SALFORD City stretched their unbeaten run to nine games as they breezed past strugglers AFC Stamford 1-0 at Moor Lane on Saturday afternoon.
On-loan Chester forward Tom Peers grabbed the solitary goal of the game shortly before the break to give Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley’s team only their second home win of the campaign.
The Ammies had a strong start to the game and controlled the possession over lowly Stamford, who currently lie 23rd in the table after losing their five previous games.
Salford tries to force an attempt early on through striker James Poole, but the stubborn Stamford defensive line kept The Daniels level through the first quarter of the game.
The first chance of the game came on 19 minutes, when in-form Salford striker Poole took a shot from just outside the box, after a through ball from left-back Luke Clark. Poole’s shot didn’t lead to a goal, but signified the intent The Ammies had going forward.
After an uneventful 1-1 draw in the league mid-week against Mickleover Sports, Salford were pressing fiercely for that first goal and it nearly came again on 25 minutes when striker Peers was through on goal, only for his shot to go just past the post.
A relatively quiet start from Stamford suddenly turned on its head on 27 minutes when forward Jordan Smith was one on one with Salford keeper Jay Lynch, but his attempted lob sailed over the bar.
The game remained fiercely contested in the midfield with both teams getting an equal share of the possession – the game seemed destined to be a stalemate by the half-time whistle until Salford’s Lewis Hardcastle weaved his way through Stamford’s resilient defence to slip the ball through to Peers, who slotted coolly past keeper’ Johnathan Hedge to make it 1-0 at half-time.
The second-half began, and the game remained much like the first half with both teams locked in battle unable to find a way through. The first chance of the second-half came on 52 minutes, as a lob from Poole found its way to Ammies defender Gary Stopforth but his shot only just went past the post.
Stamford seemed unable to find their way back into the game after going 1-0 behind just before the break, and this showed as their defensive line began to stutter, offering Salford an easier way through to create chances.
Salford forwards Poole and Peers were substituted on 57 minutes for ex-Manchester United forward Danny Webber and Jordan Hulme, offering Salford new options going forward and a fresh approach on the Stamford goal. This was followed on 65 minutes by Stamford making a double substitution, taking off midfielders Andrew Wright and Ellis Myles and bringing on fresh faces Elliot Hodge and Tom Batchelor.
The Ammies fans were as always in great voice, and even during quieter periods of the game, offered their team the support and encouragement to continue to push forward, this support looked like it may have paid off when midfielder Tunji Moses had a clear shot on goal, however he fluffed his shot and the ball was returned to Stamford.
The game reached its final quarter and the game was still completely in the balance, with both Salford and Stamford unable to keep possession for too long. Stamford began to look frustrated in their play, and this manifested in the form of a late foul on Ammies defender Luke Clark, who was unable to continue and was replaced on 83 minutes by Elliot Kebbie.
This would be the last memorable moment of the game, as it would finish 1-0 to Salford, a result which now lifts them up to third in the Evo-Stik Premier Division, with one game in hand on second-placed Blyth Spartans, and four in hand on current leaders Nantwich Town.
This was only their second win at home in the league this season, they will be looking to make that three on Tuesday evening (November 24) as they face Workington in a 7:45pm kick off.
Attempts: Salford City 7, AFC Stamford 4
On target: Salford City 1, AFC Stamford 0
Off target: Salford City 6, AFC Stamford 4
Corners: Salford City 5, AFC Stamford 4
Offsides: Salford City 3, AFC Stamford 2
By Daniel Willis at Moor Lane