JOINT-MANAGER Anthony Johnson again praised Salford City’s character after substitute Mani Dieseruvwe’s stoppage time winner against Alfreton Town.
The Ammies made it five wins in a row with the 1-0 win, and moved four points clear at the top of the Vanarama National League North.
Despite being goalless at half time, the balance of play certainly wasn’t level as Salford created numerous chances that were thwarted by Alfreton keeper Chris Elliott, or off target.
However Dieseruvwe came off the bench to head in Richie Allen’s corner in the 93rd minute, and send The Peninsula Stadium into elation.
“It was exciting wasn’t it!” exclaimed Johnson.
“If you end up winning 1-0 and scoring in the first minute you feel a little bit frustrated, but when you win like that it almost feels like a cup final.
“There’s been a lot of pressure this week on the boys because it’s been no secret that we could have gone four points clear of Harrogate, and I think you saw the relief with the celebration of the crowd, and you saw with the lads when they jumped on top of Mani when he got the goal.
“It shows the character yet again.”
28 CHANCES, 1 GOAL
In front of over 2,000 people, Salford started brightly with Mike Phenix, Ibou Touray and Gus Mafuta all going close in the opening 10 minutes, and Allen went close multiple times before half time.
Then in the second half Michael Nottingham had a header cleared off the line, Jack Redshaw missed from a couple of yards out and Mafuta was twice denied as The Ammies created 28 chances.
However despite calling for his side to be more clinical, Johnson says there was a belief that kept Salford pushing for victory.
“I think when you have that volume of changes you’ve always got a belief that something’s going to happen.
“We’ve had some chances that you call real chances, we’ve had others that have missed, but we were creating chances.
“People keep saying about our ‘goals for’ column and that we’ve been wasteful in front of goal – we have, and the team know that – but you’ve only got to look at the chances created and the chances missed to show that we’re getting into the right areas, and doing the right things.
“We’ve been relentless going forward but we’ve got to be a lot more ruthless because another minute without that goal and it’s only one point instead of three.”
MANI THE MAN
Dieseruvwe’s chances have been limited recently due to the form of Phenix and Redshaw, but Johnson was happy to see the former Kidderminster Harriers forward come on and score his third goal of the season.
“I’m delighted for the big fella getting the goal because he’s not been in the team with the way Jack, Michael and Duds have been playing.
“But to come on and get the winner in that fashion, you could see the players’ reactions, how happy they were for him.
“He’s a brilliant lad and hopefully he’ll hit the goal trail now.”
The 22-year-old again bagged in front of the crowd at The Peninsula Stadium, and conveyed his delight at scoring such an important goal:
“It’s always important to get three points for the boys but to get the winner in the 93rd minute it’s a nice feeling and all the boys are buzzing in there.
“That’s what you’ve got to do when you’re on the bench, you’ve got to watch the game and make sure you’re ready to come on at any point because when you come on you’ve got to make that impact and thankfully today I’ve done that, we’ve got the three points and won the game.”