Salford dropped out of the League Two play-offs after falling to a 1-0 defeat against a resolute Colchester United.

The Ammies made two changes from their last-gasp victory against Wimbledon, but started out slow against the U’s.

The Essex side are in the midst of a relegation battle, and needed the three points to keep them comfortably ahead of 23rd place Crawley.

Colchester midfielder Noah Chilvers scored what would be the decisive goal in the 22nd minute after his shot deflected off of Adrian Mariappa and rolled into Alex Cairns’ net.

The goal for their top scorer meant that it is now 14 games since Salford last kept a clean sheet, despite defensive reinforcements, with Mariappa.

Salford looked to break through for the equaliser, with efforts from Luke Bolton and Matty Lund glancing across the goalmouth.

The best chance for Salford came with Callum Hendry just seconds before half time.

Salford preparing for a corner during the 1-0 defeat to Colchester. Image: Lewis Gray

The hero of Easter Monday was played in from the wing, his effort hit straight to Colchester’s young backup keeper Tom Smith.

The second half began with Salford laying siege to the Colchester box, The resolute defending of Fiacre Kelleher and Luke Chambers preventing an equaliser.

The goalscorer became the goalkeeper for a brief moment, Chilvers clearing the ball off the line after a Theo Vassell header.

Hendry had a late chance to snatch something for Salford, Chambers again preventing a certain goal.

Despite the pressure, including 26 shots, it wasn’t enough for the Ammies, who just couldn’t break the Colchester defence.

Salford and Colchester players at full time. Image: Lewis Gray

A draw for Mansfield Town at Grimsby meant that Salford dropped out of the play offs on goals scored.

Wins for Stevenage and Bradford City makes it looks like a two-horse race between the Stags and Ammies for that elusive final spot.

Mansfield’s game in hand means Salford need teams to drop points to have their play-off dreams in their own hands.

Salford’s next fixture sees them at home to Hartlepool on Tuesday, who are fighting for their League Two survival.

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