Salford City 0-1 AFC Fylde

Reid 31′

Attendance: 3338 (233)

ALEX Reid’s first-half strike was enough to earn the Coasters all three points at Salford City, whilst ruling The Ammies out of the league title in the process.

The Coasters started in a very positive fashion, with plenty of yellow and black shirts in attacking positions in the early moments.

First Half

The Coasters started in a very positive fashion, with plenty of yellow and black shirts in attacking positions in the early moments.

The Salford defence had earned its plaudits in recent weeks for their exemplary defensive record, and they limited the Coasters to half-chances to begin with – Dan Bradley trying his luck with an effort from distance.

Liam Hogan then had his own effort after being invited to shoot from distance, but the Salford defender’s curling effort was always rising wide of the goal.

The Coasters cleared and countered wonderfully thanks to a sublime cross-field pass by Ryan Croasdale, which dropped invitingly in front of Bond 20 yards from goal.

Bond’s effort was caught clean enough but, bouncing into the floor, it was one that Chris Neal was always favourite to save.

The game came alive, with Rooney threatening Lynch with an improvised back heel, but the former Salford stopper was more than alert to it. 

Back-to-back corners from Touray caused problems for the Coasters, but Francis-Angol was there to hack away the inswinging delivery.

Both sides had moments, but Salford grew into the game, with set-pieces proving to be a popular outlet.

Dieseruvwe went closest to converting one after Hogan won a corner off of Danny Rowe, but the diving header was just a moment too late, and the chance came to nothing.

Having been penned in, it was the Coasters, however, who would take the lead, after weathering the Salford storm magnificently.

Byrne’s long ball fell to Andy Bond, who had a deflected effort fall fortunately at the feet of Alex Reid.

Reid didn’t need to be asked twice, and caught it marvellously on the swivel, burying it low beyond Chris Neal.

It was a reward for the Coasters side who had played without fear, and looked to pen the potential league champions back right from minute one.

Salford looked to respond before the interval, with Dieseruvwe bursting in off of the left wing, but the Coasters back four remained resolute.

A whipped cross from Zaine Francis-Angol caused bedlam in the Ammies penalty area, as it was headed into the path of Dan Bradley just four yards from goal.

Bradley couldn’t get himself set though, and his effort was misconnected and harmlessly wide, denying a priceless opportunity to double the lead.


Salford manager Graham Alexander had clearly seen enough, and introduced Rory Gaffney in place of Redmond at the break.

It had the desired effect, with Gaffney dropping into areas and pulling the strings, keeping the home support full of faith.

A resulting long throw saw Piergianni nod one goalwards, which was collected by Lynch before being promptly clattered by Hogan, with the Coasters earning a free-kick.

The Coasters looked just as likely to find the second goal, with Danny Rowe having two great chances in quick succession.

The first saw him drill a low effort just wide of Neal’s left-hand post, before Alex Reid picked Rowe out unmarked at the back post – only for his header to be directed straight at the Salford keeper.

Salford continued with their direct style of play and were nearly rewarded when a rare mistake from Tunnicliffe saw Dieseruvwe clamber to head it to Rooney, but the striker couldn’t get an effort away.

The Ammies kept knocking on the door, and after three or four attempts of crossing it into the box, Mafuta sent a half volley swirling over the bar.

A double substitution swiftly followed for Salford, with Matt Green and Tom Walker replacing Scott Wiseman and Mani Dieseruvwe.

The substitutes combined instantly, with Green playing in the overlapping Walker, who picked out Gaffney in the box.

Gaffney’s header looked to have the pace to end up in the net, but Jay Lynch was on hand to acrobatically deny him, and keep Fylde ahead.

Salford’s next opportunity came as Burke was caught out, fouling Green on the edge of the box.

Although the initial free-kick went into the wall and behind, the corner once again eventually fell to Mafuta, and once again forced Lynch into a sublime save, leaping to the top left to tip it wide.

In a relentless barrage on the Fylde goal, Green sprung the offside trap to be found one-on-one with Jay Lynch from six yards, but once more, the Fylde stopper came out on top, springing out to stop him in his tracks.

The Coasters tried to forge attacks of their own, with Rowe twisting and turning, before sending another drive Chris Neal’s way, but in truth, they were limited by the Ammies who were desperate to draw level.

With Salford desperate for goals, chances started to arise for Fylde in the dying moments, with Croasdale almost sneaking the ball past Neal, after it was misjudged.

However, it turned out it would just be the one goal to settle the game, as the referee bought the afternoon to a close, and with it, Salford’s title hopes.


“From a coaching perspective we put a plan in place that would deal with what they would throw at us,” said Dave Challinor.

“We chose the team who are the best out of possession, and in doing so were missing technical players like Nick [Haughton] and James [Hardy].”

“But we needed everyone to pull their sleeves up and match them physically, which can be difficult when you’re a foot shorter than the opposition.”

“It was a game where we dealt with what came our way, and we wanted to do everything from head it to defend set pieces – and I thought the work rate, and the desire to keep the ball out of our net was superb.”

“It’s now all about us getting the players in the quarter-final playoff in the best condition, and I said to some of the players today this would be their last game before the playoffs.”

“I know Rowey will be desperate to play as he wants to stay top of the goalscoring charts, but the focus has to be on that Wednesday or Thursday, and we need everyone in their best state to do that.”


Salford City: Neal, Wiseman (Walker 69’), Hogan (C), Pond, Piergianni, Touray, Maynard, Redmond (Gaffney 45’), Mafuta, Dieseruvwe (Green 69’), Rooney.

Subs: Crocombe, Linganzi.

AFC Fylde: Lynch, Burke, Byrne, Tunnicliffe, Francis-Angol, Bradley, Bond, Croasdale, Reid (Haughton 88’), Walters (Philliskirk 74’), Rowe (Odusina 90’)

Subs: Hardy, Tasdemir.