Adam Rooney’s first home goal in the league since April gave Salford City a 1-0 win against a resolute Cambridge United side, who are now winless in five.
A tight game arrived at half time goalless before last season’s top scorer buried a header in the 78th minute to seal three points. It was a patient goal as Craig Conway, on his home debut, moved forward on the right and picked the correct moment to cross for Rooney, who glanced his header in off the far post.
Kyle Letheren was largely a spectator except for a couple of chances that fell Cambridge’s way, but neither Luke Hannant nor George Maris could find a way through. It’s back-to-back clean sheets for the Welshman for the first time since December 2016, and he was helped by the centre-back partnership of Sam Hughes and Cameron Burgess who were praised by manager Graham Alexander.
“I must say I thought the two centre halves, I don’t want to miss the full backs out being an ex-full back but I thought the two centre halves, both at young ages against a real good front two with experience and pace, I thought they were excellent today against that.
“Cambridge have got their threats and an excellent away record so to follow up with a 1-0 win we’re delighted.
“I’m just delighted for the players I thought they were excellent again.
“It was a real tight game between two very well organised teams, not giving too much away in terms of chances, easy chances, and we knew, we said at half time about having patience and Chris [Lucketti] was saying all along ‘it’s one goal this game’, and so it proved to be.
“It was a fantastic goal, a great ball in from Craig and Roons doing what he does best, a great run across the defender, that deft header into the corner,.
“Like I said last week, after coming off the back of those difficult defeats, to a lot of goals, to come back with two wins on the bounce and two clean sheets is every testament to the players.”
“The main thing was today trying to get another win, we wanted to build on last week, we knew the importance of stopping the run we were on last week and I think we showed that we were fighting for the three points and it was similar again today.
“I think they had a spell in the second half where we were under serious pressure but we defended well and thankfully went and got the winner.
“That’s been my thing for years getting on the end of crosses like that!
“I know Craig’s very experienced so I was delighted we signed him because he’s got that quality out wide, that’s been his game for years dropping defenders and putting balls into dangerous areas, I think he put one in just before as well so delighted.
“It’s massive, momentum in football is huge. We were drawing games and then we lost a couple and the confidence gets sapped out of the team a little bit, and it’s important as we said a couple of weeks ago that we stick together, re-group, work hard in training, keep doing the right things and hopefully we can turn it around so we’ve done that now the last two weeks and hopefully we can continue to push on and build momentum the other way.
“But I’m delighted to score the winner today, it’s always nice to score in front of your fans!”
The Ammies are away for a couple of games now as we travel to Northampton Town next Saturday, followed by a visit to Mansfield Town the following Tuesday.