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Salford Metropolis 1 – 0 Stockport

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Salford took management of their League Two play-off semi-final towards Stockport with a well-deserved 1-0 first leg win on Saturday evening.

The Ammies – who completed three locations and 4 factors behind their opponents within the common season racked up 13 makes an attempt in all, however by no means seemed like shedding as soon as Matt Smith had given them the lead with 17 minutes on the clock.

Matt Smith scored the winner at the Peninsula Stadium

Dave Challinor’s County hit the crossbar moments earlier than Smith’s opener, however the league’s fourth-highest scorers – in with a shout of computerized promotion till the ultimate day – have been, in fact, considerably limp and lifeless in assault.

However with only one aim within the tie, the place at Wembley remains to be very a lot up for grabs forward of the second leg at Edgeley Park subsequent Saturday afternoon, which is dwell on Sky Sports activities Soccer.

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Salford Metropolis striker Matt Smith scores with a close-range header

How Salford edged to victory regardless of attacking dominance

With Manchester United legends Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Roy Keane and Nicky Butt – additionally the membership’s CEO – in attendance, Salford began brightly as the nice and cozy night solar blazed onto the carpet of a pitch on the Peninsula.

After quarter-hour, from nowhere, Stockport put the Salford defence beneath intense stress – and it virtually paid off. Jack Stretton’s ball ahead launched Connor Lemonleigh-Evans, who pressured a robust save from Alex Cairns, earlier than County skipper Ryan Croasdale crashed the rebound onto the crossbar.

Inside two minutes, the hosts had responded to the scare. Elliot Watt put a stunning, first-time cross in from the right-hand aspect, which Smith met with a looping header after profitable a grappling battle with Fraser Horsfall.

Salford take a one goal lead into next Saturday's second leg
Salford take a one aim lead into subsequent Saturday’s second leg

Conor McAleny tried his luck with a penalty attraction after stress from Neill Byrne within the field within the second half, however referee Tom Nield was, appropriately, not having any of it. The ahead was then denied the prospect to double Salford’s lead when his shot on the swivel was pushed away from hazard expertly by Ben Hinchcliffe.

Salford have been, at instances, maybe responsible of a contact of profligacy, given their sheer variety of pictures, however in the long run, it mattered little as Stockport had nothing to supply in return and misplaced the primary leg consequently.

Smith: I knew nothing concerning the aim

Salford striker Matt Smith talking to Sky Sports activities:

“[The goal] got here off my shoulder in the long run, I did not know a complete lot about it. The participant was a bit focussed on wrestling me, so simply completely happy to see it go in.

“It was a battle, we knew it was going to be. We needed to stand as much as that take a look at and present that aspect of our recreation. It is not all the time how we prefer to play, however tonight we needed to present a distinct aspect to us.

“We wish to be amongst it, that was our intention. Quite a lot of edgy video games. However the primary factor is we’re in there and something can occur now. It is solely half a job. They got here shut a few instances. We have now an edge however we have got one other large 90 minutes at Stockport.”

What’s next?

Saturday twentieth Might 12:00pm

Kick off 12:30pm

The second leg will probably be performed at Stockport’s Edgeley Park dwelling at 12.30pm on Saturday Might 20, dwell on Sky Sports activities Soccer.

There, the groups will battle it out for a spot within the Sky Wager League Two play-off closing, which is able to happen at Wembley Stadium at 1.30pm on Sunday Might 28.

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