We look at what turned out to be a very tough festive season for Salford City, as The Ammies fall 5 points behind league leaders Leyton Orient.
Salford came into what was always going to be a huge festive period, in second place in The National League, however three straight league defeats left them trailing leaders Leyton Orient.
Despite a shaky Christmas for Graham Alexanders side, Salford did ensure a perfect start to 2019 with a 2-0 victory over promotion rivals Wrexham. Some may feel this wasn’t enough to avenge the 5-0 thrashing by the Welsh side on Boxing Day though.
Alexander had this to say on the festive period, speaking after the Wrexham game to the Salford City Youtube channel:
“We’ve had a really difficult period of three of four games, where we haven’t picked up a point. A little bit through our own performances, and a little bit through misfortune but thats the game.
“I know what its like when you get doubted, you doubt yourself sometimes as a player, i know that. When you’re on the wrong end of results, so it takes a big heart and a strong mind to show what you’re capable off. I think we did that today.”
Salford began the festive period with a 1-2 home defeat at the hands of Dagenham and Redbridge. Salford fell short in what on paper looked to be the easier of their festive matches. All was going well for the home side when Carl Piergianni nodded home from close range to give the Ammies the lead. From there it should have been comfortable for Salford to see out the game, or even add a few more goals. The Daggers had other plans however, Conor Wilkinson headed home an equaliser for Dagenham and ensured it was level at the break. Salford eventually fell behind on the hour mark after Angelo Balanta scored the third header of the match, and the visitors second. Although Salford will feel they were unlucky not to win, surely this was a huge three points lost.
Salford were looking to make up for the defeat at the hands of Dagenham just a few days later. The Ammies traveled north of the border to Wales just four days later, but didn’t find the redemption they were after. Instead they found a Wrexham side full of confidence and full of goals. Wrexham went on a rampage at home, putting five past Salford with only Adam Rooney’s late strike as a consolation. The result was humbling for Salford, their heaviest since promotion to the National League, and one that worried fans on Twitter.
Bad day at the office, very bad day. Dust ourselves off and get back at it on Saturday #UTA
— GazHiggy (@GazHigg) December 26, 2018
Totally put in their place massive knock to their confidence this last 3 have outplayed beginning to end
— Terry Langford (@mog_terry) December 28, 2018
Next up for Salford was another trip in the league, this time to mid table Barrow. Another defeat followed, but this time in much closer circumstances. Salford were heading towards a hard earned 2-2 draw, one that would have ended a poor run of 3 consecutive league defeats, however heart break was to follow. Jacob Blyth headed home with what was almost the last touch of the game to send the Ammies back to Salford with 0 points. The game, which was broadcast live on BT Sport, could have gone either way, and had it not been for Gus Mafuta’s red card, it could have been a lot different.
The final game of the festive season offered Salford a shot at redemption. Wrexham were the visitors to the Peninsula Stadium, just days after the Welsh side handed Salford a 5-1 defeat in the league. Not often in football does a team get a chance at revenge so quickly, and Salford weren’t about to let it slip away. A strong and courageous performance from the Salford players earned the side a 2-0 victory, ending the Christmas nightmare run of results, and ensuring that salford did not fall further behind leaders Leyton orient. New signing Matt green again showed why he would be crucial to the Ammies promotion hopes, joining striker Rory Gaffney on the scoresheet. After the game Graham Alexander spoke of his delight at his players resilience and fight, describing his sides performance against Wrexham as ‘immense’.
We want to hear from you as Salford City fans, do you think your side has enough to ensure promotion this season? Let us know on our Twitter page.
Salford City fans, we want to hear from you! Do you see your side gaining automatic promotion to the Football League this season? Let us know in the comments below 🔴⚪️ #Wearesalford #Ammies pic.twitter.com/dnyQwaV6pi
— Salford Now (@SalfordNow) January 3, 2019
If we play like we did at home to Wrexham on Tuesday? Emphatic “Yes.”
However, the more cautious side of me is saying: “Let’s wait and see how we get on at Orient on Saturday.”
— Alan Broughton (@alantbroughton) January 3, 2019
Next up for Salford is a huge top of the table clash with leaders Leyton orient. Keep your eyes out for our preview of the game on Friday.