Salford City moved back up to second in the Vanarama National League after a 3-0 win away at league leaders Leyton Orient.
A blistering first 10 minutes saw Carl Piergianni head the visitors in front from Danny Whitehead’s fortuitous corner, before Rory Gaffney scored his fourth goal in three against Orient with a header from another Whitehead cross.
Orient had plenty of possession but chances were rare to come by, and when they did The O’s found stopper Chris Neal in impenetrable form.
There was even more pressure in the second half with the majority of the period played in Salford’s half, but Piergianni’s seventh of the season put the game to bed as he made sure Tom Walker’s cross from a free kick went into the far post.
With Wrexham defeated at home to Dover, it means Salford are back up to second and manager Graham Alexander was pleased with his team’s efforts in East London.
“It’s a brilliant performance from the players, I thought we approached the game in the right way, I thought the discipline we showed was fantastic all the way through the game; it’s a really hostile atmosphere to come into.
“We had to soak up a lot of pressure but when that pressure was around our goal generally it was a Salford head on the end of it, or blocking a cross, blocking a shot, I thought the way the players defended today was superb.
“I’m delighted to score three goals away from home, it doesn’t come much better than that, especially against such a formidable opponent at their own place so I’m delighted with everyone’s efforts today.”
Starting from the back
As well as the three goals to take us clear as the division’s top scorers, there was a second consecutive clean sheet for The Ammies’ defence with Orient’s top scorer Macauley Bonne kept quiet.
“It was massive [to keep another clean sheet] because it was our starting block a couple of games ago because within those four defeats we conceded 12 goals which is very unlike us so we had to look at that and give the players a bit of confidence, a bit of solidity, and it’s the players who have to go out there and do all the things that get those clean sheets, and we needed Nealo today.
“We didn’t really need him as much against Wrexham but we did today, he made two or three fantastic saves, especially the one at the start of the second half, if they’d have scored from that, 2-1, it would have been a more difficult afternoon.
The centre-back took his tally for the season to seven with two headed goals, having not scored at all at this stage last season.
His first professional goal came away at Orient when he played for Rotherham, a late winner, but today he made sure his job was done at the back.