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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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24 October 2023 Venue The Eco-Power Stadium Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Reports

REPORT | Rovers 0 Salford City 3

24 October 2023

Rovers were undone by clinical opposition as they fell to a 3-0 defeat to Salford City.

Though they enjoyed much the better of the attacking play, a lack of ruthlessness saw them fail to make it count.

The opposite was the case for the visitors, who opened up a big margin on the scoreline with striker Matt Smith netting a hat trick.

Grant McCann made one change to the side that started the win over Tranmere Rovers four days prior with Joseph Olowu returning from injury. Jack Senior was named on the bench.

Luke Molyneux produced a brilliant block to deny Ryan Watson an opener inside the first minute after Salford broke clear.

But it was only a minor delay to the visitors taking the lead. The ball was delivered in from the left and Smith rose to plant a header down and in off the crossbar.

Rovers quickly got on the front foot and Molyneux saw a shot deflected out for a corner after cutting in off the right.

Harrison Biggins almost produced a stunning equaliser when spinning onto a fine pass from Ben Close and chipping from the edge of the box, only to be denied by the fingertips of Fleetwood keeper Alex Cairns.

The visitors doubled their lead on 26 minutes when Smith powered home a header from an Ethan Ingram cross.

Rovers continued to push for a way back into the game but chances proved hard to come by against a stubborn Salford defence.

Joe Ironside flicked a header over the bar from a Tom Nixon cross while Owen Bailey dragged a shot wide from the edge of the box after latching onto a loose ball.

Ironside got on the end of another delivery from Nixon but put his header straight at Cairns before Salford’s Ryan Watson drilled over the bar from eight yards out in the final action of the half.

Rovers started the second half strongly as Mo Faal drew a save from Cairns after wrestling into space to meet a cross from Bailey.

Zain Westbrooke flicked a header onto the crossbar before Close fired wide from 30 yards.

The pressure continued and Faal sliced a shot into the sidenetting after latching onto a pass from Harrison Biggins.

Rovers looked to have pulled a goal back just after the hour mark when Ironside flicked home a header but the flag was raised for offside.

Close met a corner to the near post with a header only to see his effort saved by Cairns while substitute George Broadbent dragged a shot wide.

Salford rounded off the win on 77 minutes. Kelly N’Mai broke clear but was denied by Louis Jones, only for Smith to pounce and fire home.

Rovers remained on the front foot and Molyneux curled a cross-cum-shot onto the bar.

Faal got onto the end of a low centre from Molyneux but could not turn his shot on target.

Rovers: Jones, Bailey, Anderson, Olowu (Senior 66), Molyneux, Biggins (Broadbent 66), Close, Westbrooke, Nixon, Faal, Ironside. Subs not used: Lawlor, Flint, Degruchy, Sotona, Goodman.

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