Impressive Ammies Pegged Back
Salford City's two-goal half-time lead was pegged back, but there was plenty for the home support to enjoy on a wet evening in Salford 7
[b]WEDNESDAY 19th JULY
SALFORD CITY 2 MANCHESTER UNITED XI 2
1-0 Lois MAYNARD (31st min)
2-0 Scott BURTON (35th min)
2-1 Callum GRIBBIN (66th min)
2-2 Charlie SCOTT (80th min)[/b]
Ricky Sbragia’s Manchester United U23 side produced a second half comeback that earned a 2-2 draw at rainy Moor Lane. The Ammies had established their lead prior to the break with an accomplished performance, but in the end goals from Lois Maynard and Scott Burton weren’t quite enough to clinch a third successive pre-season win.
Salford started the evening encouragingly and United keeper Kieran O’Hara had a couple of routine saves to make during the opening minutes. The visitors had attacking plans of their own and in the 7th minute Matty Willock’s effort brought a great save out of Max Crocombe who managed to push the effort from distance wide for a corner.
The game was already opening up and just before the quarter hour mark Burton’s through-ball gave Michael Nottingham a clear sight of goal. The Salford full-back is no stranger to the art of goalscoring but on this occasion his low shot from the right zipped just wide of the far post.
The Ammies had settled well, looking rock-solid at the back and creative when pushing into United territory. A good run from Mike Phenix was curtailed by an over robust challenge just when he threatened to break clear, then Mani Dieseruvwe’s rising effort from an angle on the right cleared the bar by a yard.
Just past the midway point of the first half Ibou Touray tried his luck from a free-kick on the right but his left-footed effort sailed over the crossbar.
A good spell for Salford but United were more than capable of pressing forward to good effect and they fashioned a chance in the 26th minute. Zak Dearnley’s run took him to almost to the line on the left, outside the area and despite the unpromising angle he got in a well hit rising effort that cleared the bar without worrying Crocombe.
The visitors produced another crisp build-up two minutes later and after the ball was moved to the right for Joe Riley the full-back hit a sweet effort that wasn’t too far wide of the far post.
Better from Manchester United but eleven minutes before half-time they fell behind. Salford won a free-kick on the right and after Touray floated in a delivery Maynard got in to glance a header between O’Hara and his right-hand upright. The Ammies were worthy of their lead and within 4 more minutes they doubled the advantage. Another Touray free-kick, from virtually the same position as the one that led to Maynard’s goal, but this one caught out the United defence as it was rolled into the middle. The first shot was blocked by a defender but after the visitors failed to clear their lines Liam Hogan was on hand to poke the loose ball home.
Having conceded two goals in the space of a few minutes United looked to hit back quickly and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson tricked his way into a good position on the left-hand angle of the box before hitting an effort that nicked off a defender on its way wide of the far post. At the other end Phenix did well to get into the penalty area and his angled shot was a decent one but O’Hara dropped to his right to hold the ball.
As the rain poured down that would be the final significant action of an entertaining first half and home managers Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley had plenty to be satisfied about.
HALF TIME: SALFORD CITY 2 MANCHESTER UNITED XI 0
Salford’s managerial duo made a few changes for the second half but the rain returned with a vengeance and the conditions didn’t lend themselves to fancy footwork. In the 53rd minute one of the Ammie trialists hit a shot off target but that was a rare opportunity in a quiet third quarter of the game.
Both sides continued to play some neat football but the respective defences were coping well and neither keeper was too strenuously tested for a while. In the 65th minute Salford replaced Crocombe in net with Spanish born keeper Tony Aghayere and the former Burnley custodian’s first task was to face a free-kick from Callum Gribbin. The United substitute had a go from outside the box and right of centre with the ball spinning capriciously of Aghayere’s gloves and into the net.
Something of a goal out of the blue for United but they didn’t particularly follow it up and with the conditions still tricky neither side could conjure much of a goal threat. More substitutions were made but with 10 minutes left the visitors produced a classic goal to level the scores. Charlie Scott burst out of midfield with a surging break that was followed up by a pass out to the left where Dajour Buffong’s run took him towards the line. The low cross that followed was perfectly placed to be met by Scott’s run and he coolly slipped home a finish from 6 yards out.
An excellently worked goal from United’s point of view but neither they nor their host were able to find a winner before referee Ryan Johnson brought the proceedings to a rather soggy conclusion.
FULL TIME: SALFORD CITY 2 MANCHESTER UNITED XI 2
There will be an element of disappointment over a two-goal lead lost but that will surely be tempered by satisfaction in what was mostly an excellent Salford performance. For most of the match the home side’s defence looked well drilled and thoroughly solid, but there were powerful displays all over the park. There will be concern over a head injury suffered by Jake Beesley, with a number of players already carrying knocks - hopefully the managers will have a full squad to choose from when the real action starts in August.
A young but talented Manchester United team were a little lucky to salvage a draw this evening and the Salford fans in attendance will certainly be anticipating the new season even more keenly. There’s a composure and confidence about this newly constructed side and they have bags of ability into the bargain – we could be in for something of a footballing treat during the months ahead.
Next up are League One side Blackpool on Saturday…
SALFORD CITY: (All Blue, 5:3:2)
1) Max CROCOMBE (Tony AGHAYERE, 65th min)
2) Liam HOGAN
3) Carl PIERGIANNI
4) Scott BURTON (Josh ASKEW, 55th min)
5) Lois MAYNARD
6) Gus MAFUTA
7) Michael NOTTINGHAM (Trialist, 70th min)
8) Anthony DUDLEY
9) Mike PHENIX (Trialist, 65th min)
10) Mani DIESERUVWE (Michael NOTTINGHAM, 78th min)
11) Ibou TOURAY (Trialist, 65th min)
MANCHESTER UNITED XI (Red/White/Black)
1) Kieran O'HARA (Max JOHNSTONE)
2) Joe RILEY (14 - Matthew OLOSUNDE)
3) Cameron BORTHWICK-JACKSON
4) Tyrell WARREN
5) Ro-Shaun WILLIAMS (15 - Callum GRIBBIN)
6) Devonte REDMOND
7) Zak DEARNLEY (17 - Thomas SANG)
8) Matthew WILLOCK
9) Joshua BOHUI (12 - Charlie SCOTT)
10) Ethan HAMILTON
11) Tosin KEHINDE (16 - Dajour BUFFONGE)
Referee: Mr. Ryan JOHNSTON
Assistants: Mr. Nick GIBBONS & Mr. Dom BELL