The bout for The National League continued into 2019 at The Peninsula Stadium on New Year’s Day when Salford City ended a run of four league defeats with a 2-0 win against promotion rivals Wrexham.
In front of a new league attendance record at Salford of 4,044, Matt Green and Rory Gaffney scored the goals to end the rut and show that Salford have fight left to give, and on this occasion it was Wrexham who had to take a couple after dishing out five of their own on Boxing Day.
“We’ve taken a few punches over the last few weeks but you have to get up and be ready to take another one, and I thought we threw a few of our own today,” said Graham Alexander, who says it was the perfect start to 2019 after a disappointing end to 2018.
“You can’t get much better than that to be fair, obviously we’ve had a real difficult period of four games where we haven’t picked up a point, a little bit through our own performance, a little bit through misfortune, but that’s the game.
“I thought it started on Saturday to be honest, I thought the fight back and the resilience, the focus needed to win games, started at half time on Saturday. I thought the second half performance with all the aspects, with everything that had gone against us, to play like that was fantastic and we had to do it again today in similar fashion with 11 players on the pitch against a very good opponent that’s just beat us a week ago 5-1.
“The players were absolutely immense today, their focus, I know what it’s like when you get doubted, you doubt yourself sometimes as a player when you’re on the wrong end of results so it takes a big heart and a strong mind to show what you’re capable of that and I thought they did that today.
“I can’t speak highly enough of the character of the team and the individuals within it, and the squad actually, not the team, the squad, and I’m really pleased for them because they’ve worked exceptionally hard this season.
“We’ve got an opportunity this season, as have other teams, but we’ve got an opportunity and we don’t want to waste it and I thought today we showed how much we want to take that opportunity.”
The captain was part of a back three that kept a tenth clean sheet of the season.
The striker has settled quickly into life at Salford, and scored his first home goal and second in two games.
One of three changes, Gaffney notched his first since the winner against Harrogate Town at The Peninsula Stadium at the end of November.