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Team Sheet

Woking
1
Berti Schotterl
2
Dan Spence
3
Josh Casey

Cook '78

4
Ian Gayle (c)
5
Nathan Collier
6
Kane Ferdinand
7
Paul Hodges

Luer '65

8
Christian Jolley

Appau '45

9
Jake Hyde

Ofori-Acheampong '56

10
Fabio Saraiva

Young '56

11
Nick Wheeler

Kretzschmer '46

Salford City FC
1
Chris Neal
2
Scott Wiseman

Trialist '71

3
Liam Hogan (c)
4
Ibou Touray
5
Lois Maynard
6
Danny Lloyd

Haughton '65

7
Danny Whitehead

Shelton '71

8
Devante Rodney

Gaffney '46

9
Carl Piergianni
1 goals for Carl Piergianni
10
Tom Walker
11
Anthony Dudley

Beesley '65

Substitutes
12
Greg Luer
13
Sam Mason
14
Duane Ofori-Acheampong
15
Reggie Young
16
Kofi Halliday
17
Jack Cook
18
Max Kretzschmer
19
Charlie Hester-Cook
20
Declan Appau
Substitutes
12
Max Crocombe
13
Trialist
14
Jake Lawlor
15
Mark Shelton
16
Gus Mafuta
17
Rory Gaffney
18
Jake Beesley
19
Nick Haughton
Managers
Manager - Alan Dowson
Assistant Manager - Martin Tyler
Managers
Manager - Graham Alexander
Assistant Manager - Chris Lucketti
Match Officals
Referee - Daniel Simpson
Assistant Referee - Andy Williams
Assistant Referee - Michael Smith

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Match
Report

A NEAR-450 mile round-trip to Woking is a long way for a pre-season friendly, but it is the sort of journey that Salford City will have to get used to in The National League. If that habit can extend to include the 1-0 result as a minimum then it will be a very healthy habit to adopt.

Defender Carl Piergianni - or “Blonde top-knot” as Woking’s Twitter-commentator had to refer to him as owing to confusion over player identities with Salford bearing un-numbered shirts - headed the winning goal in the second half from a Tom Walker free-kick, and helped at the back as The Ammies kept their first clean sheet of pre-season.

Traffic on the M25 may have slowed the team’s travel time, but the delay did not have an effect on the pitch as Salford got straight down to business at The Laithwaite Community Stadium. There were four changes to the side that started against Barnsley at The Peninsula Stadium last weekend with Chris Neal, Tom Walker and Anthony Dudley coming in along with Danny Lloyd, who made his first appearance in a Salford shirt.

And it was the former Stockport County forward’s contribution that nearly got the game off to a perfect start for Salford when he lofted in a corner from the right-hand side which found Piergianni at the back post, and the defender’s downwards header was goal-bound until a clearance off the line by a Woking defender.

Lloyd would continue to show his quality throughout the afternoon and wriggled forward to get a shot off in the eighth minute, but it was blocked by the hosts. Danny Whitehead also fancied his chances from distance in the sixteenth minute after the ball rolled invitingly onto his right foot, but the connection was too much and he dragged the shot wide.

Alan Dowson’s side absorbed a lot of Salford endeavour in the opening 20 minutes, but fortuitously carved out an opportunity of their own owing to some mis-communication at the back. Nick Wheeler found some space behind Scott Wiseman and played the ball ahead of himself into the area, leaving Neal unsure whether to come or go. In the end the former Fleetwood Town stopper made a good stop, but Wheeler continued to chase and managed to keep the ball in on the touch line and took a shot from a tight angle, but by the time he did so Wiseman had got himself into a covering position on the line to stop the shot and Salford cleared their lines.

From then Lloyd began to exert his influence, firstly with a testing free-kick that forced Berti Schotterl into a good save, and secondly with a header from Ibou Touray’s cross that Schotterl kept out down to his right with a flailing hand.

Set pieces presented multiple opportunities for the visitors throughout the afternoon, one would be particularly telling, but The Ammies could have gone in at half-time with a lead after Liam Hogan twice headed over Lloyd corners as Salford finished the half strongly, and a lead would not have been an unfair reflection on first half proceedings.

Half Time: Woking 0-0 Salford City

A solitary change at half-time for Salford as Rory Gaffney came on in place of Devante Rodney whose powerful runs in behind had asked questions of the Woking defence. The change didn’t impact the momentum and flow of the game and Salford soon threatened again.

In the 49th minute Woking had a corner which Salford cleared and set themselves on the break from. Whitehead brought the ball under control in the middle and played it down the right where Lloyd had already made a run upfield, and Salford’s new signing did well to dribble into the box but before he could pick out Anthony Dudley or Gaffney he was crowded out by Woking defenders.

Tom Walker tested Schotterl with another free-kick from right-of-centre and on the edge of the box which made it through the wall, but wasn’t powerful enough to out-smart the keeper who got his body behind the effort. Walker had another opportunity in the 57th minute with a shot from outside the area which was blocked, but the midfielder didn’t give up and had another effort after winning the ball back, but it was blocked again and the resulting corner came to nothing.

That served to inspire the hosts, helped by the introduction of Reggie Young who broke down the left and got a dangerous cross in from the left which was headed towards fellow substitute Duane Ofori-Acheampong, but Piergianni got a block in and Salford cleared their lines.

The former Boston United centre-back nearly turned provider a minute later as a perfectly pinged ball down the right-hand side fell and bounced perfectly for Gaffney. The Irishman took the shot first time on the half-volley, but was denied by Schotterl as the ball ran for a corner. Lloyd delivered from the right-hand side and Piergianni had got himself up, but his header was narrowly over the bar.

Play began opening up and Woking again had a chance through Young on the left as he pulled the ball into the middle, but Neal read the move well and got to the cross before Ofori-Acheampong.

Past the hour mark Salford started to strengthen their grip on the game again with Walker again testing Schotterl from range, and substitute Nick Haughton took on a shot from a free-kick on the left-hand side of the area but it flashed across goal, needing either a deft header or a bit more curl.

Schotterl had to be alert in the 76th minute and pulled off a very picturesque diving save to deny Trialist a goal from a well-hit shot, but there was little he could do a couple of minutes later. Walker was barged over on the right-hand side by Josh Casey and promptly picked himself up to take the resulting free-kick. It was whipped in with good pace, and PIERGIANNI was on the end to meet it and head past the helpless Woking goalkeeper.

The Cards responded well to the setback for a period and substitute Greg Luer met a cross from the left in the middle, but he could divert it goal-wards and it went out of play on the right for a Salford throw.

It was enough of a warning for Salford to tighten up, and they went in search of a second goal. Lois Maynard had marshalled the midfield impeccably for most of the game, and had a sight of goal late on. He controlled the ball well with his chest and hit the shot on the volley, but unfortunately it went wide otherwise his second goal of pre-season would have been a spectacular finish. Haughton fancied his chances a minute afterwards and struck a very powerful shot which wasn’t too far over Schotterl’s crossbar

In the 90th minute Kane Ferdinand lifted a diagonal ball forward and got some welly behind it, forcing Neal into a routine save, but it was one to keep the keeper on his toes. Schotterl’s afternoon wasn’t quite over either as substitute Mark Shelton hit an effort from range, but it contrived to rise over the crossbar and didn’t cause the Woking stopper too much concern, although it didn’t stop the fan behind the goal from parrying it back!

Full Time: Woking 0-1 Salford City

A fair result in a match that The Ammies controlled well, and it looks like Graham Alexander’s side are beginning to understand each other. His post-match thoughts are accurate in saying there is still room for improvement, and we will have to wait to see new signing Adam Rooney, but it was a promising debut for Danny Lloyd whose quality shone against The Cards.

Next up is a much shorter trip to Altrincham before the season gets underway in two weeks’ time at home against Leyton Orient. Now the focus of training will begin to refine towards more technical details and making sure that the team is ready for the season. There was a noticeable improvement in performance from the first couple of games this afternoon, and now is a reasonable time to start putting together a winning mentality that will serve well in the National League.

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