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Martin Smith, Salford City, Nathan Ferguson, Crawley Town, Crawley Town 2-0 Salford CitySalford City fell to a first defeat of the season after losing 2-0 at Crawley Town on Saturday.

Bez Lubala’s first half penalty was added to shortly after the interval by Nathan Ferguson as Gabriele Cioffi’s side earned their first points.

Salford had a great opportunity to pull one back when Richie Towell and Jake Beesley went two-on-one with Glenn Morris, but Towell slid his chance wide before Carl Piergianni headed against the post and Nathan Pond’s cross came off the top of the bar within 30 seconds of each other.

It’s one win and one defeat from the opening two for Salford, but manager Graham Alexander says he expects levels to be better when The Ammies return to league action next weekend against Port Vale.

“For all the good things we did last week, I thought we were the opposite on the basics really which was disappointing because it’s a massive come down for us from last week. 

“I think it’s a big reality check for us, what we have to do going forwards and an early experience of what we have to face this season. 

“I didn’t think we competed at the level we have before, what we were last year, certainly what we did last week. We have to look at the reason why, do a little bit of soul searching on the way back and ask a few questions about ourselves.”

After sticking with the same side that earned victory against Stevenage last weekend, the introductions of Beesley and Luke Armstrong off the bench particularly seemed to re-energise Salford. 

Beesley was involved in the Towell chance and Armstrong created a couple of half chances before being forced off the field, and the Gaffer is confident moving on despite today’s result.

“We know we’ve got some good options on the bench, and we’ve got good players who are already starting the game. 

“Sometimes it doesn’t work for you, sometimes it does, but you have to try and change things, try and give someone else the opportunity and to be fair to the players we did have chances, certainly after their second goal we had more than enough to actually equalise. 

“We have to take this one on the chin really and make sure we’re better next week.”

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