Salford City were victorious in their first game of the new season, winning 2-0 against Mansfield Town, a team they failed to beat last campaign, in Neil Wood’s first competitive game in charge. 

Ammies forward Brandon Thomas-Asante, who scored himself, praised the new manager’s impact.

“He’s someone who focuses on the small details, on things that you might have been negligent to before,” he said.

“He gets that across well.

“He doesn’t say an awful lot, and when he speaks, you know to listen.

“He’s got the dressing room, and it’s a pleasure to play for him.”

Neil Wood, speaking to the media after the game.

Meanwhile, Wood had positive words for new striker Callum Hendry, whose debut saw him score the first goal.

“Callum is a very good goalscorer; he’s very sharp around the box,” he said.

“He’s probably been guilty in pre-season of not getting his shots off quick enough, so we were very pleased today when he actually took the shot on with his left foot because he’s turned a few down in pre-season.

“He’s going to be an important player for us.

“He’s the type of character that we want, and we need around this club.”

Wood also spoke about another new signing, pre-season trialist Richard Nartey, who, along with Thomas-Asante, has earned a place in the League Two Team of the Week.

Listen to what he said below.

Team News

Three of the six new Ammies played from kcik-off: Richard Nartey, Elliot Watt and Callum Hendry.

Elliot Simões and Ryan Leak made the bench, with Stevie Mallan being the only summer signing missing from the match-day squad.

The teams await kickoff.

Dream start

Salford got off to a flyer in the first half through new boy Callum Hendry. The former St Johnstone forward latched onto a through-ball and gave Stags goalkeeper Christy Pym no chance with an excellent finish. 

The away side almost levelled within a few minutes, if not for some magnificent defending from Theo Vassell, who threw himself in front of Will Swan’s dangerous cross and turned it behind for a corner.  

Brandon Thomas-Asante doubled the home side’s lead shortly before the half-an-hour mark. Conor McAleny picked the ball up in Midfield and drove forwards before playing in Thomas-Asante, who slotted home tidily. 

The Ammies pushed to extend their lead in the second half.

Second half

It was a mostly scrappy, end-to-end start to the second 45 minutes, with both sides creating many chances but no clear-cut opportunities to score. 

Ammies’ shot-stopper Tom King received a booking for time-wasting with 20 minutes still to play.

Five minutes later, King redeemed himself, rescuing his side after Mansfield intercepted a loose pass at the back from Salford, resulting in an excellent close-range save to deny Rhys Oates. 

As the match entered the final 10 minutes, an injury for Liam Shephard forced Neil Wood into his first change as Luke Bolton came on.

Ryan Leak came on for his debut, replacing fellow debutant Callum Hendry for the final few minutes.  

King reigned over Mansfield again with a brilliant bit of goalkeeping, leaving his line superbly to smother the shot. 

After a sustained spell of pressure from the away side, Salford turned the tide and finished the game on top of proceedings.

Up Next

Salford City will look to continue their perfect start as they make the trip to the Energy Check County Ground to face Swindon Town in their next game on Saturday afternoon.

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