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Salford City’s 2021 pre-season campaign came to an end with a 0-2 defeat to Lincoln City at The Peninsula Stadium, but Gary Bowyer feels that overall the preparations have been good ahead of kick-off next weekend.

Michael Appleton’s side took an early lead from 12 yards as Anthony Scully converted a penalty following a late challenge on Remy Longdon.

The Ammies tried to bite back as Conor McAleny had a shot closed down by Josh Griffiths, with the League Two title-winner in 2020-21 also denying Brandon Thomas-Asante from a free-kick.

In the second half a mishap was capitalised on by Tom Hopper, who rolled in Lincoln’s second, and The Imps saw the game out but there were first home appearances for youngsters James Melhado and Kelly N’Mai, neither of who looked out of place.

A good contest against a side with ambitions of promotion to the Championship, and now the Gaffer is looking forward to the season beginning.

“I think overall it’s been a really good pre-season for us, I think the programme that we put together really tested us and stretched us in the games but from a physical point of view it’s been a really good, well detailed programme that the lads have had and you can see that they’re fit, and I’m delighted that pre-season’s over now and we can get ready for the real stuff.

“Today was obviously a great test, they played in the play-off final recently in League One so we knew it would be a tough test, which it was and we didn’t start the game particularly well giving away the penalty. But it was great for us to see how we would react to that and certainly in front of our own fans as well, but I was pleased with how we went around it. 

“Conor McAleny then has a great run and showed you what he’s going to bring this season to us, producing a good save from them and then Brandon’s free kick, he hit the bar last year with it and he’s taken off this year with the same sort of accuracy so that’s going to be a big weapon for us as well so pleased with the effort from the players. 

“We were a little bit loose today with the ball but that’s something for us to build upon and work upon going forward.

“Kelly’s caught the imagination of everybody within a week hasn’t he, he’s only 17 but he’s a fantastic lad and he’s got an unbelievable smile that’s infectious, and he can play as well. We’re going to have to look after him of course but he’s settled into the group very well in this short period of time and gives us another attacking option for sure.”

Salford’s season kicks off next Saturday against Leyton Orient at The Peninsula Stadium. Ticket news will be available during the week, and season tickets are also available again. Click here to visit the ticket website.

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