S a l f o r d
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Salford City football Club

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Team Sheet

Jack Rose
Cameron Norman
Max Melbourne
Mat Sadler

Bates 65'

James Clarke (c)
Liam Kinsella
Caolan Lavery
Josh Gordon
Sam Perry

Scarr 66'

Emmanuel Osadebe

McDonald 66'

Hayden White

Wright 65'

Salford City FC
Vaclav Hladky
Ibou Touray
Jason Lowe
Ash Eastham (c)
Ash Hunter

Boyd 82'

Di'Shon Bernard
Jordan Turnbull
1 goals for Jordan Turnbull
Richie Towell

Thomas-Asante 82'

Oscar Threlkeld
Robbie Gotts
Yellow card for Robbie Gotts
Ian Henderson
1 goals for Ian Henderson
Liam Roberts
Dan Scarr
Derick Osei Yaw
Alfie Bates
Wes McDonald
Tom Leak
Tyreik Wright
William Evans
Tom James
Tom Clarke
George Boyd
Luke Burgess
Paul Coutts
Brandon Thomas-Asante
Yellow card for Brandon Thomas-Asante
Head Coach - Brian Dutton
Manager - Gary Bowyer
Match Officals
Referee - Peter Wright
Assistant Referee - Kevin Howick
Assistant Referee - Steven Plane
Fourth Official - Thomas Harty

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A first half strike from Ian Henderson and Jordan Turnbull’s first goal as an Ammie earned three deserved points at the Bescot Stadium. The home side had the evening’s first opportunity of the evening but after that opening goal Salford City never really looked likely to surrender their advantage. Despite a couple of sides stumbling around them, the Ammies remain 3 points outside the play-off positions thanks to Newport County’s 2-0 win at home to Crawley Town. With four games left, there are still enough points up for grabs to bridge the gap and secure a shot at promotion to League One. If tonight’s form can be carried through to the remaining games, the chances must be good.

There was a single change from the side that drew at Tranmere on Saturday as Ash Hunter replaced Brandon Thomas-Asante.

Salford looked settled right from the whistle and in the 5th minute Richie Towell slotted a low ball forward into the box. Robbie Gotts set off in chase only for a defender to usher possession back for Saddlers’ keeper Jack Rose.

The first decent goalscoring opportunity came along 3 minutes later, and it went to Walsall. Caolan Lavery nodded a lofted ball down, with Josh Gordon drilling in a low 22-yard right of centre effort. At first it seemed as if the shot was heading wide of the far post, only for the ball to swing inwards forcing Václav Hladký into a full-length save to his right.

A decent strike and at the other end Gotts collected a long ball played out to the right before crossing for Towell to head wide of the target. In the 16th minute Emmanuel Osadebe cut inside from the left, got a yard on the covering Jason Lowe then hit a rising 25-yarder that wasn’t too far wide of Hladký’s right-hand post.

A lively enough start, but Salford were starting to ease into their passing game and the home defence had work to do. Following a good spell of crisp possession Towell lofted a pass into the right-hand side of the box looking for Gotts, who this time was thwarted by the speedily advancing Rose.

Good keeping, but Rose would not do quite as well just a minute later. There seemed to be very little danger as Mat Sadler stroked a pass back to his keeper, but Rose dawdled a bit in possession before slamming a hasty attempted clearance into the advancing HENDERSON. The ball flicked back onto Rose’s heels before rolling to the right and Salford’s leading scorer was on it a flash. Rose was very much in no-man’s land as a low finish from the right-hand angle of the 6-yard box nestled into his net.

A touch of fortune for the goal, yet enormous credit is due to Henderson who worked hard to force the keeper into an error, then finished clinically to put the Ammies ahead.

The Ammies looked composed after going ahead, defending well and looking to unlock Walsall’s defence should the chance allow. The Saddlers struggled to make much of an impact in their search for an equaliser, yet a chance did present itself 12 minutes before the interval.

Di’Shon Bernard had possession poked away from him by Gordon at the left-hand angle of the box, with Lavery pushing towards goal. The former Northern Ireland Under 21 international got in a decent shot too, low and angled, with Hladký shovelling the effort around the near post for a corner.

An isolated opportunity for Walsall and it was the visitors who finished the half looking for goals. On 37 minutes a clever flicked header from Hunter gave Henderson the chance to get into the area on the left. His low, angled effort was on target although Rose was able to drop to his left to make a comfortable enough save.

A couple of minutes later Gotts slid a pass to the left with Towell getting in an 18-yarder that Rose saved and held at the near upright.

Three minutes before half-time Oscar Threlkeld’s first attempt to play a pass to the left came back to him off the referee. His second found Ibou Touray who lifted a left-footed delivery from deep into the area. Henderson was underneath it, trying a first-time 8-yard flick off the outside of his right boot that rose high over the crossbar.

A second goal would have been fair reward for an impressive Salford performance, but as the teams trooped off the Ammies had to be satisfied with their narrow advantage.


The Ammies carried on where they had left off, passing the ball around nicely and looking solid at the back. Their first chance to extend the lead arrived in the 51st minute after Hunter had threaded a great forward pass into the area. Henderson rolled away from home defender James Clarke who went down holding his leg. The referee allowed play to continue, prompting an athletic and sudden recovery from the Walsall skipper who scampered after Henderson. The Salford striker was tight to the line yet decided to have a go, lifting a pacey effort that flashed high across the face of goal and wide of the far post.

Henderson had another opening 5 minutes later after good work from Threlkeld wide on the left. A ball inside sent the Salford goalscorer on a run that took him into the box, left of centre, before getting in an angled effort that took a flick off a challenging defender on its way wide of the far upright.

The corner was cleared as far as Gotts whose cross from the right to the far post was probably dropping just wide until the back-pedalling Rose made sure by stretching to tip the ball over.

Salford were cranking up the pressure again and it was no real surprise when they scored their second goal, in the 57th minute. Hunter’s delivery from a deep position and wide on the left was superb, with JORDAN TURNBULL providing a clinical headed finish from 8 yards that beat Rose at his left-hand post.

A first ever Salford goal for the former Northampton Town defender and the two-goal lead was no more than his side deserved.

Walsall manager Brian Dutton responded by making 4 substitutions, with the aim of breathing some life into his side’s evening. It wouldn’t really do the trick as the Ammies continued to look composed and the more dangerous attacking force.

There would be no more scoring opportunities for a while as Salford played an intelligent game, holding their opponents at arm’s length and seeing out the remaining time. With a more than decent goal difference in their favour, risks were unnecessary and the points all-important.

Ten minutes from time Touray swung in a free-kick from wide on the right, 5 yards in from the goal line. Having grabbed his first Salford goal Turnbull was keen to get another, but this time his header was nodded clear by a defender from inside the 6-yard box.

George Boyd and Brandon Thomas-Asante replaced Hunter and Towell – who had both put in terrific shifts - with 8 minutes to play.

Ammies’ stalwart Touray found the energy to push forward on the left in the 85th minute, playing a low ball into the area for Boyd. His low shot flashed across goal, with fellow substitute Thomas-Asante just failing to provide a touch at the far post as the ball went wide.

This could have been an evening for ‘first Salford goals’ as the tireless Lowe lined up a centrally positioned 24-yarder during the penultimate minute of the 90. He caught it nicely only for the rising effort to fly just outside Rose’s right-hand post.

There were 4 minutes of time to be added on, but they passed without note except for needless bookings picked up by Gotts and Thomas-Asante. A minor blemish on an otherwise professional and accomplished showing from a team who are still very much in the League Two promotion race.


We are now on the regular season’s home straight with the picture becoming a little clearer after each round of games. Three of the teams vying for a play-off place stumbled this evening as Bradford City, Leyton Orient and Carlisle United were beaten teams from the top four.

This win lifts the Ammies into 9th place, behind Exeter City only on goal difference after the Grecians were held to a goalless draw by 6th placed Forest Green Rovers. Decent results from Salford’s perspective, although 7th placed Newport’s win over Crawley has maintained their 3-point advantage over the Ammies.

On Saturday Mansfield Town visit the Peninsula Stadium and that is as close to a “must win” game Salford City have had this season. A win and favourable results elsewhere could lift Gary Bowyer’s side into the top 7. A draw, or a defeat with less favourable results could leave their play-off hopes hanging by a thread.

The form is good, the spirit is there in abundance – time to go out and win some more football games…