SIXTEEN-YEAR-OLD Salford City FC goalkeeper Tom Russell performed penalty heroics to secure the ‘Class of 92’ side a place in the final four of the Manchester Premier Cup after a 3-3 draw with Hyde United on Tuesday night.

The Ammies were 3-1 down away at Hyde United at half time, but managed to peg back to 3-3 by the time the 90 minutes were up after second half goals from Warburton, his second of the night, and Hulme. The long-winded cup tie went all the way to a penalty shoot-out, an encounter in which heroes are made, and young Russell, who is still in full-time education, saw the chance to become the hero.

Russell, facing penalties from some players who are more than twice his age, saved three out of the four penalty kicks he faced, winning Salford City the shoot-out and receiving praise from travelling fans, fellow players and coaches alike.

After the game joint manager Anthony Johnson said “It was brilliant, absolutely fantastic, local lad, Salford kid…everyone is buzzing for him.”

A nervous Russell, facing his first post-match interview, gave his thoughts to the club’s YouTube channel saying “It feels good, made up for my mistake in the first half…I’m really happy to save the three pens, it’s good, feels nice.”

Russell took to social media to thank everyone for the support.

And a clearly very proud Johnson didn’t hide his delight either

Salford City have to wait and see who they will face in the semi-final of the Premier Cup, where a draw against fellow National League North side FC United of Manchester could be on the cards.

David Clarke

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