Salford’s Full Backs are the Untold Stars of Their Promotion Push
The Class of 92’s spending on attacking talent such as Adam Rooney and Rory Gaffney has been well documented over recent months, but the greatest asset to Graham Alexander’s side may just well be his back four, in particular full backs Scott Wiseman and Ibou Touray.
Consisting of Liam Hogan and Nathan Pond at centre back, Ammies full backs produced a performance owners and former defenders Gary and Phil Neville would have been proud of in their own playing days.
Centre backs Pond and Captain Hogan were particularly impressive, Bromley striker JJ Hooper found himself short of any goalmouth action throughout the 90 minutes, while wingers Luke Coulson and George Porter both faced an uphill battle from the word go in their own personal duels with Wiseman and Touray.
Having seen an upturn of form in March winning five of their six games heading into Bromley, the source of Salford’s unbeaten run isn’t hard to find. So much so, ‘keeper Chris Neal came into the game having not conceded a goal in 550 minutes of football, a run that goes back to the end of February.
Despite playing a mid-table Bromley side with little to play for in terms of promotion and relegation before the season is out. Neil Smith’s side came into the game on the back of a midweek 4-2 win over Braintree Town, the visiting front three therefore had plenty of reasons to be confident upon their visit to The Peninsula Stadium.
Bromley, who were at times dangerous on the counter attack during the first half, certainly found themselves to be the victims through endless Salford pressure. Alexander’s game plan looked a clever one to the watching eye: Deep, threatening crosses out wide from Touray and Wiseman plus substitute Tom Walker provided a fresh attacking threat from the right flank which caused more trouble for the opposition.
Trailing 1-0 to a soft Hooper penalty, down the right hand side Salford reaped the rewards, delivering drama that mirrored The Class of 92’s own careers with Man United.
And it was only going to be down that flank if the home side fancied nicking anything as Maynard then Pond provided delivered the rewards. Bromley are no strangers to conceding late goals recently, but their collapse was not due to their inability to hold a lead.
Struggling for the most part to test Bromley keeper David Gregory, Alexander’s substitutes coupled with his sides never die attitude showed why Ammies promotion push shows no sign of slowing down. Ending March with six wins in seven games, the dream of competing in League Two looks rather more probable than five weeks ago after a 2-0 home loss to Eastleigh.
At one point during the second half, Salford diehards began the goal started singing ‘we are going up’. If they are to do so, a look to their full backs may just an extra reason for what looks like an achievement so much more likely by the week.