Matt Smith scored a hat-trick as Salford ruthlessly defeated Doncaster Rovers 3-0 on the road in an important three points for Neil Wood’s side.
Wood started the game with four fullbacks on the pitch following Curtis Tilt’s dismissal against Swindon, with Luke Garbutt becoming a second centre-back beside Adrian Mariappa.
Doncaster Rovers had the better attacking play early on in the game but Salford were ruthless on the counterattack, with Matt Smith in particular creating havoc in the Doncaster defence.
It took just less than two minutes for the Ammies to take the lead when Luke Garbutt delivered a delicious cross into the Doncaster penalty area, where Matt Smith of course rose the highest with the 6 foot 6 striker cushioning his header onto the crossbar and bouncing in over the line.
Doncaster responded well and showed their quality, demonstrating glimpses of why they have won all five of their previous home games. They created a couple of chances of their own which saw a cheeky chipped effort from midfielder Harrison Biggins, tipped away by Salford keeper Alex Cairns.
But it was Salford that was the more clinical side on the night with Matt Smith doubling the Ammies lead on 26 minutes as he powered home a bullet header, again connecting well with another impressive cross this time from fullback Ethan Ingram.
Doncaster responded well and went close once more with a great header of their own coming from midfielder Zain Westbrooke who flicked the header towards the Salford goal, hitting the crossbar in a great chance for the home side to get back into the game.
Smith the hat trick hero of the night, netted his and Salford’s third in the 77th minute, this time pouncing on a loose ball that came from a Declan John shot which was parried by Doncaster keeper Louis Jones out to the feet of the prolific Smith who bundled the ball in for his 12th goal of an impressive season so far.
Despite a solid end to the match from the home side which saw Mo Faal go close, the damage had already been inflicted on the South Yorkshire side.
Salford move up to 13th in the League Two table, ahead of Saturday’s away trip to Barrow.
“The goals I’m scoring is more a testament to the service the lads are providing.” 🗣️
— Salford City FC (@SalfordCityFC) October 25, 2023