Manager Graham Alexander was delighted with Salford City’s performance as The Ammies ended a run of seven games without a win at Ebbsfleet United.
Carl Piergianni’s eighth goal of the season proved to be the difference as Salford dug in to keep a first clean sheet since the end of January too.
“We know we’ve been in a real difficult period of the season, wins have been hard to come by but more than anything I’m delighted for the players because their work ethic has been superb in training. Each week we probably haven’t had the rewards for that going into games but that’s something we had to address ourselves.
“Secondly I’m delighted for the supporters that have travelled all over the country supporting us and we haven’t given them that much to cheer about in the last few weeks and I’m delighted to let them have a long trip home with smiles, a couple of beers down them, and enjoying seeing their team fully commit to a tough game of football and come out with victory.
“I’m delighted for a lot of people because we’ve been tested, seriously, we will continue to be tested as characters and a club, and it’s important we show the same determination as we did today.”
There were five changes to the side that started last weekend’s 2-0 defeat to Eastleigh with Devonte Redmond and Mani Dieseruvwe given first National League starts this season, and Nathan Pond, Lois Maynard and Gus Mafuta restored to the starting line-up.
“Those players have been fighting to get into the team and today was their opportunity, I’ll be honest I thought they took it but now the competition is to stay in here and keep that shirt because it’s always a different scenario as a player when you’re out of the team with nothing to lose, to when you’re in the team when you’ve got something to lose.
“What we want to see is the same commitment, it’s what we’ve focused on really because we know we’ve got the quality and we know we’ve got good players, and good honest men in there.”
Centre-back Piergianni scored what turned out to be the winning goal with a header in the first half, his eighth goal of the season making this the best return of his career. The 26-year-old says that The Ammies now need to use this result as a springboard to finishing the season strongly, but praised the team ethic.
“It feels great to end the run most importantly, we know ourselves we haven’t been good enough recently so to get the win is a great feeling, it’s been a long time coming so it’s a great afternoon in that sense but it’s just the start. We know the games are coming fast now, we’ve got another one on Tuesday and we need to go on a run now.
“Before the game we said let’s just go out there and make sure every man is competing, going after first and second balls, running for each other, working for each other as a team and I think we did that. We showed a real desire today not only to get in front and dominate the game but to defend the clean sheet at the end, so we really showed a great desire to win today.”
After coming on as a substitute last weekend, Redmond was handed his first start in the National League and played the full game.
“It was good, it was a tough game. Obviously I’ve not played 90 minutes for a while but the lads were great, that was everything that the gaffer expected from us really, and it was good to come away with the points in the end.”