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MATCH PREVIEW: Salford City vs Swindon Town

Robins look to topple promotion-chasing Ammies…

17 February 2023

Club News

MATCH PREVIEW: Salford City vs Swindon Town

Robins look to topple promotion-chasing Ammies…

17 February 2023

There’s no time to draw breath as Swindon Town prepare for another EFL Sky Bet League Two fixture this weekend.

Jody Morris’ side will look to end a run of three straight defeats this Saturday as they journey to The Peninsula Stadium to face Salford City.

Here’s the lowdown on our next opponents…

The history…

The club was founded back in 1940 as Salford Central Mission, later changing their name after seven years while playing minor local league football until they claimed a place in the Manchester League in 1963.

The club won the Lancashire Amateur Cup in 1971, 1973 and 1975, and claimed the Manchester Premier Cup on two occasions in 1978 and 1979.

In 1980 they entered the Cheshire County League, which was later amalgamated into the North West Counties Football League in 1982.

In 1989, the club changed their name again to their current title, and secured promotion into the Northern Premier League in 2008. They survived on the final day of that season, still referred to now by Ammies fans as The Great Escape.

In 2014, Salford hit the headlines as former Manchester United players Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and the Neville brothers took over, each purchasing 10% of the club, alongside Singaporean businessman Peter Lim. David Beckham then purchased a stake from him in 2019.

In 2015, the club were crowned NPL National League North champions, won the NPL Premier Division play-offs the following year and claimed the National League North title in 2018.

In 2019, their rise continued with promotion to the English Football League under boss Graham Alexander, and won the EFL Trophy in their debut campaign.

The Stadium…

The Ammies ply their trade at The Peninsula Stadium, more commonly known as Moor Lane.

The ground, built in 1978, is situated in the Kersal area of Salford and holds 5,106 fans, with 2,246 seated.

Their season so far…

Sitting sixth in the League standings, Salford have enjoyed a productive campaign to date, with just four points separating them from Northampton in fourth.

An impressive 14 wins have contributed to their promotion push this term, with their goal ratio of 41 highlighting their prowess in front of goal.

Form wise, City are on a run of two without a win, following up home victories over Walsall and Rochdale with defeat away at Tranmere and a draw against Harrogate in midweek.

Previous meetings…

The two sides last squared up back in early August at the County Ground, with the tie ending in a goalless draw with neither side able to break the deadlock.

The Robins, under the tutorage of Scott Lindsey at the time, played the second half with ten men following the dismissal of Harry McKirdy two minutes before the interval.

Swindon and Salford have only ever met four times in total, with Town claiming two wins, a defeat, and this season’s draw at SN1.

Back in November 2019, A Eoin Doyle brace and Jerry Yates goal earned Town a valuable 3-2 win in Manchester that day.

The Robins followed this up in August 2021 with another victory on Salford turf, as Jack Payne scored the decisive goal early into the second period.

But The Ammies would avenge that loss later that season, beating Town 2-1 at the County Ground, as Harry McKirdy’s goal on 55-minutes was cancelled out 10-minutes later by Liam Shephard, before Ryan Watson struck the winner with four left on the clock.

The manager…

Neil Wood is in his first season of management in the Football League, having departed Manchester United after eight years coaching in their academy, taking over last May.

The 39-year-old began his career in the United youth ranks, but several injuries meant he left his boyhood club without making an appearance.

Despite going on to join several other English sides such as Coventry City, Blackpool and Oldham Athletic, and a spell playing in Bosnia, Wood was unable to shake off those injury woes and made just 61 appearances across his career.

After hanging up his boots, Wood returned to his hometown of Manchester, and in 2014 began working for the United’s academy, progressing his way from the Under-15s to their Under-23s side.

Back in May, he took the Salford reins from Gary Bowyer, who had departed just a few days earlier.

Key players…

Midfielder Elliot Watt has been an influential member of the Salford armoury this term, assisting on 10 occasions for The Ammies.

This has enabled striker Conor McAleny to increase his goal tally, with eight to his name so far this season.

At six-foot six-inches, fellow striker Matt Smith will always be a threat. Since signing for the club back in January last year, he’s netted 14 league goals, with seven of those coming this term.

Defensive midfielder Ryan Watson and left-back Ibou Touray have made a series of contributions, both setting up goals and scoring them.

There’s also a familiar face in the ranks, with Louie Barry joining them on loan on deadline until the end of the season from Aston Villa.

The 19-year-old spent the second half of last season at SN1, scoring six times in 14 league appearances to help Town reach the play-offs.

Manchester United youngster Ethan Galbraith has also enjoyed a fruitful loan spell at the club this season and brings another creative edge to Neil Wood’s side.


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