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Stockport v Salford: Dramatic goals in League Two semi final second leg ends with penalty shootout

Dramatic goals in Saturday’s first League Two semi final second leg ends with a penalty shootout between Stockport and Salford.

Coming into this game, we knew that the Ammies took a 1-0 lead to Edgeley Park thanks to Matt Smith’s goal in the first leg.

Salford – who finished three places and four points behind their opponents in the regular season racked up 13 attempts in all, never looked like losing once Smith had put them ahead with 17 minutes on the clock.

Also in action in the 3pm kick off it’s Carlisle United v Bradford City with the Bantams holding a 1-0 advantage after a Jamie Walker goal at Valley Parade on Sunday.

Winners of both ties go on to meet at Wembley on Sunday the 28th of May. So let’s see how the game at Stockport played out…

4 minutes in and a ball in from the left is met by the untracked Matt Smith, who headed straight at Ben Hinchcliffe. It looked as though Stockport were looking for a flag which never came.

Then, Conor McAleny picked up the ball a few yards outside the D, made a direct run into some space and aimed a shot, but straight at Hinchcliffe.

Fraser Horsfall wrapped his arm around Smith to prevent him from jumping, giving away a free-kick 25 yards from goal and received a yellow (19′).

Salford went close to scoring mid-way through the first half, Mallan’s ball took a nick and looped up for Matt Smith, who beat Hinchcliffe to the punch, took the ball out wide, turned back round and tried to sneak a shot in at the near post, only to be stopped by the keeper.

On 30 minute, Callum Camps was handed a yellow card, putting a painful looking late tackle on Elliot Watt.

Then with minutes of the first half remaining, Stockport came very close to an opener as Chris Hussey’s corner came in from the right and is met by Paddy Madden, who struck the underside of the crossbar!

Salford managed to get it clear and the hosts waited for the referee to confirm it crossed the line, but the decision didn’t come!

Sky Sports EFL Editor Simeon Gholam at Edgeley Park: “How close can get you get?”

Stephen O’Halloran (Ex-Salford and Stockport defender on BBC Radio Manchester): “What does Paddy Madden have to do to score that? It was bound for goal.

“Stockport needed another five or 10 minutes there and they would have been knocking down the door.

“Dave Challinor will be saying more of that in the second half because Stockport were magnificent in the last 10 minutes of the half.

“I think Neil Wood will be telling his team they have defended resolutely and ask for more of the same.”

Simeon Gholam: “Salford will be very glad with how things have gone so far. Stockport have huffed and puffed but barely created anything until that Madden chance just before half-time.

“Dave Challinor has some thinking to do at the break. As it stands Salford are 45 minutes from Wembley.”

Steve Eyre (Former Rochdale boss on BBC Radio Manchester): “Salford boss Neil Wood can tell his team they have had an arm wrestle and they have edged it in terms of chances and they are still in control of the tie.

“My concern is that Matt Smith is already fatiguing and that will allow Stockport’s defenders to come out with the ball.

“He is so important for Salford in both boxes but unfortunately they don’t have a like-for-like replacement. I am expecting Stockport to have heavy, heavy pressure in the second half.”

The second half started with a crucial save from Ben Hinchcliffe as Luke Bolton chased down a long ball and tried a shot but his effort is turned behind.

Then a scramble in the box led to Conor McAleny hitting a shot straight at the keeper.

Ibou Touray became the first Salford player to go in the book after he brought down Isaac Olaofe out on the right.

On 60 minutes, Luke Bolton swung in a cross to the far post for Conor McAleny, who went down in the box under pressure from a defender.

Stockport’s threat grew as Kyle Knoyle did well to lose his man and lift a cross into the six-yard box, but Isaac Olaofe headed straight at Alex Cairns.

Ryan Rydel became the latest Stockport player to go into the book after he dragged Liam Shephard down with 25 minutes left.

GOAL! Stockport 1-0 Salford (Olaofe, 68)

Deadlock broke, Stockport went level – and they deserved it.

It came from a Ryan Rydel cross from the left, which was met by Isaac Olaofe in 10 yards out and powered home in style.

Simeon Gholam: “And there is the breakthrough!! Just a few minutes after Olaofe had spurned a far easier header, he finds the back of the net with another!

“Edgeley Park erupts. And now this game has a very different look.”

Stephen O’Halloran: What a header! Olaofe had the chance earlier but he made that count.

Steve Eyre: “The goal does wonder for the team and the supporters. All the energy is with Stockport County.

“I sense a bit of a truce in the stadium. No one wants to make a mistake in the last 10 minutes.

“I think Salford fancy going all the way and winning this in extra time.”

Stockport kept fighting on, and on 90 minutes, after a brilliant run forward from Luke Bolton, Ben Hinchcliffe had to intervene to keep out a shot before Antoni Sarcevic hooked it away.

Six minutes were added on, and four minutes into that, Paddy Madden was flagged offside when he might have looked on.

Extra time it was and potentially penalties to settle it.

The 98th minute and it was off the line again, with Chris Hussey saving Stockport there. Louie Barry looped the ball over Ben Hinchcliffe from a tight angle and it looked as though it will drop over the line… but Hussey arrived and lumped it clear.

Then came more drama, and goals.

GOAL! Stockport 1-1 Salford (Mallan, 112)

Stockport failed to clear their lines after a Salford attack, Stevie Mallan took aim from 30 yards and it deflected off the back of Fraser Horsfall and dropped into the back of the net.

Simeon Gholam: “You don’t buy a ticket, you don’t win the raffle. Salford lead again! So cruel on Stockport.”

Steve Eyre: “The play-offs bring up these quirky moments. That shot was from 35-40 yards and wouldn’t have troubled the goalkeeper. But it it the shoulder of a Stockport defender and whistled in.”

GOAL: Stockport 2-1 Salford (agg 2-2)

Incredible scenes with a long throw flung into the area, the ball was worked towards the back post where Jack Stretton headed Stockport back in front in this game. 2-2 on aggregate with just a few minutes of extra time remaining.

119th minute and an incredibly save. Salford’s Alex Cairns leaped to push Paddy Madden’s header onto the post after Chris Hussey’s corner.


Salford: โŒ (Lund)

Stockport: โœ… (Madden)
Salford: โŒ

Stockport: โœ…
Salford: โŒโŒ (Mariappa)

Stockport: โœ…โŒ (Croasdale)
Salford: โŒโŒ

Stockport: โœ…โŒ
Salford: โŒโŒโœ… (Barry)

Stockport: โœ…โŒโœ… (Collar)
Salford: โŒโŒโœ…

Stockport: โœ…โŒโœ…
Salford: โŒโŒโœ…โŒ (Mallan)

Stockport: โœ…โŒโœ…โœ… (Sarcevic)
Salford: โŒโŒโœ…โŒ

Stephen O’Halloran: “These are unbeliveable scenes. This is a momentous day for the club who have been through some hard times.

“Antoni Sarcevic has tons of experience and he showed that getting Stockport to Wembley.”

This is what social media users said as the League Two semi final second leg ends with a penalty shootout…

@loganstfc: Another Salford manager for the sack then

@swfcTS: Warra Wembley trip for the smallest franchise in England

@DaveIcke: The best result for football even tho Sky will hate it, it would have been an injustice if the rich boys toy club had gone up eh @GNev2

@owstheman: Howโ€™s that access to Englandโ€™s penalty research paying off?

@railwayvale: This is terrible news – imagine the inevitable Salford / Wrexham love in on sky sports next season ๐Ÿคฎ๐Ÿคฎ๐Ÿคฎ๐Ÿคฎ

@cumston_gary: #StockportCounty… Every possible emotion experienced in over 2 hours of football… Fantastic spirit to comeback like we did… Wembley, here we come!

@LeoWerin: Knowing everyone is overjoyed at Salfordโ€™s playoff defeat is rather heartwarming.

@paulrgregory: So sad thatโ€™s Salford failed to go up, Gary Neville must be gutted ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

@Mancy_Paul: Bye bye Salford. Weโ€™re all spared images of the Nevilles Butt, Keane et-al lording it at Wembley ๐Ÿ˜ฎโ€๐Ÿ’จ๐Ÿคฃ

@freddielofc: Well done, a big win for football

@ImDumbVirgo: Death, taxes and Salford losing on penalties in the playoffs.

@talkabouttom: Luton ๐Ÿค Stockport when it comes to Hatters going to Wembley!

@ansonbolton: Well played @StockportCounty proper club good fan base & worthy of League one, back in yer box @GNev2 and take your tin pot Salford vanity project with you.


@cclarky90: Happy to see #stockportcounty get to Wembley with Sarcevic getting the last penalty, fond memories of first away trip with #pafc being to Stockport many years ago

@Gambeanosnitch: Get in! Bye Salford ๐Ÿ‘‹

@darlofanatic1: Class of 92 shove that up your arseโ€ฆ ahh couldnโ€™t have happened to a nicer club! ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ go on Stockport!

@Hacking3David: Watching Stockport v Salford penalties, unlike premier league players, no fancy, stuttering run ups, just put the ball down, step back, run up & leather it.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป ok they missed a few but, just get on with it ! ๐Ÿ˜‚โšฝ๏ธ

@spicyturner: Get in there Stockport. All this research Salford and we know who had fingered from their pals in the England camp went well. It mustโ€™ve been the pre-2020 research. #Playoffs

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