A disappointing afternoon on the Wirral for Gary Bowyer’s Salford as Tranmere Rovers picked up a first win against The Ammies.
Both teams were down to 10 men at halftime after Ibou Touray and Jay Spearing saw red for respective late challenges.
The home side converted a penalty early on after a dangerous cross bounced up onto the arm of Liam Shephard, Tom King got a foot to Keiron Morris’ spot-kick but the ball found the back of the net anyway.
The opening 30 minutes threw up a host of problems for The Ammies as Tranmere asserted their dominance following the red card. Rovers had the ball in the net a second time just minutes after the restart when Elliott Nevitt headed home his first EFL goal.
A sucker punch for Salford who were looking to kick on following the break, and the Manager gave a frank assessment of the afternoon.
“I think sometimes the game can get taken away from you with decisions, and today that’s been the case.
“The first one was the penalty, a handball when the ball’s been flashed across. We got told in the summer about this handball rule changing. I think if there’s VAR here today it wouldn’t have been given because he’s not made a deliberate attempt to handle the ball.
“The sending off of Ibou, there was actually no contact so we’re majorly disappointed with that but take those decisions aside we haven’t been good enough.”
For both sendings off there was deliberation from the referee, eventually the decision was made by the linesman who was judged to have a clearer view of each challenge. The momentum did swing in the favour of Tranmere after the sending off with the home side netting what was thought to be a second but Nevitt’s header was ruled out for offside.
Regardless of the officiating, Bowyer understands that Salford’s problems are coming in the final third, struggling to find that moment of quality with the final ball and finishing/
“We looked like we were in a rush to get back into the game and tended to snatch at things. We created a couple of good openings but then made the wrong decision in terms of whether it was a pass or a shot.”
Tranmere could have potentially put Salford further out of sight but for some superb goalkeeping from Tom King. Salford’s number one first kept out Peter Clarke’s header in the 53rd minute, then denied Liam Feeney late on with a fantastic reaction save with his feet, looking assured in between the sticks once again.
“He’s (King) in a good vein of form for sure but we’ve come here today and I’m not pleased with the manner of both goals, to be honest.
“We’ve got to debrief this one properly and then we’ll go from there.”
Salford host Northampton Town at The Peninsula Stadium next Saturday (KO 15:00), tickets are available online or from the Ticket Office this week.