Ammies Kick Off Season With Eight Goal Haul
Salford City started their pre-season impressively, beating North West Counties side Atherton LR at their Crilly Park home
TUESDAY 11th JULY 2017
ATHERTON LABURNUM ROVERS 0 SALFORD CITY 8
0-1 OWN GOAL (5th Min)
0-2 Manny DIESERUVWE (23rd min)
0-3 Mike PHENIX (45th min)
0-4 TRIALIST (Midfielder, 46th min)
0-5 Richie ALLEN (53rd min)
0-6 TRIALIST, striker (61st min)
0-7 Jake BEESLEY (73rd min)
0-8 Richie ALLEN (87th min)
Sixty-five days after that play-off disappointment at The Shay Salford City were back in action, travelling to Atherton Laburnum Rovers for the first of their seven scheduled pre-season friendlies.
A large contingent of away supporters turned out to have a look at Anthony Johnson & Bernard Morley’s reshaped side and the Ammies took to the field in their new white and black away kit, albeit minus shirt numbers.
Salford’s managerial duo would field separate sides in each half of this game and as the first got underway there were only two faces familiar from the 2016-2017 season. Scott Burton and Mike Phenix were accompanied by nine brand new team-mates but that didn’t stop the Ammies from grabbing the initiative right away.
Playing with three central defenders and two wing-backs Salford looked encouragingly fluent from the off and playing down the substantial Crilly Park slope they were soon putting North West Counties First Division LR under pressure.
Josh Askew, signed from Blackburn and playing as a left wing-back created a chance in the 4th minute, dropping a great ball over the top for Phenix to chase. Atherton keeper Ben Purdham has spent a couple of seasons with Salford and here was out quick to deny last season’s top scorer a scoring opportunity. Salford looked likely to open the scoring however and within 60 seconds striker Manny Dieseruvwe managed to hold up the ball on the left, tight to the goal-line. Askew burst in from the flank before delivering a low cross into the middle and with Salford players closing in an LR DEFENDER'S desperate attempt to intercept ended with the ball spinning off his foot and into the net.
An early lead for this new look Salford side and they continued to pressurise the home defence in the aftermath of their opener. Powerful midfielder Gus Mafuta – recently signed from Gateshead – had a well-hit effort deflected behind and the corner was delivered from the left by the midfield trialist. Another of the summer signings, Carl Piergianni, planted a header at goal from twelve yards out only for Purdham to drop to his left and make a good save.
The Ammies were pressing but LR put up a determined resistance, getting bodies behind the ball and working hard as a unit. Askew was still looking lively on the left and delivered another cross from deep that was headed behind by a defender before the lurking Piergianni could get in another effort on goal.
The vast majority of the action was taking place in LR’s half of the field and midway through the first half Phenix controlled deftly outside the box before moving to the right and putting in a shot that flew wide of Purdham’s right-hand upright. There were definitely Salford goals in the air and in the 23rd minute the trialist midfielder found room for a shot inside the box only to be foiled by a good blocking save from Purdham. Luck was with Salford as possession fell for DIESERUVWE and the tall, former Kidderminster striker stroked in a low shot that took a deflection off a defender on its way into the net.
A two goal lead was no more than Salford deserved following an enterprising opening quarter and they were soon on the hunt for more. They built patiently again within 2 minutes of Dieseruvwe’s strike as Askew found Phenix on the left and the Ammies’ frontman passed inside for Burton. The Salford midfielder’s goals tend to be rare and spectacular but this time his effort from nearly 30 yards out flew high and wide of the target.
Salford certainly have sufficient height in their squad to cause problems at set pieces and just past the half-hour another corner from the left was aimed towards the imposing form of Piergianni at the far post. The loose ball found its way to Askew but his 25-yarder failed to trouble Purdham in the home goal. The very next attack ended in another chance as the trialist playing at right wing-back put in a cross that fell for Mafuta, 15 yards out and with a real sight of goal. This was a very presentable chance but the muscular midfielder failed to keep his effort down and once again Purdham was not called into action.
The midfield trialist had a free-kick saved by Purdham 10 minutes before the break and soon afterwards Phenix’s shot from the edge of the area cleared the crossbar by a yard. The busy midfield trialist then laid a 39th minute free-kick into the path of Mafuta but once again the shot soared high of the target.
It looked as if Salford’s half-time advantage might be limited to just the two goals but in the final minute Atherton failed to clear their lines following another spell of pressure and PHENIX picked up possession on the right. A dart into the box was followed up by a 15-yard angled effort that beat Purdham on its way inside the far post.
A great finish to finish off a very decent first half showing from Salford City.
HALF TIME: ATHERTON LR 0 SALFORD CITY 3
As the Ammies emerged for the second half only the midfield trialist had taken part before the break and within a minute the visitors had extended their lead. It was the on-trial midfielder who scored this one, slipping a low shot under LR’s keeper after he had expertly controlled a great ball over the top from former Tranmere midfielder Lois Maynard.
A great restart for Salford and within another 7 minutes four became five as RICHIE ALLEN – a member of last season’s squad – tucked home a low effort from the edge of the penalty area.
Salford were completely on top but Atherton were grafting away and almost pulled a goal back in the 55th minute. The home side’s number 2 picked up possession nearly 25 yards out and right of centre. A dipping effort followed and visiting keeper Tony Aghayere made an acrobatic save, tipping the ball over the crossbar at the expense of a corner.
The midfield trialist had probably done enough to impress by the time he was replaced by youth team player Alex Doyle just before the hour mark and Salford went further ahead in the 61st minute. Allen had moved out to the right from where he delivered a peach of a cross and the TRIALIST STRIKER who had come on at half-time glanced a close-range header past the home keeper to make it 6-0.
Salford’s seventh goal of the evening almost arrived right after the sixth after Ibou Touray, a left-back signed from Nantwich Town over the summer, curled in a corner from the right that Maynard headed down and wide of the keeper’s right-hand upright.
The Ammies were keeping possession well and with 20 minutes to play they won a corner, with another of last season’s lads, Michael Nottingham, heading wide of the target. Again though LR’s respite was brief and in the 73rd minute former Chesterfield striker JAKE BEESLEY planted a firm downward header past the Atherton keeper to make the score 7-0.
Within minutes Touray, Beesley and midfielder Mark Shelton (signed from Alfreton Town earlier in the summer) had efforts blocked as the Ammies went looking for more goals. Five minutes from time Allen’s free-kick from outside the left-hand angle of the box appeared to be curling home but LR’s second-half keeper had watched the effort carefully and moved quickly to make a save.
What would be the final goal of the evening came along with 3 minutes left as Shelton’s inspired lobbed pass sent ALLEN racing away on a right-of-centre run. The LR keeper advanced at speed but Allen nodded the ball away from his grasp before finishing confidently to claim his second of the evening. The former AFC Fylde forward almost claimed his hat-trick as Beesley put in a cross from the right with Allen’s header dropping onto the bar before the loose ball was cleared by the beleaguered home defence.
FULL TIME: ATHERTON LABURNUM ROVERS 0 SALFORD CITY 8
A very encouraging evening’s work from The Ammies who put in a good performance after barely a week’s training, with a rebuilt squad already starting to gel. There is, of course, a four division gap between these two sides but Salford were barely threatened over the 90 minutes and always looked likely to score once they took possession into LR’s half. The home side offered little other than determination and an appetite for work but it’s good to see 8 chances taken and in truth the visitors could have made it into double figures with a little more steadiness in front of goal.
All of the new lads look to have plenty to offer (although keepers Max Crocombe and Tony Aghayere had relatively little to do) and it was clear that plenty of quality has been recruited. The rest of the pre-season games will offer sterner competition but we saw enough at Crilly Park this evening to whet the appetite.
Early days of course, but this already looks to be a side that means serious business.
FIRST HALF TEAM
GK Max CROCOMBE
RWB TRIALIST 1
LWB Josh ASKEW
CD Liam HOGAN (c)
CD Joel BARLOW (Youth Team)
CD Carl PIERGIANNI
CM Gus MAFUTA
CM Scott BURTON
CM TRIALIST 2
ST Manny DIESERUVWE
ST Mike PHENIX
SECOND HALF TEAM:
GK Tony AGHAYERE
RWB Jake BEESLEY
LWB Ibou TOURAY
CD Michael NOTTINGHAM
CD Marcus SMITH (Youth Team)
CD Danny LIVESEY (c)
CM Mark SHELTON
CM Lois MAYNARD
CM TRIALIST 2
ST RICHIE ALLEN
ST TRIALIST 3
Substitutions: Alex DOYLE (YT) for TRIALIST 2, 61st min
Estimated Attendance: 350/400