Rock Solid Ammies Bring Home The Spoils
Six points from two away games this week as Jake Beesley and Mike Phenix score the goals to sink Telford
SATURDAY 12th AUGUST 2017
VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH
AFC TELFORD UNITED 0 SALFORD CITY 2
0-1 Jake Beesley (9th min)
0-2 Mike PHENIX (77th min)
A good week for Salford City, with the disappointment of that opening day defeat versus Darlington since salved by consecutive away wins. The battling display at Chorley on Tuesday was followed up by a somewhat less testing victory at Telford this afternoon, with goals from Jake Beesley and Mike Phenix enough to take the points back to Moor Lane.
Injuries and suspensions have bitten deep into Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley’s resources, with 5 of their 18 strong squad unavailable this afternoon. Danny Livesey missed out due to the ankle injury picked up at Victory Park in midweek so Michael Nottingham moved to the right-hand side of the back 3, with skipper Liam Hogan switching into the middle. Jake Beesley slotted in at right wing-back and with Mani Dieseruvwe tweaking a hamstring during the Chorley game Anthony Dudley got his first competitive start, alongside Phenix in the forward line. On the bench were 3 lads from the Academy 92 set-up and we would see 2 of them in action before the afternoon was over.
A crowd of over 1,300 gathered at the New Bucks Head, including a vocal contingent from Salford and the match got off to a brisk start. Within the very first minute a surging right-flank run from Salford striker Mike Phenix ended in a cross that hit a home defender as the Ammies went in search of an early opener.
Encouragement for the visitors but they had some defending to do in the 4th minute after home left-back Jordan Gough cut inside from the left before nudging a pass to the right for John Marsden. There were options for the big striker but he elected to have a go, only to guide an effort from 20 yards well wide of Max Crocombe’s left-hand post.
That chance ushered in a decent spell of possession for Telford but having failed to carve out another opening they promptly fell behind in the 9th minute. Not for the first time this afternoon Phenix set off on a purposeful right wing run and this time he slipped a low cross into the penalty area. Jake Beesley was the recipient, sliding in virtually unmarked to guide an 8-yard finish that beat keeper Kas Singh to his right.
A nicely worked goal from Salford’s point of view but Telford responded with real determination. In the 13th minute Carl Piergianni’s routine pass back was controlled by Crocombe but he’d been closed down quickly on the left-hand angle of the box by Marsden and Kieran Dunbar. The keeper had to rush his clearance and the ball cannoned off Dunbar then out for a goal-kick when it might have ended up going anywhere.
There was more attacking possession for The Bucks but all afternoon they would struggle to do very much with it. In the 17th minute the home side could have gone further behind after Phenix’s pass down the right sent Beesley off on a run.The subsequent deep cross found Ibou Touray just beyond the far post and a nod back inside allowed Anthony Dudley to hammer in a low shot that was charged down.
Telford looked to build again and were given an inadvertent hand by Scott Burton. A rare mistake from the Salford midfielder as his loose pass was picked up by Marsden who promptly let fly with a low, right-of-centre shot from 25 yards out. It had been well struck but Crocombe was behind it all the way and was able to take and hold on to the ball.
Again the Bucks looked to push forward but their final passes and deliveries lacked quality and Salford’s defence were in no mood to let anything past. Ammie attacks were less frequent yet carried more menace and the visitors almost scored a second goal in the 25th minute. Beesley’s free-kick from deep on the right found Piergianni on the far side and the big defender planted a header forward. There seemed little immediate danger but Lois Maynard swivelled to hit a first-time 22-yarder that whistled just wide of Singh’s right-hand upright.
Telford countered quickly with Aaron Simpson moving the ball inside from the right for Marsden but his first touch was poor and a defender was able to nip in and win a goal-kick off the Bucks’ forward.
Salford keeper Crocombe almost presented the home side with a chance just before the half-hour after attempting to punt a clearance. The ball hit Marsden and spun up into the air, forcing Crocombe to stretch and tip it behind for a corner. That set-piece came in from the right and after Ross White had a header blocked the loose ball found its way back out to the right flank. Jordan Lussey was there to collect and he aimed a curling cross towards the far post where Gough did well to get in a 6-yard header that dropped just over the bar.
A good chance for Telford - probably their best of the game - but it was Salford’s turn next and Touray’s corner from the right was glanced past the far post by Maynard, taking a defensive deflection on the way.
The game had taken a definite scrappy turn and the next chance came from a free-kick after Burton was penalised for a challenge on Marsden. Dunbar nudged the kick to the right for Lussey but his ambitious left-of-centre effort from near 35 yards drifted yards wide of Crocombe’s left-hand post.
Once again we had a spell of Telford getting the ball forward only for Salford’s defence to deal calmly with everything that was chucked their way. The Ammies responded with a couple of dangerous crosses that the home side cleared but there was a flash of quality during the half’s final minute. Dudley seemed penned in on the halfway line and wide on the right but the former Bury man executed a neat little back-heel that gave Beesley the chance to play in Maynard. The cross in was decent enough but Touray was unable to get there towards the far post and the half came to an end with just one goal scored.
HALF TIME: AFC TELFORD UNITED 0 SALFORD CITY 1
Despite a fair sprinkling of incident the first half had not been too exciting although Salford had looked the better team. The Bucks emerged from the interval in determined mood and spent the opening minutes trying to find a gap in the visitors' sturdy defensive wall. In the 49th minute Aaron Hayden set off on a run through the inside right channel before unleashing a powerful 25-yarder that flew a yard too high to trouble Crocombe.
After half a dozen minutes spent concentrating on their defensive duties Salford launched an attack on the right, with Phenix cleverly slipping into the area before hitting shot that bounced off a defender then dropped onto Touray’s back and out for a goal-kick.
The Ammies won a corner next with Dudley’s delivery from the left finding Piergianni on the far side of the 6-yard box. This was a very presentable chance but Piergianni's frustration was evident as the ball spun off his head and high over the crossbar. Salford could have been two up but were soon on the back foot as Telford won a couple of corners and free-kicks, yet once again the home side failed to find the quality to get past a stubborn Salford rearguard.
This was turning into a frustrating afternoon for the Bucks who had seen plenty of the ball yet were struggling to convert that possession into opportunities. Salford were defending very well and when they did get forward looked more than capable of adding further goals to their tally.
In the 63rd minute the impressive Richie Allen’s lofted pass from inside his own half fell for Beesley on the right and the former Chesterfield forward set off on a run. That progress took him into the Telford penalty area but with options to the left he shaped to pull the trigger himself, only to be denied by a great last-ditch challenge from Gough.
Salford needed a second goal to give themselves some breathing space but in the meantime the game was growing a little more tetchy. Marsden was booked with 25 minutes left following a hefty challenge on Burton that left the Salford man requiring treatment.
Once again play was getting a touch scrappy but in the 70th minute Nottingham finished off a neat build-up with an angled 22-yarder from the right that was smothered by Singh.
With time beginning to run out the relative lack of attacking excitement suited Salford more than their hosts. The pace of the game had slowed a little too by this point, but the Ammies still looked more likely to add to the scoring. In the 74th minute the visitors built on the right, with Dudley knocking a pass back to Beesley. A crafty little turn inside gave the wing-back a chance to move infield and after doing so he threaded a good ball into the right-hand side of the area. Allen was onto that one and managed to get in a cross that dropped just behind Phenix. Last season’s top-scorer had proved a handful for Telford’s defence all afternoon and from 8 yards out and with back to goal he hooked in an effort that rolled just wide of Singh’s left-hand stick.
Home manager Rob Edwards was making substitutions in an effort to find some inspiration in front of goal but it was Salford who scored a decisive goal with 13 minutes left to play. The Ammies were awarded a free-kick wide on the right and Touray’s left-footed delivery was tracked by Phenix whose deft touch at the near post and 6 yards out guided the ball inside the far upright.
A richly deserved goal for Phenix against one of his former clubs and the feeling was that would be enough to wrap up the points. Nevertheless the Ammies were looking for more goals and Phenix threatened again in the 82nd minute,powering in a rising, angled drive from the right that Singh caught at his near post.
Telford, as they had all afternoon, made every attempt to get men forward but there was still no real end product. Crosses into the box were headed out by defenders our plucked out of the air by Crocombe and the Bucks had run out of ideas.
During the closing minutes Salford replaced Dudley & Phenix with Anointed Chukwu and Emmanuel Ogunrindi and the young lads were lively enough to occupy Telford’s defenders when the home side needed to commit men to their attacking efforts.
In the first minute of six added on Telford’s Dunbar had a right-of-centre 18-yarder blocked and as Salford countered Ogunrindi’s pace caused problems for the home defence. In the end a defensive touch came off the Ammies’ substitute and out for a goal-kick but there was little time left for Telford to find a response. Substitute Curtis Strong played a good ball up the left for Marsden but after getting into the area the home striker was stopped in his tracks by Nottingham’s well-timed challenge.
Salford deserved their win so it was perhaps fitting that the last chance of the afternoon went their way. Ogurindi’s little touch played in Allen whose superb turn gave him the chance to cut into the box. A delicately curling effort dropped over the bar but it mattered relatively little as the final whistle confirmed Salford’s second away win in the space of 4 days.
FULL TIME: AFC TELFORD UNITED 0 SALFORD CITY 2
Salford’s coaching team will take a deal of satisfaction from this performance and result. Despite a hefty list of unavailable players the pack was shuffled and 3 deserved points – with the considerable bonus of a second consecutive clean sheet – were secured. The players seem to be settling into the new formation and there was some sublime football played at times, complemented by smart finishing when it was required. Of course, the season is still a work in progress and there is room for improvement but against a side who won at York last season the Ammies always looked likely to win after they went ahead early on. Telford were unable to put much of a dent in a solid looking visiting defence and although they had plenty of possession, winning corners and free-kicks, Crocombe’s goal was not often threatened.
Stiffer challenges probably lie in wait – Stockport and Kidderminster visit Moor Lane over the next 7 days but this is a team that looks likely to improve noticeably with each game and confidence must be high. With injured players looking to return, a suspension coming to an end and a new signing or two lined up the Ammies look set to be firing on all cylinders in the not too distant future. For now though, six points from two tricky away games is eminently satisfactory.
AFC TELFORD UNITED (White shirts, navy shorts & socks):
1) Jas SINGH
2) Aaron SIMPSON
3) Jordan GOUGH
4) Aaron HAYDEN
5) Shane SUTTON (c)
6) Ross WHITE
7) Kieran DUNBAR
8) Jack REA
9) John MARSDEN
10) Jordan LUSSEY
11) Elliot NEWBY
12) Curtis STRONG (for GOUGH, 71st min)
14) Sheridan MARTINEZ
15) Jon ROYLE (for REA, 75th min)
16) Anthony DWYER (for WHITE, 80th min)
17) Matthew BARNES-HOMER
SALFORD CITY (Red shirts, white shorts & socks)
1) Max CROCOMBE
2) Liam Hogan (c)
3) Carl Piergianni
4) Scott Burton
5) Michael Nottingham
6) Lois Maynard
7) Jake Beesley
8) Richie ALLEN
9) Mike PHENIX
10) Anthony Dudley
11) Ibou Touray
GK) Tony AGHAYERE
14) Emmanuel OGUNRINDI (for DUDLEY, 87th min)
15) Anointed Chukwu (for PHENIX, 89th min)
16) Markell Foulds
17) Josh ASKEW
Booked: Touray, Hogan
Referee: Amy FEARN
Assistants: Timothy WALKER & Oliver MACKEY