SATURDAY 15th JULY 2017
SALFORD CITY 2 FC UNITED OF MANCHESTER 1
1-0 Mani DIESERUVWE (9th min)
2-0 Lois MAYNARD (20th min)
2-1 Tom GREAVES (87th min)
Salford City followed up last season’s league double over FC United with a friendly win in front of a crowd of almost 900 at Moor Lane. An enterprising first half performance from the Ammies gave way to a quieter second period but again there was enough quality on display to sustain hopes of another very dramatic season in Salford.
Both sides fielded strong teams from the start but Salford grabbed the early initiative, putting pressure on FC’s defence straight away. Despite that the visitors had a chance in the 4th minute after a free-kick was awarded against Salford central defender Liam Hogan. It was in a dangerous position too, but Nathan Lowe’s powerfully struck effort was blocked the wall.
Otherwise most of the attacking possession was Salford’s and in the ninth minute they went ahead. Ibou Touray can certainly deliver a free-kick and this one, left-footed from the right, was header home by former Kidderminster striker MANI DIESERUVWE.
A nicely taken goal and the same combination almost worked another opening on the quarter hour. This time Touray advanced through the left before slipping a pass into the box for Dieseruvwe to chase. For a second it looked as if the big striker would get a clear sight of Lloyd Allinson’s goal but the imposing form of FC defender Jordan Fagbola moved across quickly to intercept at the expense of a corner. From that set-piece Hogan got up well to put in a header but that effort dropped harmlessly over the crossbar.
FC United were moving the ball around neatly at times and on a couple of occasions the home defence had to be on its collective toes to snuff out forays into their territory. Carl Piergianni did well to get in a challenge that stopped the dangerous Lowe in his tracks but overall the Ammies were getting on top.
There seemed little immediate peril for FC as Michael Nottingham helped the ball down the right in the 20th minute but LOIS MAYNARD hit a first-time lobbed effort from just outside the box and with the stranded Allinson all but helpless the effort dropped inside the far post. A peach of a goal from the former Tranmere Rovers midfielder and the Ammies were good value for their 2-0 lead.
FC United looked to hit back immediately and striker Connor McCarthy’s jinking run took him almost to the edge of the box before a low shot whistled just wide of Tony Aghayere’s left-hand upright.
A decent effort but down at the school end Salford went close again in the 26th minute after Nottingham’s teasing low ball from the right. Allinson couldn’t get a touch on the cross but just 3 yards from goal neither could Touray. From their very next attack the Ammies threatened again but after Phenix found himself some space on the left he didn’t hit the shot too well, sending a low effort well wide of the far post.
FC United went back onto the offensive and after Logan cut inside from the right his low shot was well held by Aghayere. Logan was at it again on the half hour, swinging in a cross from the right with Salford defender Danny Livesey stretching to poke the ball back into the safe hands of Salford’s Spanish keeper.
That would be one of the former Barrow central defender’s last contributions, forced to retire seven minutes before the break due to a rib injury. A trialist came on to replace him, slotting into the right wing-back position with Nottingham dropping into the back three.
An entertaining first half would end relatively quietly although Lowe tried a 20-yarder that was rising all the way and failed to cause Aghayere any concern. At the other end Touray tried his luck with an effort that went just over and the Ammies had to content themselves with a 2-0 half-time advantage.
HALF TIME: SALFORD CITY 2 FC UNITED OF MANCHESTER 0
A good first 45 minutes from the Ammies but it was the visitors who started the second strongly with Lowe heading over from a corner soon after the restart. Salford had some defending to do but broke out to almost extend their lead to 3 in the 49th minute. A decent build up gave the midfield trialist introduced at the interval the chance to shoot and he let fly from 20 yards out. The dipping effort beat Allinson only to crash off the underside of the bar before dropping down into play where it was scrambled clear by an FC defender.
Ten minutes into the second half the visitors made a number of changes and a few minutes later Salford responded with a couple of their own. Of course the whole idea of these pre-season games is to give the whole squad some playing time but the downside is that the flow of the match can be disrupted.
What had been a good game thus far quietened down after the multiple changes and goalmouth action became rarer. A Salford corner was cleared as far as Mark Shelton in the 58th minute but he shot wide of the target, but that effort would be the exception as opposed to the rule. Jake Beesley’s low effort was collected by Allinson with 21 minutes left but the second half spectacle was proving to be nowhere near as interesting as the first.
As the game approached its closing stages FC United began to press more and reaped some reward 3 minutes from time when TOM GREAVES’ overhead effort left Salford’s trialist keeper with no chance of making a save.
The Ammies saw at the rest of the game relatively securely to wrap up the second win of their pre-season schedule.
FULL TIME: SALFORD CITY 2 FC UNITED OF MANCHESTER 1
More encouragement for the Ammies and their supporters, especially from a first half where they played some good attacking football and defended well when they needed to. There are definite signs of that all-important “gelling” and it already looks as if Salford City will be a formidable side over the course of the coming season. The new look defence is combative and solid, the midfield has power and creativity with the forward players already looking sharp. The new keepers shouldn’t be forgotten either – Max Crocombe and Tony Aghayere have yet to put a foot (or hand) wrong between them.
FC United played the sort of neat football that manager Karl Marginson favours – they build patiently and in Fagbola, Lowe and Logan have players of real quality for this level.
Next up for Salford is a Manchester United XI on Wednesday and in the corresponding fixture last summer the Ammies took a bit of a beating. It’s a game that will certainly pose a different challenge and we should learn a bit more about the new team that managers Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley have assembled.
SALFORD CITY (3:5:2)
GK) Tony AGHAYERE (Trialist, 64th min)
RWB) Michael NOTTINGHAM
LWB) Ibou TOURAY (Josh ASKEW, half-time)
RCD) Liam HOGAN (Central Defender Trialist, 57th min)
CD) Danny LIVESEY (Right Wing Back Trialist, 38th min)
LCD) Carl PIERGIANNI (Midfield Trialist, 57th min)
MID) Lois MAYNARD (Right Wing Trialist, 64th min)
MID) Scott BURTON (Midfield Trialist, half-time)
MID) Gus MAFUTA (Mark SHELTON, half-time)
ST) Mike PHENIX (Anthony Dudley, half-time)
ST) Mani DIESERUVWE (Jake BEESLEY, half-time)
FC UNITED OF MANCHESTER:
1) Lloyd ALLINSON
2) Oliver CROWLEY
3) Jake WILLIAMS
4) Scott KAY
5) Jordan FAGBOLA
6) Matthew HUGHES
7) Joel LOGAN
8) Nathan LOWE
9) Connor McCARTHY
10) Richie BAKER
11) Jason St. JUSTE
12) Tom GREAVES
13) Adriano BASSO
14) Jason GILCHRIST
15) Callum NICHOLAS
16) Danny BRADY
17) Andreas BIANGA
18) Tom SMYTH
19) Jordan BOVE
Referee: Mr. Ryan JOHNSON
Assistants: Mr. Nick GIBBONS & Mr. Matt SMITH
Huge thanks to Andy Giblin and Salford FC for the article.