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Salford City football Club

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Team Sheet

Tranmere Rovers
25
Ross Doohan
2
Josh Dacres-Cogley
3
Calum MacDonald
5
Tom Davies
7
Kieron Morris
1 goals for Kieron Morris

O'Connor 70'

8
Jay Spearing
Red card for Jay Spearing
14
Callum McManaman

Feeney 66'

15
Josh Hawkes
Yellow card for Josh Hawkes

Knight-Percival 70'

17
Sam Foley
20
Elliott Nevitt
1 goals for Elliott Nevitt
26
Peter Clarke (c)
Yellow card for Peter Clarke (c)
Salford City FC
1
Tom King
3
Ibou Touray
Red card for Ibou Touray
4
Jason Lowe
Yellow card for Jason Lowe
5
Ash Eastham (c)
6
Corrie Ndaba
7
Tyreik Wright

Turnbull 30'

8
Matty Lund

Elliott 57'

11
Josh Morris
14
Matty Willock
32
Liam Shephard
37
Brandon Thomas-Asante

Hunter 63'

Substitutes
4
Nathaniel Knight-Percival
10
Ryan Watson
11
Liam Feeney
16
Paul Glatzel
18
Nicky Maynard
21
Mark Duffy
22
Lee O'Connor
Substitutes
12
Zach Jeacock
2
Donald Love
9
Tom Elliott
10
Ash Hunter
Yellow card for Ash Hunter
16
Jordan Turnbull
19
D'Mani Mellor
30
Kelly N'Mai
Managers
Manager - Micky Mellon
Managers
Manager - Gary Bowyer
Match Officals
Referee - Sam Purkiss
Assistant Referee - Christopher Ward
Assistant Referee - Lee Freeman
Fourth Official - Nik Barnard

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Match
Report

A profoundly disappointing afternoon for the Ammies on the Wirral as Gary Bowyer’s depleted side lost 2-0 to hosts Tranmere Rovers. The first half wasn’t at all pleasant for Salford who conceded an unfortunate penalty before being reduced to 10 men following a very debatable red card for Ibou Touray. Experienced Tranmere midfielder Jay Spearing was sent off on the cusp of half-time (that decision looked a touch harsh too) to level up the numbers, but a quick second goal for Rovers after the interval left an off-colour Salford with too steep a hill to climb.

With Conor McAleny and Ian Henderson injured, Matty Willock and Brandon Thomas-Asante were drafted into the starting XI.

Tranmere enjoyed a majority of the early possession although the only real goalmouth action came when the home side won a 6th minute corner. The set-piece was delayed for a couple of minutes as Salford’s Matty Lund required treatment.

A pretty quiet opening in terms of incident but that would change in the 12th minute. Right back Josh Dacres-Cogley whipped in a cross and Liam Shephard - facing his own goal - was unlucky as the ball struck his slightly raised arm. The referee barely hesitated before pointing to the spot and it was KIERON MORRIS who stroked a low shot to Tom King’s right. The Salford keeper got across well and was unfortunate as the ball flicked off his leg and into the net when it could have ended up anywhere.

A goal down in less than fortunate circumstances, but the Ammies started to see some possession in the home half. A free-kick was won, about 25 yards out and just left of centre. Josh Morris’s shot was on target until Rovers keeper Ross Doohan sprung acrobatically to his right to push the ball wide for a corner.

Tranmere thought they had a second goal in the 16th minute after a good Calum McMananan cross from the right. Sam Foley met the ball with a glancing header that dropped just inside the far post, yet home celebrations were cut short by the assistant’s raised flag.

The Ammies were attacking the Cowshed end where their fans were gathered, and Thomas-Asante’s neat touch set up Tyreik Wright. The Villa loanee drilled in a low 22-yarder that Doohan managed to save and hold.

The game was opening up a little, but Salford’s hopes took a severe jolt in the 20th minute. Full-back Touray contested a loose ball with McManaman and it seemed neither player got a touch. The Rovers winger collapsed to the turf in the aftermath of the challenge, yet initially the referee allowed play to continue before noticing his assistant flagging. A brief discussion followed before a clearly surprised Touray was shown a straight red card even though it appeared he hadn’t made any real contact on McManaman.

Video evidence may well sort out the rights and wrongs of that one but the reality was that Salford were a man down.

Morris tucked in at left-back for a while to cover Touray’s absence and Tranmere looked to make the most of their numerical advantage. Josh Hawkes cut inside from the left before hitting a shot that bounced before being claimed by King at the near post. McManaman was the next to threaten, moving inside from the right, across the edge of the penalty area. A low shot on goal followed but again King made a routine stop as he stooped to stop the effort.

On the half-hour Spearing stroked a pass out to the right for the dangerous McManaman whose low ball forward sent Dacres-Cogley on a run to the line. The full-back’s low cross fizzed across the 6-yard box but nobody could get a touch as the ball ran to safety on the far side.

Salford brought on central defender Jordan Turnbull after that, with Wright making way as Corrie Ndaba moved out to the left-back position.

That change would prove effective for Salford as the home side struggled to break the 10 men down for the remainder of the half. Tranmere still saw plenty of the ball but were held at arm’s length. A touch of impatience crept into the home side’s play, and Hawkes was booked for a heavy challenge on Shephard.

The Ammies almost snatched an equaliser 3 minutes before the break after Thomas-Asante, with back to goal, nudged a pass to the right for Shephard. The full-back advanced, checked and rolled a square pass into the box for Lund. The former Rochdale man opened his goalscoring account for Salford in dramatic style last Saturday but here his low, right-of-centre 15-yarder rolled a foot or two wide of the far post.

A good chance for Salford, and their prospects were to improve during the 1st minute of time added on. Spearing’s challenge on Lund looked clumsy rather than malicious, but after speaking to his assistant the referee decided that the former Liverpool and Bolton midfielder had done enough to merit a straight red.

There was still time for home skipper Peter Clarke to find his way into the referee’s notebook following a foul on Thomas-Asante before the whistle brought a tetchy half to an end.

HALF-TIME: TRANMERE ROVERS 1 SALFORD CITY 0

The game had swung away from Tranmere as the first half came to an end, but it would swing right back within 3 minutes of the restart. Calum Macdonald took a quick throw-in on the left and Kieron Morris’s run into the box took him almost to the line. The cross was a very good one, with ELLIOT NEVITT getting ahead of Turnbull to guide a close-range diving header across King and inside the far post.

Not an ideal start to the second half from the Ammie viewpoint, yet they might have been back in the game within a couple of minutes. Thomas-Asante found a little room inside the box and well left of centre, letting fly with a rising drive. Home keeper Doohan has a flair for the dramatic and a theatrical leap to his left followed by another punching save drew appreciative applause from the Rovers support.

In the 50th minute Jason Lowe caught Macdonald with a late challenge and the home crowd were baying for another red card. Collective Salford breath was duly held, but on this occasion the referee contented himself with a yellow.

Lowe had his pocket picked deep inside his own half a couple of minutes later with Kieron Morris and Nevitt swapping passes before the former had a shot charged down by Shephard inside the box. A couple of minutes later Clarke got in a header, with King doing well to claw the effort away.

At the other end Thomas-Asante collected Lowe’s pass before wheeling away from his marker to the right. There was a sight of goal but the shot was always rising too steeply, and failed to trouble Doohan.

Tom Elliott replaced Lund 12 minutes into the second half as the visitors looked to add some height and presence to their forward line.

Willock embarked on a run inside from the left on the hour, only to be met by a wall of white shirts who duly closed ranks to snuff out the danger.

Salford were in desperate need of a goal but weren’t testing the home keeper anywhere near enough. Thomas-Asante made way for Ash Hunter for the game’s final quarter but despite the changes, the Ammies were struggling to break their opponents down.

In the 67th minute a Josh Morris cross from the left was tucked by inside from the far post by Shephard. The ball fell towards Elliott but before he got there a defender nipped in to knock behind for a corner.

With 20 minutes to play Shephard’s cross from the right dropped for Hunter beyond the far post only for his shot to fly wide of the target.

Time was running out for Salford whose pressing wasn’t paying dividends and Hunter was booked for a petulant foul borne from frustration. Hunter’s next contribution was to curl a cross from the right to the far post where the stretching Josh Morris couldn’t make contact.

The Ammies were committing men forward in search of a lifeline goal, with gaps being left at the back a result. In the 80th minute home substitute Liam Feeney closed down Turnbull inside the area, with the Salford defender just about controlling in time to play a pass to Josh Morris.

With 7 minutes to play Feeney broke into space through the middle after jinking past Eastham. Having made it to the box the substitute hesitated and his attempt to play a pass to Nevitt on the left was cut out by a retreating defender.

Feeney was played clear again in the 85th minute, latching onto Foley’s clipped pass before racing into space. The low shot that followed was straight at King who managed to deflect the ball away off his feet.

There were 5 minutes still to play and 5 more were added on by the referee. Neither side could create anything during that time – Tranmere didn’t really need to of course, but there would be little cheer for the travelling supporters who made themselves heard throughout a pretty dismal afternoon.

FULL-TIME: TRANMERE ROVERS 2 SALFORD CITY 0

Another unhappy day on the road for Salford City who suffered their 3rd away league defeat out of 3. Add on the Carabao Cup and EFL Trophy ties and that makes it 5 defeats away from the Peninsula Stadium so far this season.

There was plenty of bad luck for Gary Bowyer’s side this afternoon. The penalty was unlucky, but a second viewing suggests that the referee had little option other to award it. Touray’s red card was rather less clear cut, and although the challenge was a little bit rash it did very much look as if there was little - if any - contact made. Spearing’s red card evened things up numerically but that quick second half goal effectively ended Salford’s interest in the destination of the points.

The Ammies never really clicked into anything like top gear this afternoon. Too many forays forward either fizzled out or ended with a poor final ball or finish. Home keeper Doohan made a couple of his saves look good, but in truth he wasn’t given anywhere near enough work to do.

It was hoped that the late Lund winner against Bradford last week might just kickstart Salford’s league season, but it might be a case of back to the drawing board before Northampton Town visit the Peninsula Stadium in 7 days time.

It’s still very early in the season of course, but a good performance and 3 points from that one would be a real tonic.

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