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Salford City football Club

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Team Sheet

Tranmere Rovers
13
Joe Murphy
2
Lee O'Connor
6
Manny Monthe
7
Kieron Morris

Blackett-Taylor 90'

14
Kaiyne Woolery
Yellow card for Kaiyne Woolery

Nugent 77'

17
Otis Khan
Yellow card for Otis Khan
18
Calum MacDonald
19
Liam Feeney
22
Paul Lewis
26
Peter Clarke (c)
35
Danny Lloyd

Vaughan 67'

Salford City FC
1
Vaclav Hladky
3
Ibou Touray
4
Jason Lowe
5
Ash Eastham (c)
12
Di'Shon Bernard
16
Jordan Turnbull
Yellow card for Jordan Turnbull
17
Richie Towell

Burgess 62'

18
Oscar Threlkeld

Coutts 82'

24
Robbie Gotts

Dieseruvwe 82'

37
Brandon Thomas-Asante

Boyd 62'

40
Ian Henderson
Substitutes
30
Ben Jones
3
Liam Ridehalgh
9
James Vaughan
11
Corey Blackett-Taylor
16
Nya Kirby
21
George Ray
28
David Nugent
Substitutes
31
William Evans
6
Tom Clarke
10
Ash Hunter
14
George Boyd
15
Luke Burgess
20
Mani Dieseruvwe
Yellow card for Mani Dieseruvwe
25
Paul Coutts
Managers
Manager - Keith Hill
Managers
Manager - Gary Bowyer
Match Officals
Referee - Bobby Madley
Assistant Referee - Steve Rushton
Assistant Referee - Simon Clayton
Fourth Official - Anthony Backhouse

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Match
Report

A point that trims the gap between Salford City and the final play-off places, although thanks to results elsewhere the Ammies have dropped a position to 11th. In the end this was a decent result for Gary Bowyer’s side as they again struggled to turn possession into chances whilst surviving a couple of real scares at the other end. There are a cluster of clubs vying to get into the play-off places, with Newport County currently occupying the box seat. Above them, Forest Green Rovers (winners today for the first time in 7 games) and Tranmere Rovers will hope that they have open points in the bag despite recent poor form. All to play for, but a consistent run of wins now would do the world of good.

There were two changes to the side that started Tuesday evening’s defeat at the hands of Bolton Wanderers. Fit again Oscar Threlkeld was back in midfield, with Di’Shon Bernard slotting in at right-back to make his first start in 5 matches. Back on the bench were Tom Clarke and Paul Coutts.

A very pleasant spring afternoon in Birkenhead and Rovers came into this game on the back of 6 EFL League Two games without a win. Included in their starting XI was a familiar face to Salford City supporters as Danny Lloyd lined up on the left flank.

It was Lloyd who produced the afternoon’s first moment of interest as he pushed forward on the left in the 2nd minute before aiming a dangerous cross towards the far post. There were white shirts in the vicinity, yet it was Ibou Touray who got up to flick a header to safety on the far side. At the other end, a couple of minutes later, Robbie Gotts collected a pass before hitting a left of centre shot that was blocked on the edge of the box by home defender Manny Monthé.

What would prove to be Salford’s best chance of the afternoon arrived in the 18th minute, courtesy of a good Oscar Threlkeld delivery from right of centre. Ian Henderson met the cross towards the far post, getting in a decent downwards header that forced veteran keeper into a good save, low to his right.

Both sides would look occasionally threatening in the build-up for a whiley, without really translating that into danger inside the respective penalty areas. Partly that was due to some solid defending – particularly from the visitors, but partly attributable to a lack of quality with the final ball.

On 20 minutes Calum Macdonald launched a mighty, diagonal ball to the edge of the box from the left-back position, with Václav Hladký anticipating to get in a clearing header on the edge of his penalty area. The Salford keeper was clattered by a Kaiyne Woolery challenge for his pains, with the Rovers man a little bit lucky not to pick up a yellow card.

Otherwise, there were signs that Salford were upping the intensity of their attacks a little bit. Midway through the first half Jason Lowe slipped a pass for the right for Richie Towell, only for his shot from distance to clear the bar by some distance.

There was another moment of discomfort for Tranmere within just 60 seconds. Bernard dispossessed Lloyd on the halfway line and wide on Salford’s right before lofting a cross towards the edge of the area. Murphy had advanced to meet it, yet fumbled the catch and was fortunate that the loose ball ran conveniently to be retrieved rather than into the path of the lurking Henderson.

Down in the shade of the home end Lloyd lined up a 30-yard free-kick that duly crashed into the Salford defensive wall.

Just before the half-hour a Touray free-kick from a deep position wide on the left was flicked on by Henderson inside the area. It could have been useful but nobody else in a black shirt was close enough and the ball dropped harmlessly outside the far upright.

Touray was in creative mood again soon afterwards, powering past Woolery wide on the left before getting in a good cross. Jordan Turnbull had ventured forward to meet it, yet his header on dropped for a home defender to get in a clearance.

Eleven minutes before half time Woolery picked up his yellow card following a scything challenge on Touray outside the Salford penalty area.

The Ammies were looking the more lively attacking side and in the 37th minute Henderson lofted a cross from the left-hand edge of the box. Bernard headed back inside from just beyond the far post, with Brandon Thomas-Asante and Monthé challenging for a ball that eventually dropped over the crossbar. The Salford striker was adamant that the final touch had been his opponent’s, but the referee was equally sure that a goal kick should be the outcome.

Tranmere pushed forward a little bit more during the half’s closing stages and in the 38th minute Threlkeld gave possession away in the middle of the park. Tranmere had a sudden numerical advantage as they advanced, only for Lee O’Connor’s attempt to thread a pass forward to be cut out by a retreating defender.

Five minutes before the interval Liam Feeney picked out Lloyd on the left-hand side of the box, but his attempt to return the favour was intercepted and cleared by a visiting defender.

Not the most dramatic of attacking moments, yet the first half had produced little more, with the only memorable chance being Henderson’s header that brought a good save out of Murphy.

HALF-TIME: TRANMERE ROVERS 0 SALFORD CITY 0

Half time scores elsewhere suggested that both sides could do themselves quite a bit of good by recording a win this afternoon. Both were willing to push men forward as the second half got underway, but initially at least the defences were able to deal with everything comfortably enough.

The 15 minutes that followed the restart yielded a couple of Tranmere corners but very little else. After that, Rovers would enjoy their best spell of the game and they went very close to breaking the deadlock in the 61st minute. Otis Khan found some space wide on the right and his ball inside fell for Paul Lewis. His 16-yard shot may have come off the turf because it spun up into the air, over Hladký and off the bar, with a defender getting in a hurried clearance.

Salford responded by replacing Thomas-Asante and Towell with George Boyd and Luke Burgess, but for the moment the momentum was with Tranmere.

In the 64th minute Ash Eastham was caught in possession, wide on Salford's right and just about on the halfway line. Lloyd used his pace to dash forward before cutting into the box and slamming in a low shot that Hladký parried at his near post. The ball went loose and Lloyd got in a second effort from just outside the angle of the 6-yard box. Again it was hit hard and low but Hladký has a priceless knack of positioning himself expertly and the effort deflected to safety off his legs.

That was to be Lloyd’s last contribution, with Rovers’ top scorer James Vaughan replacing him for the final quarter of the game. Vaughan nearly made an immediate impact, getting up just outside the 6-yard box to meet a free-kick from wide on the left. This was a decent opportunity for the home side but Vaughan couldn’t get the header on target, with the ball dropping high and wide of the near post.

A good spell for the hosts but they hadn’t managed to grab a goal. Salford had been quiet for a while but with 19 minutes left Burgess’ pass to the right Gotts on the right, with his low delivery passing inches behind Boyd in the middle.

Boyd swung a cross in from the left next, but Henderson couldn’t beat a covering defender to the ball. Twelve minutes from time Threlkeld lofted a ball forward from just inside his own half and wide on the right. For a second it seemed that Henderson would be in pole position to meet it, but Peter Clarke got to the ball and ushered it safely back to Murphy.

At the Cowshed end a Khan cross just evaded Vaughan and Woolery at the far upright.

Vaughan had given Tranmere an option up front and in the 79th minute he collected a flicked Lewis pass into the right-hand side of the box. Touray did well to get in a challenge and from an angle the Rovers striker’s low effort was gathered by Hladký at the near post.

There was another double change for the Ammies 8 minutes from time, with Paul Coutts and Mani Dieseruvwe on for Gotts and Threlkeld.

Both sides were still looking for the opening that would earn an extra 2 points, but in truth the closing stages didn’t produce much in the way of goalmouth excitement. Dieseruvwe was booked in the final minutes after an aerial clash with Clarke on the edge of Tranmere’s penalty area.

The game’s final incidents of note arrived in the 2nd minute of 3 added on by the referee. Veteran striker David Nugent slipped a pass into the right-hand side of the area for fellow substitute Corey Blackett-Taylor. A chance to nick it at the death, but Touray was having none of it as he got in a great blocking challenge. Seconds later a Lewis run from the right was finished off by a 22-yard shot that cleared the crossbar.

FULL-TIME: TRANMERE ROVERS 0 SALFORD CITY 0

A single point then, on an afternoon where 3 would have lifted the Ammies to the very brink of the play-off places. Did they deserve to win? Probably not, despite having a healthy amount of possession and a couple of decent chances.

The draw was probably a fair outcome overall, and both sides will be a little bit frustrated with it. A win for Tranmere would have lifted them within 2 points of 3rd placed Bolton Wanderers, surprisingly beaten today at bottom of the table Grimsby.

Instead it’s Morecambe who capitalised on the Trotters’ slip-up, coming out on top courtesy of a 4-3 win over Oldham Athletic.

The Ammies have drawn a blank in 6 of their last 9 league games, and it’s that shyness in front of goal that has hampered their promotion push. There are points to be taken – and lost – from the remaining 5 league games but we have to start putting the ball into the net. Hard fought points are all well and good, but Salford City need to turn them into wins, starting with the trip to Walsall on Tuesday evening...

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