Salford City stormed the second half to hammer Harrogate Railway and move up to tenth in the league this afternoon as the team continues to go from strength to strength.
A scrappy first half ended goal-less, unremarkable except for two superb saves by the respective keepers. First, Kieran O'Boyle made an incredible starfish save to thwart a point blank header from a Harrogate forward…
…And, as the first half looked to be withering on the vine of its ennui, Mark Battersby's shot from six yards out looked certain to end in the net, until the keeper pulled off a brilliant diving one handed save on the goal line. Half time 0-0.
The drabness of the afternoon soon wore off two minutes after the re-start, Matt Purcell curling a ball into the corridor of uncertainty on the edge of the six yard box where new signing Porya `Rio' Ahmadi nipped in front of the keeper to prod home. 1-0
Salford went looking for the second as Aaron Walters shot just over the bar, and later burst through the heart of the Harrogate defence only for the keeper to deny him with his shoulder. Mark Battersby also went close with a shot that fizzed past the top of the post.
While Harrogate attacked in fits and starts, usually ballooning shots well wide of the goal, on 80 minutes the Ammies sealed the points. Matthew Purcell teased a posse of defenders right over near the corner flag before sending over a sublime, perfect cross that sub, Josh Messer, who had only just come onto the pitch, headed firmly into the net. 2-0.
The margin of victory could have been even wider but both Lee Hodgkinson and Matthew Parcell blasted chances over the bar. Still, 2-0, a clean sheet and the double over sorry Harrogate which lifts the Ammies over the Yorkshire team in the league.
Next to come, sandwiched by Prescot Cables at home, are away games against teams directly above the Ammies in the league – Clitheroe and Ramsbottom United. Win these and Salford fans can start dreaming of the play-offs again.
Photos by Andrew Goudie