Richie Allen’s goal shortly before half time was enough for Salford to claim a 1-0 victory at Hampton & Richmond Borough, and reclaim the Jacob Sylvester Trophy.
On a very wet afternoon in West London, and with a week to go until the National League North opener against Darlington, The Ammies dominated the game against their National League South opponents.
Allen in particular started the match brightly, testing The Beavers’ back line in the opening minutes with some runs from his positing just behind the strikers, but the hosts stood strong.
They responded shortly before the 10th minute when Max Kretzschmar tried an ambitious shot from 25 yards with Max Crocombe off his line, but the effort was over-judged and landed beyond the cross bar before Tauren Roberts weaved his way in from the left only to curl an effort wide of the far post.
Ibou Touray was finding himself in more space down his left hand side and tested Sam Howes in the Hampton net, firstly by delivering a dangerous ball that was collected, before crossing another right onto Mani Dieseruvwe’s head which was well saved from close range.
Hampton’s Harry Crawford almost gifted Mike Phenix a chance after mis-controlling the ball in the middle, with Phenix lurking to pinch it and drive forward into the box, but he could only drag his shot wide.
At the other end Crocombe was called into action to deny Brendan Kiernan from a tight angle, with the re-bound falling kindly for Roberts at the top of the box, but the winger missed the ball before Kretzschmar again tried his luck from range, only to be denied by a block from Danny Livesey.
Salford bit back though, and Phenix went on another strong run down the middle, but his shot this time bobbled up at the far post.
There wasn’t long to wait though before the small contingent of travelling fans had something to cheer. A delightful forward pass from Scott Burton picked out Allen to the left of goal, who turned neatly in the box before tucking the ball away from a tight angle to give the visitors a narrow lead going into half time, although Lois Maynard nearly continued his impressive scoring record in pre-season with a thumping effort from distance that was saved by Howes.
Maynard had another chance early in a second half that failed to offer as much as the first half, as he flicked a header just wide from another impressive Touray free-kick.
On the hour mark Kretzschmar, who seemed to have his eyes set on a spectacular goal, again tried to out-fox Crocombe from a free-kick by going for the near post instead of delivering a ball into the box, but his effort bounced off the post and out for a goal kick.
Touray tried to get a goal for himself shortly after when Nottingham fizzed a ball in from out wide, however a forward with a bit more height may have stood a better chance as the ball skimmed off the full back’s head.
Phenix again went close with another driving run resulting in a shot blasted across the face of goal, before substitute Mark Shelton hit a swerving shot to test Howes just before full time which proved to be the last chance of the game.
A third win in pre-season and a second clean sheet prepares Salford well for their final week of pre-season before the National League North 2017-18 campaign gets underway!