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Match Report

Salford 2-2 Town - Battling Town earn a point at the Peninsula Stadium

Ed Francis' 93rd minute goal earns Town a crucial point at the Peninsula Stadium.

With the game in the dying minutes, everyone was sent up for a late Town corner... The ball dropped to Francis and he stabbed home, putting a big smile on Simon Weaver's face.

Salford had taken the lead twice in the game but a resillient display from means we leave with a valuable point on the road.

It was just the one change for Simon Weaver's men as the supsended Warren Burrell was replaced by Rangers loanee, Josh McPake, with Franics shifting to left-back. 

It was the home side who started the stronger with Hunter having a couple of efforts within the first ten minutes, although the winger was unable to trouble Belshaw in the Town goal.
 
Down Town's left, McPake was looking a lively presence down the Town left from the start.
 
The Rangers loanee showed great feet to sit Tom James down and pick out a great pass to George Thomson in the box. Playing in a more central position, the midfielder took aim but saw his effort blocked.
 
As the 20th minute passed, Salford who had started the brighter, broke the deadlock through Harrogate based Robbie Gotts.
 
The midfielder, who recently joined The Ammies on loan from Premier League side Leeds United, found space to turn edge of the box and used it to good effect, smashing an effort past Belshaw.
 
Unable to do anything to stop the finish, Belshaw then did well to keep hold of Hunter’s low effort which skidded across the turf, just after the half hour mark.
 
Nonetheless, as the first 45 minutes progressed, so did Town’s confidence to test the Salford defence.
 
Weaver’s attackers were winning several free-kicks in promising positions, one which saw Ed Francis hit an effort just the wrong side of the upright.
 
And in the 38th minute, two minutes after Francis’ tester, a mistake at the back for Salford gifted Town the equaliser.
 
Defender Di’Shon Bernard failed to put enough into his back pass to Vaclav Hladky and it allowed Muldoon to capitalise, ending in a simple finish for Town’s top scorer.
 
An energy in the Town team was now evident and they almost made it two, when star man of the first half McPake found Connor Hall on the edge of the Salford box, with the defender forcing Hladky to parry.
 
The opportunity was there for Aaron Martin to come in on the rebound but his header couldn’t find the target as the half time whistle approached.
 
It was Town who worked the first chance of the second half and it was almost a wonder goal from Brendan Kiernan who on the volley and outside of the boot, hit the bar with a strike from the edge of the area.
 
Immediately at the other end though, Belshaw was called into action, pulling out a really strong one-handed save to deny Hunter who led the Salford counter attack.
 
Richie Wellens opted to make a quadruple change before the hour mark in an attempt to gain the upper hand.
 
With 71 minutes now played, it was one of Wellens’ substitutes which put Salford back in front.
 
Richie Towell’s strike was parried by Belshaw but the ball remained in the six-yard box and bounced around before falling to Brandon Thomas-Asante, who had a simple tap in.
 
Weaver opted to makes changes with 15 minutes to play bringing on Josh March and Simon Power, with the latter making his Town debut.
 
In the dying minutes, McPake went close with a low, curling effort and then Town won a corner which prompted James Belshaw to make his way into to Salford box. 

The corner was floated to the back post and was then headed back to Ed Francis, who made no mistake with the finish to secure Town the point.

Salford City: Hladky, James (Clarke 56), Touray, Lowe, Hunter (Thomas-Asante 56), Bernard, Burgess (Coutts 56), Turnbull, Threlkeld (Towell 56), Gotts, Henderson. 

Subs not used: Evans, Eastham, Andrade.

Goals: Gotts 21', Thomas-Asante 70'

Booked: James, Lowe, Touray

Harrogate Town: Belshaw, Williams, Francis, Lawlor, Hall, Thomson, Falkingham, McPake, Kiernan (Power 74), Martin, Muldoon (March 74).

Subs not used: Minter, Lokko, Hondermarck, Kirby.

Goals: Muldoon 38', Franics 93'

Referee: Mark Edwards
Match Result
Salford City
Salford City
Gotts 21, Thomas-Asante 70
2
Town
Town
Muldoon 38, Francis 93
2
Moor Lane
7:00PM Friday 22 January 2021
Attendance 0
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