Moors Frustration As Own Goal Earns Late Point
Despite dominating attacking play the ten-man Ammies needed a late own goal to rescue a point
SATURDAY 26th AUGUST 2017
VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH
SPENNYMOOR TOWN 1 SALFORD CITY 1
1-0 Andrew JOHNSON (72nd min)
1-1 Shane HENRY (82nd min, own goal)
Reduced to ten men for the second time this season the Ammies required an own goal 8 minutes from time to claim a richly deserved point. They had looked the better side before Liam Hogan’s contentious 37th minute dismissal and even afterwards never played second fiddle to a well organised Spennymoor team that struggled to create scoring chances.
There was a single change from the line-up that started last Saturday’s convincing win over Kidderminster Harriers as Mike Phenix returned in place of Anthony Dudley (tweaked hamstring).
Both sides had made good starts to their seasons and the Ammies, playing up the considerable Brewery Field slope, created the afternoon’s first real chance after 3 minutes of play. Richie Allen was the architect, getting to the line on the left inside the box before clipping a pass back for Mike Phenix. A quick ball inside picked out Mani Dieseruvwe who turned well to hit a low effort that lacked pace, allowing a defender to get in its way prior to clearing.
The game was already robust and it was the visitors who looked most capable of opening the scoring. With 10 minutes played Lois Maynard advanced on a right-of-centre run before flicking a pass out wide to Phenix. There were blue shirts arriving in the centre but Moors keeper Dan Lowson anticipated the low cross, getting down to smother the ball at his near post.
Encouraging for the travelling support and their side very nearly went ahead in the 14th minute. Ibou Touray attacked on the left before dropping a peach of a cross to the far angle of the 6-yard box. Phenix got up well to bullet in a header only to be denied as Lowson flung up an arm to tip the ball over his crossbar. A splendid, instinctive save from the Town keeper but he had another anxious moment when his defence failed to deal with the subsequent corner. Richie Allen found himself in possession – and space – just inside the right-hand angle of the box and his floated, left-footed effort dropped just over the bar at the far post.
Some decent openings for the Ammies and at the other end their defence ensured that Spennymoor had hardly a sniff of a chance. A number of crosses and lofted forward passes were firmly cleared by the back three, drifted harmlessly out of play or were plucked out of the air by the increasingly impressive Max Crocombe.
Another Salford opportunity came along just before the mid-point of the first-half after Scott Burton picked up a clearance before lofting a great pass out to the right for Jake Beesley. The former Chesterfield man advanced before delivering a cross to the far post that skimmed off the top of Mani Dieseruvwe’s head. Phenix picked up the loose ball on the left then knocked short back to Touray who aimed another great cross just beyond the far post. Allen was on the end of this one but under defensive pressure could only head over the bar.
The Ammies went closer in the 24th minute after Phenix lined up a low shot from outside the box, with Lowson dropping to his left to push the ball away. Only as far as Beesley however and he pounced to slam in an 8-yard follow-up that the keeper managed to divert wide, off his left-hand post.
Great keeping again from Lowson and he saved again from the corner as Carl Piergianni got in a header that dropped into the goalie’s hands.
Town had huffed and puffed without creating anything of note but they did get an effort on target in the 28th minute. Robert Ramshaw found some room to exploit on the right and responded with a cross that found the head of Glyn Taylor in the centre. The big striker was 16 yards out and his nodded effort was collected comfortably enough by Crocombe.
Frustrating for Spennymoor who lacked quality in the final third but the game was about to take a turn in their favour. First of all Michael Nottingham was shown a yellow card for dissent in the face on already inconsistent refereeing from Mr. Tankard but worse was to follow for Salford 8 minutes before the interval. Skipper Hogan tussled for possession with Taylor and the Town forward endied up on the turf in his attempt to win possession. Hogan, off balance himself, stretched to pick the ball out of the tangle only for Taylor to respond by clutching his leg in agony, leaving his team-mates to cluster around the referee demanding retribution for what they alleged to be a stamp. The official obliged with a straight red card and Salford were left to negotiate the rest of the afternoon with just 10 men.
It didn’t look like a red card challenge – or anything like one – and Taylor was soon back on his feet, suffering no apparent ill effects from an incident that would comprise his only memorable contribution to the afternoon’s proceedings.
A real body blow for the Ammies but they re-organised quickly and for the rest of the half Spennymoor would continue to have no virtually no attacking joy whatsoever. During the final minute the busy Matthew Dixon won possession in midfield before passing inside to Andrew Johnson whose effort was bravely blocked by Nottingham. At the other end Burton tried a dipping cross from the right and was almost rewarded for his temerity as the ball beat the back-pedalling Lowson only to drop over the bar.
HALF TIME: SPENNYMOOR TOWN 0 SALFORD CITY 0
Nine blue shirts emerged along with Crocombe for the second half and they were nursing an obvious and understandable sense of injustice. The opening stages belonged to Salford as they attacked with enthusiasm downhill to win a 47th minute free-kick for a foul on Phenix. Allen trotted over to whip in the set-piece from a spot a yard inside the corner flag and the delivery was tricky enough to encourage Lowson to make a diving punched clearance.
The action switched to the other flank a couple of minutes later as Beesley dropped a cross towards the near post, forcing Lowson to stretch and tip the ball away from immediate danger. Nottingham tussled for possession but the peril was terminated by the referee’s whistle as Town were awarded a free-kick.
Spennymoor are apparently more potent when attacking up the hill and when Johnston tucked a pass inside from the left David Foley’s low effort from the edge of the box was gathered by Crocombe.
There was a break in play as Phenix needed treatment for a knock but he had to be replaced by last week’s hat-trick hero Jack Redshaw. The next chance went the way of Spennymoor however as the impressive Shane Henry won possession from Maynard before playing in Taylor whose weak shot was hit straight at Crocombe.
Some genunine moments of threat from Town but on the hour they really should have been a goal down. A long ball forward from Crocombe found Redshaw inside the Town half and he spun effortlessly away from the close attentions of Chris Chantler. The Salford substitute was clear on goal and advanced confidently but Lowson was having a good afternoon and managed to divert Redshaw’s low effort to safety.
A great opportunity for Salford but their opponents were still struggling to apply consistent pressure of their own. Chantler had a go from a free-kick wide on the left in the 62nd minute but although the effort had power he couldn’t get it to dip anywhere near enough to trouble the keeper.
There was another break in play as Beesley required treatment, with Mark Shelton coming on for Allen and Jake Orrell replacing Foley for Town.
A lull in the action followed but Salford's relative peace of mind was cruelly interrupted with 18 minutes left. Orrell lifted a pass out to the left where Chantler drilled the ball into the near post for JOHNSON to extend a foot that lifted the ball into the roof of the net from close range.
Spennymoor had edged ahead from their first really clear cut chance of the afternoon and the 10 men had their work cut out to rescue something from the game. In the 75th minute they won a free-kick wide on the right and when the ball eventually dropped for Piergianni he could only head wide of Lowson’s left-hand upright from 12 yards out.
The Ammies certainly weren’t out of this game and 8 minutes from time they won another free-kick on the right after Chantler’s crude challenge on Maynard. Touray floated a left-footed delivery into the box and it was Town’s Henry who got up highest, glancing on a header that dropped wide of Lowson and inside his right-hand upright.
A touch of fortune for Salford there, but it was long overdue and sympathy for those Town players who had harangued the referee into dismissing Hogan was scarce among the visiting supporters.
Having been within touching distance of a win Spennymoor responded to Henry’s own-goal by pressing forward. Ramshaw’s lobbed pass from the right looked to have played Johnson in again but Beesley managed to get in vital foot, allowing the advancing Crocombe to smother the danger – a great piece of last-ditch defending from the Salford wing-back.
Both sides went looking for a winner after that and the Ammies had a big shout for a penalty ignored after a Town defender appeared to handle the ball inside the penalty area.
Another moment of controversy but it was Salford who had defending to do as the game entered the period of time added on. During the 1st of those substitute Mark Anderson found Taylor but he finished off an ineffective afternoon by blazing well over from the edge of the penalty area. Anderson was involved again soon after that, taking a quick throw-in up the right that sent Kallum Griffiths off on a run. There were black and white shirts assembling in the middle but the high cross was coolly taken by Crocombe, leaving both sides having to settle for a point.
FULL TIME: SPENNYMOOR TOWN 1 SALFORD CITY 1
In the end this has to be seen as a point won by the ten-man Ammies but they will feel – with some justification – that they should have been heading off down the A1 with all three. The bulk of the game’s presentable chances (in fact all of them prior to the hour mark) went the way of Salford with Spennymoor able to create precious little. Even when the home side had an advantage in terms of numbers they struggled profoundly to do anything with it until Johnson snatched his opportunistic goal.
It’s a slightly eccentric playing surface at Brewery Field but Town couldn’t work that in their favour either as many a forward ball ran harmlessly out of play or was gobbled up by the Salford defence.
This was shaping up to be another accomplished Ammie performance until Hogan’s questionable dismissal but at least they weren’t left empty-handed after a determined response to that setback. At no point were they second best to a hard-working and well-drilled Town side and for large parts of the game were on the front foot, even when a man short.
All in all an impressive performance against another side who will fancy their chances of being in the end-of-season mix but any satisfaction is tinged by the frustration brought by one or two uneven refereeing decisions.
Such things are part of the game of football of course, but at the moment Salford seem to be missing out on the rub of the green. Hopefully that situation will turn around sooner rather than later - there are more big games to come, starting with Southport’s visit to Moor Lane on Bank Holiday Monday.
SPENNYMOOR TOWN (Black & white Stripes/black/black):
1) Dan LOWSON
2) Kallum GRIFFITHS
3) Chris MASON (c)
4) Matthew DIXON
5) Joseph TAIT
6) Chris CANTLER
7) Robert RAMSHAW
8) Shane HENRY
9) Glen TAYLOR
10) Andrew JOHNSON
11) David FOLEY
12) Jamie CHANDLER
13) Jordan PORTER
14) Jake ORRELL (for FOLEY, 66th min)
15) Mark ANDERSON (for DIXON, 86th min)
16) Graeme ARMSTRONG
Booked: Mason, Henry
SALFORD CITY (All Blue):
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) Mani DIESERUVWE
10) Mike PHENIX
11) Ibou Touray
12) Tony Aghayere
14) Mark Shelton (for ALLEN,63rd min)
15) Dom McHALE
16) Anthony Dudley
17) Jack Redshaw (for PHENIX 56th min)
Booked: Nottingham, Beesley, Maynard, Piergianni
Referee: Mr. Anthony Tankard
Assistants: Mr. A. Williamson & Mr. J. Cann