Our opponents: Salford City
Where is it? The People’s Pension Stadium, Crawley.
When is it? Tuesday, August 17, 19:45pm kick-off.
Tickets can be bought online to print at home or collect from our outdoor ticket cabin on matchday. Tickets can also be bought on the day from the ticket office but will cost £2 more than those purchased in advance (increase from 16:30).
Salford City have had a mixed start to their season after drawing at home to Leyton Orient and conceding what manager Gary Bowyer described as a ‘disappointing’ goal on the opening day of the season. However, they then put in a stellar performance away at Derby County in the Carabao Cup, taking the Championship side to penalties, which they narrowly lost. Bowyer oversaw the Ammies for the final 11 games of last season as a placeholder but joined the club on a permanent basis after the campaign concluded. Salford lost narrowly when they last visited the People’s Pension Stadium; a Tom Nichols strike in the 21st minute was enough to give the Reds all three points back in March.
ONES TO WATCH
Tom King will likely be in between the sticks for Salford City tomorrow night. He joined the club this summer after reaching last season’s playoff final with Newport County. King made 52 appearances over the course of his two seasons in South Wales and even scored a goal from his own penalty area last season against Cheltenham Town. The former Crystal Palace youth goalkeeper and England U17 international spent most of his career with Millwall but only ever made appearances in League One for the Dockers. He spent most of his time out on loan, featuring for Welling United, Braintree Town, Stevenage and AFC Wimbledon over the four and a half years he was based in East London. King has also been called up to the Welsh senior team although is yet to make his debut.
Ash Eastham captains the Ammies and plays in defence as a useful 6’2 centre-back. He began his career at Blackpool where he was also sent out on loan multiple times, featuring for Hyde United, Cheltenham Town, Carlisle United, Bury, Fleetwood Town and Notts County before he moved to Rochdale. In Greater Manchester, he helped Dale earn promotion to League One and settled back into third-tier football. Eastham joined Fleetwood in 2016 and made over 150 appearances for the Cod Army, mostly in League One, before joining Salford City in January 2020. Not including Saturday’s game against Sutton United, Eastham has made 50 appearances for the Ammies, finding the back of the net once.
It is safe to say finding the back of the net is no trouble for Ian Henderson, who finished as Salford’s golden boot winner for the 2020/21 season with 18 goals to his name. The veteran forward has scored 178 goals over the course of his incredible 19-season long career that has seen him make 670 appearances. Henderson began his career with Norwich City, where he graduated into the first team before moving to Rotherham on loan. After spells with multiple clubs, Henderson joined Rochdale in 2013 where he would make a huge name for himself, spending six and a half years at Dale and becoming the club’s second-highest goal scorer ever.
HEAD TO HEAD
Crawley have had four previous meetings with the Ammies in League Two, since their promotion from the National League in 2019.
The Reds have only conceded once against Salford, keeping three clean sheets. Salford lost narrowly when they last visited the People’s Pension Stadium; a Tom Nichols strike in the 21st minute was enough to give the Reds all three points back in March.
The away fixture last season saw the Reds go behind from a James Wilson strike, but the scores were levelled through Captain George Francomb in the second-half, as Yems’ men picked up a deserved away point.
In the season previous, results were similar in that Crawley won at home, and drew away. Goals from Bez Lubala and Nathan Ferguson meant the Reds won 2-0 in one of the most dominant performances of the last few years. The away fixture ended in a goalless draw, when Salford again were bookies’ favourites.
VISITOR FORM GUIDE
After an opening day draw and a dramatic penalty shootout loss to Derby County, Salford hosted Sutton United in their second League Two fixture, as Crawley’s game with Harrogate was postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the Yorkshire side’s camp.
Salford, who are the bookies’ favourites to win the title this season, were tipped against National League champions Sutton, but again couldn’t be clinical enough to win the game. Despite sharing 67% of possession and having 15 goal attempts, The Yellows defended well to withstand all the pressure to achieve an impressive away clean sheet as the game ended goalless, meaning Salford now sit in 14th after two points from two games.