Salford City moved up to third and into the automatic promotion places in League Two after winning a tight encounter against a rejuvenated Stevenage side.
Salford took the lead early on as in the 2nd minute Ash Hunter pounced quickly onto a loose back pass from Stevenage’s Arthur Read and he slotted home on the second attempt.
However, Stevenage responded well to going behind and very nearly equalised in the 22nd minute as Read was denied by an impressive Vaclav Hladkay save.
Stevenage continued to put the pressure on Salford in the remainder of the first half but a resilient defensive performance was backed up by a goalkeeper in Hladaky who appears to have been a great piece of business following his summer signing.
Watch all the action from our 1-0 win against Stevenage at The Lamex Stadium.#WeAreSalford 🦁🔴
— Salford City FC (@SalfordCityFC) October 4, 2020
Just before the break, Salford thought they were 2-0 up as Jordan Turnball dinked the ball over the helpless Jamie Cumming in goal but it was ruled out for offside.
As the game moved into the second and decisive half, Salford came close again to doubling their lead but James Wilson scuppered a great chance from just six-yards out as his close-range effort hit the crossbar.
It was the crossbar again that prevented Salford from putting the game to bed as in the 69th minute Ian Henderson’s cheeky attempt to chip the keeper from outside the box hit the bar.
Salford came close again in the 88th minute after Henderson did well to pounce on Cumming dropping the ball, his cross took the keeper out of the game but Emmanuel Diseruvwe’s headed effort was cleared off the line by Ross Marshall.
In the second minute of added time, Salford had one final chance to make the scoreline look more convincing as Asante broke through Stevenage’s defence but his effort was well saved by Cumming at his near post.
— Salford City FC (@SalfordCityFC) October 3, 2020
That was the game’s final chance as the full-time whistle blew after 4 added minutes and Salford secured three vital points in their push for automatic promotion.
The first-half saw Salford take the lead but both teams created good chances and the game was very much in the balance.
However, the second-half was largely dominated by Salford City and they continued to cause problems for Stevenage until the final whistle but they will need to put those chances away in more challenging games to come in their second season in the EFL.
The signs for automatic promotion are positive as after 4 matches in League Two this season Salford have won 2 and drawn 2.
It’s an impressive unbeaten start to the campaign as they look to push on from their 11th placed finish in their debut season in the EFL.