Goals either side of half-time from Matty Lund and Jason Lowe consigned Town to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Salford City this afternoon at The Envirovent Stadium.
Simon Weaver’s side had begun the afternoon brightly but the visitors held firm before gradually coming into the game to register a deserved win, just their second on their travels this season.
Weaver named an unchanged starting line-up to the one that triumphed 3-1 away to Walsall last week. There was a place on the bench though for Academy striker Emmanuel Ilesanmi, who came in for the injured Aaron Martin.
The visitors made two changes to the side that drew at Scunthorpe a week ago with Ibou Touray and Tyriek Wright replacing Conor McAleny and Kelly N’Mai.
Jack Diamond forced an early Town and from the resulting delivery an unmarked Warren Burrell couldn’t direct his header from ten yards out.
Diamond was involved again on eight minutes when he stung the hands of visitors keeper Connor Ripley from the edge of the area.
It was a positive start from Town, who had settled in to the game and were beginning to dictate the tempo.
On 20 minutes the Ammies broke quickly from a Town corner with Connor Hall forced into a late intervention to cut out Tyriek Wright’s cross.
Ibou Touray then broke down the left with Hall’s partner Burrell alert to clear the danger behind.
A cross-shot from Josh Morris on the half-hour mark whistled past Mark Oxley’s far post, serving as a warning to Town of the threat that the visitors posed.
There was further joy for Salford down the left, Morris again involved but Nathan Sheron recovering his position to thwart what had the makings of a threatening move.
And it was from this position that the visitors grabbed the lead 10 minutes before half-time. A deep cross from Touray had enough bend on it to evade the Town back line and Lund was on hand at the far post to poke past Oxley.
Lewis Page then went into the book for pulling back Brandon Asante before Oxley denied a second goal when he raced off his line to deny Wright.
There was still time for Luke Armstrong to fashion a shot but the angle was tight and he couldn’t get the power behind his effort to truly test Ripley and the half-time whistle came leaving Weaver plenty to ponder at the break.
Wright and Touray, so heavily involved in the visitors attacks in the opening 45 minutes combined shortly after the break when Wright’s trickery set up a long-range effort for Touray but he blazed well over the bar.
Weaver opted to make an early double change with George Thomson and Jack Muldoon introduced in place of Simon Power and Danilo Orsi.
A marauding Town break then created their best opportunity of the afternoon. Alex Pattison’s probing, pacy run fed in Diamond and his effort was cleared off the line by the impressive Touray.
Weaver then made his final change of the afternoon on the hour mark when he introduced Ryan Fallowfield for Page, who had earned that first-half yellow card. With the Ammies profiting down the left the move was a bold one, designed to counter the threat Town had faced.
The visitors made their first change of the afternoon in the 70th minute when Wright was replaced by Ash Hunter.
The win was sealed on 75 minutes later when Salford pressed Town into a mistake and Touray pounced on the loose ball to play in Lowe who fired low to Oxley’s right and into the back of the net.
Town were almost back in the game within a minute though thanks to a fine delivery from substitute Thomson, but although Connor Hall got his head to the ball the direction was lacking.
The changes Weaver made had created an initial spark but with the cushion of the two-goal lead Salford could afford to be cautious and blunt any Town threat during the final stages.
TOWN: Oxley, Sheron, Page (Fallowfield, 59), Burrell, Hall, Falkingham, Pattison, Power (Thomson, 53), Diamond, Orsi (Muldoon, 53), Armstrong.
Subs not used: Cracknell, Kerry, Illesanmi.
Booked: Page (39)
Salford City: Ripley, Love, Touray, Lowe, Eastham, Wright (Hunter, 71), Lund (Jeacock, 90), Turnbull, Shephard, Asante.
Subs not used: Smith, Nmai, Dackers, Vassell.
Goals: Lund (36), Lowe (75)
Booked: Lund (83)
Referee: Charles Breakspear.
Page (Fallowfield, 59)
Power (Thomson, 53)
Orsi (Muldoon, 53)
Salford City Ripley
Wright (Hunter, 71)
Lund (Vassell, 90)