As the weather turned icy in November, Salford City were left out in the cold with no victories from six games despite their best efforts.
The month started on a somewhat positive note, when Neil Wood’s side travelled to League One side Peterborough in the first round of the FA Cup and were only denied a shock victory by Emmanuel Fernandez’s stoppage time equalizer.
— Salford City FC (@SalfordCityFC) November 4, 2023
It wasn’t all gloom as the Ammies were given a second chance at a giant killing this time in front of their home faithful 10 days later.
Before that an inform Mansfield Town travelled to The Peninsula in what would turn out to be a tough test with Salford falling behind early thanks to a goal from Jordan Bowery inside 20 minutes.
Three minutes later Matt Smith equalized, scoring his 12th of the season, making him the country’s top hitman. His joy however was short lived with Mansfield regaining the lead just 15 minutes later with Davis Keillor-Dunn netting what would turn out to be the winner in a frustrating game.
Then came the highly anticipated replay of the Peterborough game and the Ammies got off to the perfect start, when defender Curtis Tilt netted with just four minutes on the clock sending the home support into delirium.
Yet again defensive frailties left Salford with work to do as they went in at halftime 3-1 down following three quick goals before the interval. An own goal and another from the unlikely source of Curtis Tilt found Neil Wood’s side heading for extra time.
When Stevie Mallan’s goal was left unanswered going into the 120th minute, it looked like The Ammies had conjured up more cup heroics following their giant killing of Leed’s in the Carabao Cup earlier this season. Then in stoppage time a goal from Jonson Clarke-Harris meant that yet again penalties would decide Salford’s fate.
— Salford City FC (@SalfordCityFC) November 14, 2023
Despite Elliot Watt having the chance to win the shootout with Salford’s fifth penalty, a miss from Connor McLennan meant that their FA Cup adventure came to a premature end in the first round.
An away trip to Gillingham gave City a chance to bounce back which yet again, wasn’t taken with Matt Smiths first half equalizer being answered by two goals in the second half.
To end the month The Ammies faced two tough away trips to promotion chasers MK Dons and league leaders Stockport County.
The trip to Milton Keynes turned out to be fruitless, goals from youngster Kelly N’Mai and a Ryan Watson found Salford going in 2-1 to the good at half time. However, complacency late in the game meant MK Dons ran out 4-2 winners and left Wood’s men winless in another away trip and now without a win in four in the league.
Even with a largely disappointing run of results, Salford City managed to end the month on a high, claiming a hard fought goalless draw with table topping local rivals Stockport County at Edgeley Park.
Neil Wood will be hoping his players can use this to turn around their fortunes in what will be a hectic festive period.
With just one point accumulated across the month, the Salford boss will be left scratching his head as his side fell to 18th position, with a seven point cushion separating them from the relegation zone and with a sizeable nine point gap to the playoffs sitting above them.
With the league two season stretching’s 46 games it is still early days and the playoffs are certainly not out of question for the Ammies – but a good run over Christmas is essential.