Salford City 2-1 Bromley
Salford City kept their automatic promotion hopes alive after a remarkable late comeback against Bromley at the Peninsula Stadium.
Nathan Pond’s header deep into injury time gave the Ammies victory in a match where the majority of the goalmouth action was crammed into the final 10 minutes.
Lois Maynard’s 88th minute goal looked to have salvaged a point for Graham Alexander’s side moments after JJ Hooper’s penalty had given Bromley an undeserved lead.
— Salford City FC (@SalfordCityFC) March 30, 2019
Salford had the better of a quiet first half, with few clear cut chances for either side after Ibou Touray had struck the crossbar from a free-kick in the early stages.
With Bromley happy to sit back and try to play in leading scorer Hooper on the counter, the Ammies found it difficult to create opportunities, despite the marauding efforts of Scott Wiseman down the right flank.
On the half-hour mark, David Gregory was called into action for the first time, getting down well to deny Carl Piergianni from close range after Mani Dieseruvwe’s flick-on.
Dieseruvwe then went close himself, but the striker could only divert Touray’s driven cross wide.
Devante Redmond’s penalty gave Salford victory against Harrogate in midweek, and the Manchester United academy graduate nearly made it two in two when his free-kick curled just wide of Gregory’s post.
While Chris Neal was a virtual spectator in the Salford goal, his opposite number Gregory had to hold on to Rooney’s scuffed shot to ensure the visitors went into the break with their clean sheet intact.
The introduction of an extra defender in Marc-Anthony Okoye shortly after the interval saw Neil Smith’s men match Salford’s 3-5-2 formation and start to enjoy more of the ball in midfield.
In response, Alexander brought on Matt Green and Rory Gaffney to try and re-energise his misfiring attack.
The double swap almost paid instant dividends, but Gaffney’s effort on the stretch from Redmond’s ball forward was blocked superbly by Jack Holland.
With the visitors still failing to test Neal, the Salford boss opted to throw caution to the wind, bringing on attacking midfielder Tom Walker for captain Liam Hogan.
The 23-year-old was just inches away from breaking the deadlock with what would have been his first touch, but he couldn’t quite stretch to head home Rory Gaffney’s perfectly measured centre.
Just when it was looking like the Peninsula Stadium would see its second goalless draw in the space of a week, Bromley were awarded a spot kick when Omar Bugiel was hauled down by Maynard.
Hooper stepped up and made no mistake, sending Neal the wrong way in front of the jubilant away support.
85 | HOOPER SCORES!!!!! pic.twitter.com/ABWpEuWIDz
— Bromley FC (@bromleyfc) March 30, 2019
But Salford’s reaction to their defence being breached for the first time since February was instant and Maynard made amends for his mistake by rising highest to nod Wiseman’s cross home with two minutes left on the clock.
Pond – so impressive during the Ammies’ recent run of clean sheets – then pounced on Walker’s corner to make it six wins out of seven for Salford, who are now just one point behind league leaders Leyton Orient.
Get innnnn!!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️
— Gary Neville (@GNev2) March 30, 2019
Salford City: Neal; Hogan (Walker 72), Pond, Piergianni; Wiseman, Mafuta, Redmond, Maynard, Touray; Rooney (Gaffney 64), Dieseruvwe (Green 64).
Subs not used: Crocombe, Whitehead.
Bromley: Gregory; Brindley, Holland, Johnson, Wood; Coulson, Raymond, Sutherland (Sarpong-Wiredu 60), Hackett-Fairchild (Bugiel 83); Porter (Okoye 53), Hooper.
Subs not used: Dunne, Higgs.
Referee: David Richardson