The Salford City starting team showed a zillion changes from the Great Escape eleven of last season, and included Rhodri Giggs, the well travelled brother of Ryan, last seen playing for Bacup Borough. They lined up against `the squad with no names' as even the stadium announcer gave up on the Oldham team sheet…they were all called `Trialist', and included, we heard, some Hungarians and a left back on loan from Arsenal...ooooooohhhhhh
But the big shock was seeing Salford City star, Lathan Forrester (or `Trialist' as he's been re-named), on the subs bench for Oldham. Well weird.
Whoever they were, the Oldham team were easily matched during the first half by Salford, with Rhodri Giggs looking busy, and Jody Banim and Chris Hurst combining well on the left. The Ammies took the lead after a cross was turned into his own net by, er, Trialist. But, on the stroke of half time, Oldham equalised after a corner was headed in by, er, Trialist.
The second half saw chances put away at both ends, only to be ruled out for offside, while the Oldham goalie, er, Trialist, pulled off some brilliant point blank saves as Salford pressed for the winner. Lathan Forrester came off the bench for Oldham, and with one mazey run walked right through the Salford defence to underline his Football League credentials. With minutes to go, er, Trialist was pulled own in the area and, er, Trialist converted the penalty to put Oldham in front. Almost straight from the kick off Salford attacked again but the goalie again made a great one on one save to secure the win for Oldham.
A good work out for both teams, and there was hardly a million leagues difference between them. Salford are now third favourites for promotion from the Unibond Division One North this season – which is a massive compliment to a team that was favourites to go down last season, and almost did.
Next up for home friendlies are Fleetwood this Saturday and Ashton United next Tuesday night (check with the Salford City website) before the season starts proper on August 15th with a trip to Trafford. The first home game of the season is on Tues August 18th against Lancaster City.
And for a bit of Salford City history see The Great Escape
Photos by Paul Watson