On Wednesday night Salford City travel up to Carlisle United and will attempt earning a third Sky Bet League Two win in a row.
Last week’s back-to-back wins against Bradford City and Morecambe lifted The Ammies into the play-offs, although subsequent games have resulted in us landing just outside.
Not far ahead of us are Carlisle; just a point and we also have a game in hand so it is a crucial game and one you won’t want to miss!
However while home advantage has been noticeable, so has away disadvantage with four defeats in the last five on the road and manager Richie Wellens will be keen to notch a first league away result of his tenure.
Last season Salford came from a goal down to lead 1-2 at Brunton Park thanks to goals from Mani Dieseruvwe and Danny Whitehead, but shortly before half time The Cumbrians levelled the scores and it remained 2-2.
After making nine changes for Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup trip to Newport, The Ammies can expect to see some of the more senior players return to the starting line-up. Brandon Thomas-Asante will miss the next three games due to suspension, joining Richie Towell, James Wilson and Darron Gibson on the list of absentees.
Carlisle have made a hearty start to the campaign and have been in the play-offs since early/mid-October, a marked improvement from this time last year where they were languishing in the bottom half.
Head Coach Chris Beech joined in November, and steered The Cumbrians clear of danger to an eventual 18th place finish on points per game. The former Rochdale assistant is working with a relatively young squad, the starting line-up on Sunday against Doncaster Rovers in the FA Cup had an average age of 24, and his consistency might pay its dividends come May. However The Cumbrians need to maintain some more of it on the pitch after a couple of losses have slipped into recent results.
That said, Brunton Park has proved a difficult place for teams to visit with only Cheltenham returning south with points in the league this season. It’s a big pitch at Carlisle, and factoring in low temperatures at the start of December and the return of a limited capacity home crowd, Salford will have to be at it.
The emergence of Jon Mellish as a midfield engine has also benefitted Carlisle. The 23-year-old was a young centre-back when we first came up against him at Gateshead in 2018, but this year he has already netted 12 goals from midfield. Right back George Tanner is another familiar face after spending the latter half of last season on loan with The Ammies, although he didn’t make an appearance, and midfielder Dean Furman was a team-mate of Richie Wellens at Doncaster Rovers.
HOW TO WATCH
Wednesday night’s game will be available to view online at live.salfordcityfc.co.uk for £10 in the UK and £7 abroad, kick-off is at 19:00 GMT.