Salford Mansfield

Salford City claimed a point at home to promotion-chasing Mansfield, but it ended their hunt for a League Two play-off spot.

Salford took the lead two minutes into the game as Ibou Touray delivered a delightful free-kick from the left wing, and it was Jordan Turnbull who rose highest to head home in front of the Mansfield travelling fans.

It did not take long for the visitors to respond as Steven McGlaughlin stepped up to take a controversially given free-kick and bent it beautifully into the bottom left-hand corner to level the scores in the 15th minute.

Mansfield began to boss the possession as the first-half progressed, but lacked the final ball that would have put Tom King in danger.

Salford were happy to play on the counter attack and almost took the lead for the second time as Brandon Thomas-Asante played in Matt Smith who couldn’t quite round Manchester United loanee Nathan Bishop who stood strong in the Mansfield goal.

Just as first-half stoppage time was drawing to a close, Jordan Turnball handled the ball inside City’s box and the referee awarded a penalty to Mansfield which was calmly slotted down the middle by McGlaughlin who claimed his second goal of the game.

Mansfield got the second half underway but it was Salford who started on the front foot with a fast break down the left flank but there was nobody in red to get on the end of Thomas-Asante’s low cross.

The Ammies continued to pile the pressure on Mansfield during the opening exchanges of the second half and eventually took advantage in the 52nd minute with another fine header, this time it was Matt Lund who dived onto the end of Thomas-Assante’s in swinging cross.

Salford began to gain momentum and just two minutes later struck the bar with another Lund header, this time from a corner.

Thomas-Asante was causing Mansfield all kinds of problems down the left as Bishop was forced into a smart save following a skilful piece of play which saw the 23 year old cut inside and fire a low effort towards the near post.

City opted to play ‘route one’ in hope of snatching a late winner to keep their season alive but it wasn’t meant to be this year for Bowyer’s side as they stay 10th in the table, whilst Mansfield missed the chance to put themselves in the automatic promotion spots, but stay inside the top seven.

Bowyer’s post-match thoughts 

Gary Bowyer was understandably disappointed after today’s game, he said: “It’s disappointing 100%, the lads are absolutely gutted because they’ve given everything.

“We’ve got to come back stronger… we’re not a football club that accepts excuses.”

The Ammies manager was also quick to criticise the referee’s decisions that lead to both the Mansfield goals, saying: “Jordan Turnball is adamant that he took the ball (foul leading to first goal), and for the second one, it’s not a free kick on the half way line for starters and there is two hands on his back as he goes to jump which puts his hand in an awkward, unnatural position.

“I didn’t think it was refereed particularly well today.”

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