Salford City won their first trophy since being promoted from the National League as they beat Portsmouth at Wembley in the final of the Papa Johns Trophy.

They reached the final of the tournament in early 2020 but had to wait over a year for their big day at Wembley, with the final being postponed due to the outbreak of the coronavirus last March.

They held the trophy for the shortest time in the history of the competition, as just 24 hours later Sunderland defeated Tranmere to win the 2021 version.

This was the first time that Salford City has won the EFL Trophy and their first attempt, although they were knocked out of this year’s tournament in the 2nd round, losing on penalties to Leicester City’s U21s.

On the day it was the League Two side who created the better chances but Craig MacGillivray was in fine form for Portsmouth in goal, making a number of vital saves. In the end, penalties were needed to decide the winner of the EFL Trophy.

The Ammies held their nerve, scoring all four of their penalties, whilst Portsmouth’s Ryan Williams missed his sides first attempt, and then Salford’s hero Vaclav Hladky got a strong hand to make the decisive winning save.

Three of Salford City’s famous owners, part of the Class of 92, Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, and Ryan Giggs, were there to witness Salford’s historic win.

Richie Wellens’s side were understandably overjoyed when lifting the trophy; this achievement makes history for the club in a year that has been testing and trying.

The victory also means Salford have won both of their appearances at Wembley, their first appearance in the stadium came after they defeated AFC Fylde in the National League promotion final in 2019.

The win also means that Portsmouth will not make history by becoming the first club to retain the trophy after they overcame this year’s winners Sunderland in 2019.

It is now time, after a weekend of celebration, for Richie Wellens and Salford City to focus back on promotion and perhaps this impressive Wembley display will be the catalyst for further success this season.

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