip to Harrogate Town before another home double-header with Bristol Rovers and Oldham Athletic. Time to find some consistency and get some points on the board…

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