Next up for Salford City as we look to get back to winning ways is a trip to Derbyshire to face Alfreton Town.
Last season Alfreton Town finished just seven points and two places above the relegation zone after losing manager Nicky Law to Burnley in February. But under John McDermott, and after a raft of experienced summer signings they were hoping for a decent season. However in January, placed 18th and a point outside of the relegation zone, the club parted ways with McDermott and appointed ex-Lincoln City boss Chris Moyses.
Moyses has inspired a better run of form and lifted the club up to 13th. With just nine points separating 21st and 11th though, the run-in will be very intense, and with trips to Harrogate and York to follow on from our visit on Saturday this will be a testing period for the Derbyshire outfit.
In the cups, Alfreton reached the Third Qualifying Round in the FA Cup where they were knocked out by Stourbridge. Northern Premier League leaders Altrincham then won in the FA Trophy Third Qualifying Round.
The Derbyshire Senior Cup is looking like a promising chance of silverware for Alfreton though, with a semi-final tie against Ilkeston looming. It was postponed on Tuesday night due to a waterlogged pitch at The Impact Arena.
The Reds are now five points clear of the relegation zone after three wins in four under Moyses in the league.
Moyses’ first two games in charge were only the second time Alfreton have recorded back-to-back league wins this season, and only the third time in all competitions so they will be looking to make that four on Saturday.
Alfreton have conceded four goals in Moyses’ four league games in charge, but kept a clean sheet against the league’s second top scorers Blyth; their fifth clean sheet of the season. They came to within minutes of keeping one at The Peninsula Stadium, with goalkeeper Chris Elliott making an string of impressive saves throughout the match.
Danger Man – Brendon Daniels
Under manager Chris Moyses, Daniels appears to have found a new lease of life and has scored in three out of four matches so far. In fact this calendar year he has five goals in seven matches, including two penalties, which accounts for the majority of his nine this season.
Daniels won the National League North title with AFC Fylde last season, scoring six goals in 30 appearances. In the season prior to that he scored an impressive 22 goals for Harrogate Town after moving from Tamworth in the summer, and he also turned out for Chester in their title-winning season in 2012-13.
As with most teams in the league, Salford first came across Alfreton last season and on a soggy afternoon won the first meeting between the sides 4-1. Mike Phenix was on the scoresheet that day along with Jordan Hulme, Matt Warburton and Simon Grand.
The first visit to The Impact Arena ended in a 1-1 draw thanks to Sam Walker’s equaliser, and the reverse fixture this season was an even closer affair with Mani Dieseruvwe scoring with virtually the last kick of the game to secure a 1-0 win. However that doesn’t truly reflect the game in which Salford had a season-high 28 shots, with 14 on target, compared to Alfreton’s six.
New Salford loanee Nathan Arnold spent three seasons at Alfreton, winning the then-named Conference North in his first season. He scored 32 goals in 131 appearances for The Reds.
Striker Chris Sharp is now plying his trade at The Impact Arena. ‘Sharpy’ spent time with The Ammies in late 2015, making a handful of appearances but didn’t score. Since leaving in December 2015, Sharpy has turned out at Marine and played at Bradford Park Avenue before signing for Alfreton in the summer. He wasn’t involved in the reverse fixture.