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‘The closest Leeds Utd are getting to Man Utd this season’ Big Carabao cup draw for Salford City as Twitter reacts

Salford City vs Leeds – you couldn’t write it, could you?

I wonder which Carabao Cup first round matches will be on Sky…I wouldn’t even hazard a guess.

I’m sure there’ll be plenty of banter in the build-up between ‘The Class of 92’ and Leeds fans. It’s good revenue for The Ammies, Leeds will bring 10,000 and half of United’s season ticket holders will turn up too. A quick upgrade of the ground may be needed.

Anyway, lets look at how Twitter reacted to the tie being drawn, 1-0 Gary Neville…

Salford City favourites for the League 2 title?…Not for me

Salford are the bookmakers’ (SkyBet) favourites alongside Scunthorpe to win League Two next season. It will be The Ammies’ first season in the EFL, will they adapt and dominate as quickly as expected?

Salford has the ability and stature to attract players. With the ‘Class of 92’ part owning the Manchester club, players are keen to join and be a part of history. Coupled with the fact their manager, Graham Alexander, has experience of managing in the EFL already with Scunthorpe. You’d expect Salford to sign good quality players, and be challenging at the right end of the table come May. Favourites for the title? Not for me.

In my opinion, Bradford will win the league next season. They have a brilliant fan base who support their club through thick and thin, Gary Bowyer is a top manager and building a side with the aim of winning the division. Zeli Ismail and Clayton Donaldson have already signed for The Bantams, while striker James Vaughan is also expected to sign, which could result in goals, goals and more goals.

Ryan Lowe will be targeting promotion with Plymouth, having succeeded at the task with Bury last season. Also, Scunthorpe now has Paul Hurst, who won promotion and done a superb at Shrewsbury.

The 2019/20 League Two season promises to be very tightly contested, and with no clear favourite for the title, everyone will fancy their chances of making the top three.

Alexander has three key areas he needs to strengthen for Salford City to win promotion – Agree

Having just been promoted into the Football League, with the wealth currently behind Salford City, you would expect that they would want to again be competing at the right end of League Two in the 2019/20 season.

With some big names already attracted to the Peninsula Stadium while the club was playing in the Vanarama National League, we can probably expect even more making the trip to Salford during the upcoming season.

This early on in the window we have already seen Salford attract a number of good players from the National League, but they’ve also signed multiple players from teams higher up the football league pyramid and abroad. The Ammies attracted Richie Towell a midfielder from Premier League Brighton on a free transfer and, Oscar Threlkeld from Belgian club Waasland-Beveren who has spent time in League One with Plymouth Argyle.

With a number of signings already made, we took a look at where if anywhere, is left for Salford City to strengthen going into their first ever Football League campaign.

Squad Depth

The size of the squad that Salford currently have isn’t uncommon in the National League, we would expect a few of those players to leave on free transfers following the clubs promotion. Those that do stay will get game time but the quality of the squad outside of the starting XI is an area that Salford will have to improve, as at present a couple of injuries to some starters could see them struggle.

Second Striker

If Salford wants to fight at the right end of League Two, they need another goal scorer. Obviously, they currently have Adam Rooney who we imagine will keep scoring goals for fun if he stays fit. But second top scorer Rory Gaffney who does have experience in the football league isn’t what you would call a prolific goalscorer at this level, having never broken into double figures in a season in the Football League.

Full Back

Full back was a weakness for Salford last season, playing with some very attacking fullbacks that they often got away with in the National League. But in League Two they won’t get away with that, Salford City have signed both left and right backs going into the new season, maybe some more cover in what was their weakest position wouldn’t be a bad thing

Dan Jones Joins Salford City & He Brings With Him 2 Essential Traits

The big news last night is National League Play-Off winners from last season Salford City, have signed Dan Jones from Cumbrian side Barrow.

The full-back originally from County Durham has spent much of his career between League Two and The National League. Playing for clubs such as Hartlepool United, Grimsby and has had spells at Fylde and Gateshead on loan.

Last season at Barrow is the first time that Jones has ever been a first team starter, starting 45 games in two seasons at the club, also chipping in with three goals during his spell at the Bluebirds. It was this form that saw Jones called up for his one and only ever England C call up, which saw him feature in a 3-2 win over Wales in March 2018.

With his move to League Two side Salford, his reward for his form over the last two years. 24-year-old Jones is set to have his second crack at the Football League after his release from boyhood club Hartlepool United in his younger days. Therefore ahead of his move, we took a look at two things Dan Jones will bring to the Ammies ahead of their maiden Football League campaign…

Versatility

The 6 foot Jones is capable of playing across the back four, with his size he is more than capable of making the move to centre half, should the occasion occur. The left-footer is strong in the air and defensively sound, something rare in full backs these days, meaning that Dan will provide some much-needed versatility at Salford essential for the long slog of League Two.

Reliability

Despite not nailing down a first team starter role prior to the last two seasons, Jones has shown at Barrow just how good he is given a run of games. He very rarely puts a foot wrong and despite not being spectacular will be a reliable 7 out of 10 nearly every game.

The type of player that every team needs.

Photo Credit: Salford City

Salford City in The National League…Completed It Mate

Salford City were on the verge of club history, and well ahead of their projected league status as they entertained AFC Fylde in the National League Play-Off final at Wembley.

Having overseen three promotions in an amazing four seasons, many would have backed Salford to make it a fourth and second on the bounce into League Two. The opposition had been going great guns in the league, however, do have the distraction of the FA Trophy final back at Wembley next weekend.

The Ammies crowd outnumbered, outsang and nearly outfought the security, as they looked to drink up every second of the biggest game in their 79-year history. There was plenty of noise made by the Salford lot and you could feel the anticipation amongst the crowd.

Salford dominated from start to finish, with Fylde not really causing much concern for Graham Alexander’s backline. The early pressure paid off when a free kick bounced off a couple of Fylde players and, landed at the feet of the Mani Dieseruvwe, the striker duly put it away from around 8 yards out.

The men in yellow and black staged a little fightback, going close on a couple of occasions but nothing to nail-biting in all fairness.

Half time whistle went and Salford went in the happier, the crowd moved a little towards the centre of the goal as they looked to suck the ball in for that second goal, the goal that could really settle the nerves.

Up stepped Carl Piergianni with a bullet header from a corner, the Salford crowd erupted and chants of ‘Salford’s going up’ rang around the stand. Every time, I’ve watched Piergianni this season he has impressed me, he looks like a player that may be in demand once he gets in the spotlight of league football. Salford have got a proper defender there, and one that is always down for the cause.

With still over thirty minutes left of the match to play, Salford put themselves in easy mode and cruised to the final whistle. Things got a little bit more celebratory on the hour mark when Ibou Touray, was left to wander down his left flank from inside his own half to the 18-yard box. He put in one of his trademark crosses but surprised everyone, including himself by finding the far corner of the goal and it bouncing in off the post to settle the tie at 3-0.

A lot can be said for Salford meteoric rise through the non-league divisions since the class of 92 took over. However, what you can’t fault is the player’s effort and commitment to keep Salford striving forward.

This really is a fairytale, Roy of the rovers type stuff, and one that certainly grabs the imagination. I can predict a few disgruntled League Two fans next year when Salford hog the limelight, and it will certainly be a scalp most teams will want to add to their bow.

However, Salford has to be applauded for the way it’s run, and the setup behind the scenes. As we have seen so much this season with badly run clubs near falling out of the league, Salford has the chance, and fair play they’re taking it with both hands.  

A Look Back at Salfords Recent Play Off History

In the five years since the class of 92 took over Salford City, it’s seen the Ammies gain three promotions in four seasons, and possibly a fourth on the cards.

Living life in the Northern Premier League Division One North for six seasons, it was seventh time lucky after managerial duo Bernard Morley and Anthony Johnson took over the reins midseason in 2015.

Much as been made of the Co92 takeover, and how Salford are ‘buying’ their way up to the football league. However, it takes a well-structured club with determined players to claw their way through the leagues.

Furthermore, that determined set of players and managers have got Salford City up to the National League and within touching distance of stepping into the unknown world of league football, giving them 10 years to reach their 15-year plan of playing in the Championship.

Let’s take a look back at what Salford have achieved since 2015…

2015: Northern Premier League Division One North : Champions

The then Ramsbottom United managerial duo Morley and Johnson took over in January 2015, with the Ammies teetering near the top of the table. the Duo won 15 of the last 17 matches in charge and gaining promotion to the Northern Premier League Premier Division with a game to spare.

Gareth Seddon was the top scorer that season with 24 goals.

2016: Northern Premier League Premier Division: Play Off Champions

Danny Webber inspired Salford to a double bounce promotion with 16 goals in Salfords season at the seventh tier of English football.

An FA Cup run to the 2nd round proper was a major achievement for the Ammies, seeing off League Two side Notts County and taking Hartlepool to extra time in a replay.

They finished third in the league, seeing off Ashton United 3-1 in the semi-final, and Workington 3-2 in thrilling style to reach the highest level in their 76-year history.

2017: National League North: Playoff Semi-Final

Salford’s first season in the sixth tier of English football seen them not taste a promotion for the first time in the Co92’s very short history in charge.

They became a full-time club in 2017 and unveiled the newly named Peninsula Stadium. Mike Phenix became Salford’s top scorer with 15 goals, helping them achieved a fourth-placed finish. They, however, lost in the semi-final on penalties to eventual winners Halifax Town, after the teams couldn’t be split after the two legs.

2018: National League North: Champions

Salford set history once again by gaining promotion to the National League, and once again achieving the highest level the club has played at.

The Ammies finished top with a game to spare, Jack Redshaw topped the scoring charts with 17 goals. Unfortunately in the summer that followed the managerial duo parted ways by mutual consent, which seen now manager Graham Alexander take the reigns.

2019: National League: ???

Three is the Magic Number as Rooney Helps Salford Ease Past Maidenhead

The last time I visited Moor Lane was for the 2016 Northern Premier play off final against Workington, Salford won 3-2. I remember going in the Moor lane entrance and standing on the hill. Behind the goal all the kids played football while the dads had a cheeky pint or two.

How three years can make a difference to a club. The stadium was impressive, giving the whole place a unrecognisable revamp to what I remember. The crowd had certainly grown and the level of football is far more professional.

Salford had the midday kick off, knowing a win would put Leyton Orient under pressure hours later. The Maidenhead fans were giving themselves a decent day out in front of the cameras, with them all turning up in fancy dress – a real sea of colour behind the goal.

Within the first 10 minutes Salford scored to spoil the away fans day trip with some decent work down the right from Adam Rooney, playing in Dieseruvwe to slot home.

15 minutes later Salford doubled their lead with Rooney again from the right with his second assist of the game, crossing the ball across the goal to Touray who power home. This caused Salford fans to start to singing ‘Are you watching Orient’ as the Ammies were marching towards the top of the National League.

Salford looked Dominant down their right hand side through Hogan and Wiseman, and it was causing the opposition some trouble.

One minute before half time, following a goalmouth scramble. Salford were awarded a penalty.

Upped stepped Rooney to cap his own glorious first half performance with a cooley taken spot kick, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way.

The home side led comfortably 3-0 and never seemed in danger of letting the lead slip. They seemed to cruise through the second half at a canter, although manager Graham Alexander never stopped demanding more of his players and barking orders all game.

Alexander even had the luxury of bringing off Rooney , who’d had a hand in all three goals.

Personally I feel Salford have it in their locker to go up as Champions with them hitting form at just the right time following a rocky patch at the start of the year. However, with only three games to play and two points behind they need Orient to have a very timely rocky patch of their own.

Final Score 3-0

Bury Stave Off Administration for Now, Curzon Ashton Boss Mark Bradshaw Talks Cup Chances, Rochdale Making Improvements

This is the EFL and Below Show, your look at all the footballing action in Greater Manchester that doesn’t come from Old Trafford or the Etihad.

Manchester Football Social’s Niall McCaughan is joined by Ian Foran and Aaron Benson of the Football Manc Cave for this week’s podcast.

Bury have struggled off the pitch in recent weeks as financial worries surround the club – is there a light at the end of the tunnel at Gigg Lane?

Curzon Ashton manager Mark Bradshaw chats to us as the Nash chase Manchester Premier Cup success for the first time since 1990.

We reflect on Salford’s promotion ambitions and Rochdale’s chances of safety in League One.

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Bury join Bolton in being on the brink of administration, Salford back in form and Rochdale appoint Brian Barry-Murphy

This is the EFL and Below Show, your weekly look at all the footballing action in Greater Manchester which doesn’t come from Old Trafford or the Etihad.

Manchester Football Social’s Niall McCaughan is joined in the studio by Ian Foran and Aaron Benson from the Football Manc Cave, where Bolton and Bury’s financial turmoil is a big talking point.

The lads also chat Salford’s chances of National League promotion and Brian Barry-Murphy’s appointment as new Rochdale manager as they look to stave off relegation.

Catch the latest episode here >> https://play.acast.com/s/eflandbelowshow/manchesterfootballsocial-eflandbelowshow-buryjoinboltoninbeingonthebrinkofadministration-salfordbackinformandrochdaleappointbrianbarry-murphy

FC United Need a Huge Win Against York To Edge Closer To Safety

Tonight, FC United of Manchester host York City at Broadhurst Park in the National League North in a rearranged fixture. The match was originally planned for March 16th, however, referee Amy Fearn postponed the game an hour before kick off due to a waterlogged pitch.

The Red’s looked to be hitting top form at the right time as they had gone 4 matches unbeaten and, had broke the curse of the New Buck’s Head after taking all 3 points back to Manchester in a 3-1 win. However, the unbeaten run came to an end on Saturday as the Red Rebel’s lost 3-1 to local rivals Curzon Ashton, with the game finishing with 10 men after vice captain Harry Winter was sent off with an instant red.

York City are currently sat in 14th and currently sit 4th in the form table, after collecting 13 points from their last six matches. The Minstermen hosted Boston United on Saturday at Bootham Crescent where City went 2-0 up, however in the 78th minute United were level and the match resulted in a 2-2 draw.

FC United will be looking to continue their recent top form in the hope of spending another season in the National League North and will hope that Saturday’s defeat was just a blip. The last time these two met was December 1st which resulted in a 2-0 win for York, after Alex Harris took the lead in the 35th minute. The win was confirmed in the 86th minute after captain Jordan Burrow scored a penalty.

Neil Reynolds will be hoping that the clubs top goal scorer, on 16 league goals, Kurt Willoughby will be able to keep up his magnificent goal scoring record. He scored the opening goal for the reds on Saturday, as well as scoring for England C at Moor Lane last Tuesday in a 2-2 draw against Wales.

With United still hoping to secure their place in the National League North next season and being only three points off Guiseley, who host Curzon Ashton tonight. This match looks set up to be a thrilling match with York hoping to carry on their unbeaten record, and FC United will be hoping to put things right after last weekend’s defeat.

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