With the wreckage of Salford City’s clubhouse demolished and towed away during the week, all that’s left on its site is a little tree that’s a poignant symbol of the renaissance of Salford City, now hitting the Wembley trail on two fronts.
With a difficult trip to Blyth Spartans to come on Tuesday and Rhodri Giggs rested on the bench, this one-sided victory over Durham City - forced to play mostly youth players since their sponsors pulled out on the eve of the season – was a comfortable warm up.
Durham, despite being a full league above us, are the whipping boys of the Unibond Premier with 60 goals conceded in only 13 games. Today Salford could also have had a hatful but for some stunning saves by the Durham keeper – who looked about treble the age of most of his team mates.
But for his heroics Salford would have gone in at the break three or four goals up. But the one that Phil Howard did score after half an hour was well worth the wait, a rocket of a header from Craig Mahon’s inch perfect cross.
The second half began with the Salford City Ultras behind the goal presenting the Durham keeper with a pie which he duly kept safe in his nets until after the game. Meanwhile the hungry Salford forwards continued to pepper his goalmouth with some savoury shots and spicy crosses.
It wasn’t until the 75th minute that the next goal came, Lathan Forrester laying it on a plate with a delightfully lobbed through ball picked up by Craig Mahon and lashed past the Durham keeper. It was a richly deserved goal for the Salford number 8, following some tasty performances in recent games.
Salford continued to cook up chances and ten minutes from time Phil Howard dished his second goal after a neatly worked free kick on the edge of the box. Howard almost served up a hat trick but a wicked shot from the edge of area crashed against the bar in the dying minutes. So Salford had to be content with 3-0 and now go into Monday’s draw for the FA Trophy round two, where they’re sure to meet and match more upper crust opponents.
The Salford Star has received the ultimate compliment, as the `artwork’ used to illustrate Salford’s equalising goal at Hyde United in the FA Cup game graced the cover of today’s match day programme… “It tickled a number of people” says programme editor Frank McCauley.
If anyone wants this exclusive, priceless piece of art we’ll willingly donate it to Salford City so it can be auctioned to raise money for the new clubhouse…shall we start the bidding at 1p?