salford Scunthorpe

Hat-trick hero Brandon Thomas-Asante was on hand to stretch Salford’s unbeaten run to eight games.

The Ammies started the brightest out of the two sides, dominating most of the early sparing. Salford thought they had taken the lead in the 12th minute, but Matt Smith’s goal was ruled out for offside.

Minutes later Smith had the ball in the net, and this time it did count. Smith rose highest to Jason Lowe’s clipped in cross and headed home, past the onrushing Scunthorpe keeper Rory Watson. This was Smith’s third goal for the club since joining from Championship side Millwall in January.

Scunthorpe came close to levelling the match, but Tom King was at hand to prevent Joe Nuttal’s header from reaching the top corner. Salford’s number one is fresh off the back of his call up to the Wales squad.

Salford had a chance to double their lead, Smith latched onto Stephen Kelly’s free-kick, but it was cleared off the line. Salford came close again through Thomas-Asante, his shot from Ibou Touray’s low cross, was saved by Watson.

Thomas-Asante extended Salford’s lead just before the break. He controlled the ball excellently inside the area and smashed home. This goal ensured Salford took a two-goal lead, heading into half-time.

Gary Bowyer’s men had the first real chance of the second. Watson got down well to prevent Matty Lund’s effort nestling into the bottom corner. Moments after Ash Hunter’s audacious effort went narrowly over the bar.

The visitors pulled a goal back courtesy of their number nine Nuttall. Substitute Sam Burns mustered a cross from nothing, which Nuttall stroked home with ease.

Thomas-Asante restored Salford’s two-goal lead. The two danger men combined as Smith flicked it on for Thomas-Asante to slot the ball exquisitely through Watson’s legs.

Kelly made it four when he cut in from the left side of the box and produced a fine curling shot which found the far corner.

Thomas-Asante completed his hat-trick, finishing into an empty net. His first career hat-trick rounded off a five-star performance from Salford.

Brandon said: “I think that the boys really buzz off these results, we’re going to come together, we’re a tight-knit group and we’re definitely gonna go again.”

The 5-1 win was the first time Salford have scored five in a match, in the Football League.

After the match, Salford assistant manager, Billy Barr, said: “Let’s hope that now we can go on and Brandon can finish the season with a purple patch.”

The Ammies now turn their attention to two home games against Walsall and Crawley.

Highlights from the match:

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