Salford City Braintree Town Rory Gaffney

Salford City scored in the first and last minute of their National League match as they earned a 2-2 draw against Braintree Town at the Peninsula Stadium.

Irish striker Rory Gaffney delighted the Salford fans as he netted with the first action after kick-off in the match, before Braintree equalised at the end of the half with a penalty from Mohamed Bettamer.

Bettamer added his second of the game after the interval to turn the score around, before Gaffney won a last-minute point for the Ammies in the very last moments of the match.

With Salford sitting top of the table ahead of kick-off and facing off against bottom of the league Braintree, it was a game that seemed to suggest there would be goals and it didn’t disappoint – though perhaps not in the way it had been expected.

Salford City 2-2 Braintree Town
Salford City player Ibou Touray fires in a free-kick against Braintree Town. Photo by Matt Roberts (@atwmroberts)

Salford started the match well, and almost immediately found themselves ahead when Gaffney converted an effort within the first minute of the match.

However, following the early strike the Ammies seemed to lose some degree of intensity to their game and allowed Braintree to build and try and force their way back into the match.

The visitors had a brilliant chance to equalise when their strikers broke the Salford offside trap but saw sharp reactions and awareness from Ammies goalkeeper Chris Neal cleared the chance away from danger.

In first-half stoppage time, Braintree were given an even clearer opportunity to level the scores when they were awarded a penalty. Mohamed Bettamer stepped up for the spot-kick and dispatched it past the outstretched left hand of Neal.

Salford City Braintree Town Tom Walker
Salford City player Tom Walker under pressure in midfield against Braintree Town. Photo by Matt Roberts (@atwmroberts)

The second half started even worse for Salford than the first, as Braintree continues to press and cause problems – far away from their league position would have suggested – and in the 73rd minute got their reward when Bettamer netted his second of the match after a swift counter-attack.

Minutes later, the situation almost got worse at the Peninsula Stadium too, when Reece Grant fired an effort from distance that smacked clean against Neal’s crossbar.

After a number of injuries for Braintree players, Ammies fans saw five minutes of injury time signalled and relied on every minute of them to get back into the game. In the 93rd minute, Gaffney smashed the ball past Ben Killip in the Braintree goal.

The goal sparked delirious celebrations from the fans and players, as they celebrated a hard-fought and resilient point in the National League.

That result meant that Salford City achieved a fourteenth match unbeaten with the result against Braintree – though did give up a seven-game consecutive winning run.

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