Salford City advanced to the second round of the Manchester Premier Cup after easing past Ashton United 3-1, at the Peninsula Stadium.
A first-half hat-trick from 17-year-old striker Kamar Moncrieffe put the hosts firmly in control with a late Ramirez Howarth strike getting the visitors a consolation goal. The win puts the Ammies into the hat for this week’s draw and stretches this season’s unbeaten run to 13 games.
Graham Alexander’s side went into the game off-the-back of an impressive 4-1 win at Dover Athletic in Saturday’s National League clash with the confidence gained on show from the off, at the Peninsula. Alexander’s side showed early intent and opened the scoring with their first attack of the game, Kamar Moncrieffe turned the ball home from close range on his first start of the season.
Moments later, Moncrieffe doubled his and Salford’s tally for the evening, sweeping home a low cross to put the hosts’ 2-0 up after just six minutes.
Playing with the lead, the Ammies continued to show attacking intent, stringing together several dangerous attacks in search of a third goal. Ashton goalkeeper Harry Turner got down low to stop Moncrieffe scoring his third of the evening before Askew went close either side of going off the field for treatment on a sustained head injury.
Up the other end, the visitors put together their first attack of the game on 20 minutes, a shot that was wide of Max Crocombe’s goal. Salford’s attacking pressure continued, however, with Moncrieffe again at the centre of it as he was brought down in the box for a Salford penalty on 35 minutes. The youngster stepped up to take it and despite his original effort being saved, he turned home the rebound to get his hat-trick for the evening and put the hosts 3-0 up going into the break.
Graham Alexander’s team showed a more retreated look in the second half as they looked to hold on to the lead. Askew, Haughton and Moncrieffe all went close to extending the advantage, but it was Ashton who found the net on 79 minutes. Ramirez Howarth fired past Max Crocombe to get one back for the visitors late on, but it wasn’t enough as Salford comfortably advanced into this week’s second round draw.
After the game, Salford City manager Graham Alexander was delighted with his players’ performance.
He said: “I thought they were excellent. From minute one we got about Ashton, we were on the front foot, we were aggressive with our pressing. We turned the ball over in good attacking areas and we played some real incisive football.
“[We were] delighted to score three early goals, but the performance didn’t die off after that, we carried on with our way of playing. I was delighted with every single one of them.”
The Ammies manager gave first team debuts to four players last night and believes that competitions like the Premier Cup will present good opportunities to rotate his team.
“I won’t hide from the fact that we need to use our squad, we need to give the young players opportunities and give game time to the seniors as well who aren’t playing regularly in the first team at the moment. It’s a great competition for us to do that.
“I thought the players continued in the way we prepared and the performance showed.” Alexander added.
Felt great getting 90 minutes back out at Moor Lane?! Fully deserved the win and a great performance by all the lads, onto the next round!? @SalfordCityFC
— Josh Askew (@Askew_Joshua) October 9, 2018
Salford will find out who their second-round opponents will be when the draw takes place later this week.