After being denied at the very last a week ago at Bradford City, Town are back on home turf this coming Saturday when they entertain familiar foes in Salford City.
Despite conceding in injury-time Simon Weaver’s side came away with a point from Valley Parade and will be looking to get a third league win of the season against an Ammies side they are yet to beat as a Football League side.
The Ammies made the playoffs last season after going close the previous two seasons but suffered penalty heartache against Stockport County.
Favoured to be amongst the front runners again this season they again bolstered the squad bringing in the likes of Alex Cairns, Luke Garbutt, Curtis Tilt, Connor McLennan and loanees Ethan Ingram and Declan John but have stuttered out of the blocks so far, with four successive defeats and a win for Town on Saturday will us leapfrog them in the table.
Town were defeated 1-0 at home last season with a Matty Lund injury-time strike proving to be the difference. In the return fixture Lund again thwarted Town, equalising with ten minutes remaining after Jack Muldoon had struck just after half-time.
In the three games played at The Envirovent Stadium since Town entered the EFL the Ammies have come out on top in each encounter, also yet to concede in the process.
The man in charge
Neil Wood is in charge at The Peninsula Stadium, with 2023/24 being his second season in the dugout after he replaced Gary Bowyer.
Wood was a former Manchester United trainee, who made a number of loan appearances for a variety of clubs before returning to United in a coaching role working his way up to the Academy side before joining Salford ahead of last season.
Ones to watch
Callum Hendry had an impressive debut campaign for Salford last season and has begun this season well too, netting three times as has fellow forward Matt Smith.
Midfielder Conor McAleny has chipped in with two goals with Ryan Watson again proving to be the creative heart of the side alongside Scot Stevie Mallan.
The defensive side of things has been re-shaped following the summer departures of the likes of Ibou Touray and Jason Lowe, with Curtis Tilt an ever present so far alongside stalwart Theo Vassell with Declan John settling in at left-back.
The club has of course had a rapid rise to reach this level, appearing at the North West Counties League level little over a decade ago.
The club were initially founded in 1940 as Salford Central, playing in local area leagues before joining the Manchester League in the 1960’s where they enjoyed a sustained period of success. They then became founder members of the North West Counties League in 1982 before moving up to the Northern Premier League.
The takeover of the club by the ‘Class of 92’ in 2014 whilst members of the Norther Premier League kickstarted the rise to Football League status and the club reached National League North in 2016 before achieving league status in 2019.
Stephen Dooley and Dean Cornelius both played in the midweek friendly against Guiseley as they stepped up their return to action and will be pushing for inclusion in the squad.