Ash Eastham rescued a valuable point for The Ammies in injury time against a resilient Northampton Town on Saturday, and has called for Salford to build from it.
The captain popped up with a goal to level the scores in the 93rd minute, latching on to an inch-perfect Ash Hunter cross. Salford went behind twice in a physical affair that saw both sides use long balls to their advantage. Eastham was happy to salvage something from the game but felt his side’s dominance should have handed them all three points.
“We’re obviously disappointed, we want to win every game at home but at the same time, I think it was evident the fight that was in the team. It’s easy to go flat as a group especially when you got 2-1 down but we didn’t do that, we kept plugging away and fortunately we got the equaliser.
“I was buzzing for the team, I think you could see from my celebration I sprinted straight back in because I wanted us to get a winner, I wasn’t interested in just a point that’s for sure!
“I’m not bothered who scores whether it be myself or any of the forwards, I just want us to improve and progress as a group.
“We know there’s a hell of a lot more to come from this group still so we need to stay positive and keep growing on what we’re doing well in games but brush up on the basics that we’re not quite getting right at the moment. “
This was the centre-half’s first goal of the season and it came at a time that characterises Eastham as a player. His willingness to fight until the final whistle and leadership qualities were on show at The Peninsula Stadium once again, and it was fitting that the 30-year-old would be in the right place at the right time.
Although delighted with his contribution at the other end of the pitch, Eastham finds the two goals conceded difficult to take. Of the three shots at goal from The Cobblers, two free headers were enough to earn them a point on the road.
As something they had worked on in training during midweek the captain was frustrated by the manner of the opposition’s goals;
“We had identified in the week that they were a direct side, they throw balls in your box. We didn’t deal with the first goal very well at all, we’ve not won the first contact and we’ve left the man free at the back post so we were asking to be punished.
“The second one was a runner into the box that hasn’t been tracked but we’ve identified as a group, we’ve got a very open and honest group who take ownership over not doing the basics right and we pull each other through because we know its got to be better.”
With just nine points from nine games, Eastham knows The Ammies have to do more to get points on the board and begin to progress up the table. Next week’s challenge is an away trip to Colchester where Eastham admits his side have to be able to “mix things up” and do what is necessary to get a result.
“We have to keep at it with the performances but do the basics right, performances don’t just bring you the points.
“As we’ve seen, a side like Northampton – and this is no disservice to them – they don’t look to play anywhere near as much as we do but look at the points they’ve got in the league. They’re doing the basics right and getting points from that.
“We have our own method of playing but we also have to mix things up and do what is necessary because we all want to progress in the league.”