Shelton Slams Ammies Into Quarter Finals
A superbly struck Mark Shelton free-kick sealed Salford's place in the MPC 's last eight as Irlam were beaten 2-0 at Moor Lane
TUESDAY 10th OCTOBER 2017
FRANK HANNAH MANCHESTER PREMIER CUP
SALFORD CITY 2 IRLAM 0
1-0 Mani DIESERUVWE (72nd min)
2-0 Mark Shelton (78th min)
An entertaining evening’s football at Moor Lane, with a neat finish from Mani Dieseruvwe and Mark Shelton’s belter of a free-kick securing Salford City’s place in November’s quarter-final. North West Counties Premier side Irlam gave a good account of themselves over the course of the 90 minutes and could well have got onto the scoresheet themselves.
An excellent crowd of over 500 turned out to watch this one, in somewhat stark contrast to the 79 who assembled for an equivalent tie in October 2010. On that somewhat less than auspicious occasion it was the lads from Silver Street who came out on top, winning 6-5 on penalties after 120 minutes of play had failed to produce a goal.
Salford managers Anthony Johnson & Bernard Morley, fresh from picking up the September Manager of the Month award, selected a starting eleven that included 3 members of the club’s academy with 5 more youngsters on the bench.
The game got off to a brisk start on a perfect night for football but the early stages didn’t produce much in the way of chances. In the 10th minute Irlam almost unlocked the home defence courtesy of former Ammie Matt Boland's pass through the inside left channel. For a moment it looked as if Marcus Perry might get onto the end if it but Salford skipper Michael Nottingham got across quickly to usher the ball to safety.
Within a couple of minutes Salford’s Mani Ogunrinde intercepted Macauley Harewood’s attempt to play a forward pass. From virtually on the halfway line and wide on the left the Academy forward set off on a run that took him into the box only for Irlam captain Steve Mills to get in a touch at the expense of a corner.
It was Irlam’s turn again next as Charlie Doyle picked out Perry, on the right and inside the area. From tight to the line he directed a cross towards the near post but Nottingham was there again, knocking the ball behind before any damage could be done.
Salford had to make a change just past the quarter-hour with Academy full-back Sam Wright coming off with a knock, to be replaced by Kamar Moncrieffe. Jake Beesley dropped into the right-back position with Moncrieffe slotting into the space vacated further upfield.
Plenty of effort and some good passages of play so far but it’s not unfair to say that neither keeper had been unduly troubled.
Irlam custodian Lee White had cause to dirty his gloves in the 25th minute after Moncrieffe had been bundled over just outside the penalty area. Mark Shelton took the free-kick, a few yards left-of-centre and 19 yards out his shot beat the defensive wall onto be collected low down by White. A modest relatively modest attempt from the Salford midfielder but we would see him do rather better before the evening was out.
Within a minute the Ammies had carved out another opening as Josh Askew’s throw-in from the left was moved inside by Moncrieffe. Ogunride picked up possession before darting to the right, along the edge of the box then drilled in a low shot that went wide of White’s right-hand upright.
Irlam had a free-kick of their own on 29 minutes but Liam Morrison’s 25-yarder from right-of-centre slammed into the defensive wall, with the loose ball cleared.
The game was opening up a little bit and the Ammies very nearly took the lead with half-an-hour played. Boland was facing his own goal inside the Irlam half but his prodded pass back got nowhere near to picking out a blue shirt. Dieseruvwe pounced on the loose ball then used his strength to push into the penalty area before unleashing a low 16-yarder. It was a decent effort but White did well, dropping quickly to his right to first stop the ball then smother it at the second attempt.
Twelve minutes before the break another Shelton free-kick caused problems for the visiting defence as a low delivery from wide on the left bounced its way through the 6-yard box and wide of the far post. It only needed a touch but none of the red shirts inside the area was on hand to apply it.
Salford were having a decent little spell here and in the 36th minute Askew went very close to breaking the deadlock. The left-back picked up the ball well outside Irlam’s area and to the left of centre, but seemed to slip a little as he let fly with a shot. Nevertheless the effort soared, swerved and finally dipped only to come back off the face of the crossbar and back into play, where it was hastily cleared by the Irlam defence.
Possession wise the half had been even but the Ammies had started to look more dangerous as the interval approached. The last chance before the tea and oranges however went the way of Irlam and came along in the 44th minute. Perry had looked lively from the start and he found space at the right-hand angle of the box to hit a low shot that was destined to find its way inside Tony Aghayere’s left-hand post until the keeper got across to make a smart save.
Irlam were forced into a substitution just after that as Daniel Greene came on for the injured Boland and the half-time whistle sounded without a goal being scored.
HALF TIME: SALFORD CITY 0 IRLAM 0
An enjoyable first half despite the blank scoreline but the second started with both sides looking for the goal that had eluded them so far. Salford’s Moncrieffe was the first to threaten, worked into space on the right-hand side of the area but under considerable defensive pressure he could only lift a shot over the crossbar from 12 yards out.
In the 51st minute Perry’s driving run on the right took him into the penalty area and he hit a low angled shot from 6 yards that Aghayere did very well to block.
Askew tried his luck with a free-kick from almost 25 yards out but the left-of-centre effort dipped over the crossbar.
The Ammies brought on Anointed Chukwu for Dom McHale just before the hour but once again the game settled into a pattern of decent approach play being snuffed out before anybody could get a good sight of goal.
The prospect of another tie settled on penalties (extra time has been dispensed with in the MPC since 2010) was just about beginning to raise its head but with 18 minutes to play Salford finally edged themselves into the lead. Moncrieffe was the architect, advancing centrally towards the penalty area and although he got a slice of luck as his pass was deflected it found its way through to DIESERUVWE. The big striker kept his composure to slide home a low finish from just outside the 6-yard box and despite Irlam’s claims for offside the referee was content to let the goal stand.
Having gone ahead the Ammies looked to make sure of their quarter-final berth and a couple of minutes after Dieseruvwe’s goal Shelton delivered a free-kick from wide on the left. The ball dropped just beyond the far post where Gus Mafuta controlled adroitly before moving inside and poking in a low effort that White, covering the angles at his near post, was able to stop.
Irlam were still working hard to find a way back onto level terms but their hopes of progression were dealt a body blow in the 78th minute. Salford were awarded another free-kick, 30 yards out and well left of centre. SHELTON weighed up his options before hitting a barnstormer of a shot that rose a little before dipping to drop under the crossbar and inside the far post. A perfect fusion of precision and power from the former Alfreton midfielder and he had every reason to looked pleased with that one (have a look at it here).
A strike fit to grace any stage and Salford were now very firmly in the driving seat. Irlam continued to press as time drained away and with 6 minutes left substitute Alex Barlow went close, hitting an angled drive from 20 yards that passed narrowly wide of the far post. Perry had another go in the 86th minute, again getting into the box on the right only to direct a low effort just wide of Aghayere’s right-hand upright.
That was about that and it’s the Ammies who will be in the draw for the competition’s last 8, with that tie scheduled to take place week commencing 6th November.
FULL TIME: SALFORD CITY 2 IRLAM 0
In the end Salford City deserved to win this tie but for most of the game the outcome was genuinely in doubt. Playing with the pace that characterises the North West Counties league Irlam – 3 steps below their hosts in the pyramid – looked capable of causing problems and were probably a little unlucky to come out of the evening without a goal. Well organised as a unit and difficult to break down and Salford got a bit of luck to go ahead before Shelton settled the game with a strike right out of the top drawer.
There was more value to take from the game too - 80 minutes from Gus Mafuta, Jake Beesley doing a good job at right-back,Tony Aghayere looking very solid in his competitive debut, good performances from the academy lads and a clean sheet from a restructured defence.
A good night for local football and the Frank Hannah Manchester Cup as an appreciative crowd of 520 – including a sizeable contingent from Irlam - enjoyed a very decent evening of football.
SALFORD CITY (Red/white/white):
1) Tony Aghayere
2) Sam Wright
3) Josh ASKEW
4) Gus MAFUTA
5) Michael Nottingham (c)
6) Joel Barlow
7) Mani OGUNRINDE
8) Mark Shelton
9) Mani DIESERUVWE
10) Jake Beesley
11) Dom McHALE
12) Kamar Moncrieffe (for WRIGHT, 16th min)
14) Dan THOMPSON-EDWARDS (for MAFUTA, 81st min)
15) Alex Doyle
16) Anointed Chukwu (for McHALE, 58th min)
17) Charles Voss
IRLAM (All blue):
1) Lee WHITE
2) Macauley HAREWOOD
3) Jacob HOLT
4) Liam MORRISON
5) Steve MILLS (c)
6) Ryan LEDSON
7) Charlie DOYLE
8) Isaac ILLIDGE
9) Jordan ICELY
10) Matthew BOLAND
11) Marcus PERRY
12) Alex BARLOW (for DOYLE, 67th min)
14) Karl CASSELL
15) Ryan HUGHES
16) Daniel GREENE (for BOLAND, 44th min)
17) Daniel EYRES (for ILLIDGE, 83rd min)
Referee: Mr. Matthew DONOHUE
Assistants: Mr. Matthew YOUNG & Mr. Justin WALTON