Matthew Lund’s second-half header was enough for a point, but not enough to push Salford City into the play-off spots after a 2-2 draw with Mansfield Town.
It was an exhilarating 90 minutes in the final game of the season at The Peninsula this season but the result resigns Salford to another season in League Two.
Lund kept Salford’s hopes alive with his goal early in the second half but is understandably disappointed with the result.
“We started the second half really well looking like we were going to score. When we got the equaliser I thought we were going to go on to win it. They had a few counter attacks towards the end which was always going to happen because we were going for the winner. I hit the crossbar which was a bit frustrating, but it was one of those days where we couldn’t get the goal that we needed.
“The support was brilliant today, it was a good atmosphere especially with the away supporters as well, It made it a good game.”
The game painted a similar picture to the reverse fixture at the One Call Stadium. An early goal put Salford ahead, Jordan Turnbull heading his side into the lead getting on the end of Ibou Touray’s cross inside two minutes.
Much like back in December, Stephen McLaughlin was the thorn in the Ammies’ side with his set-piece quality. Not long after going one behind, the left back fired the Stags level with a curling free-kick from the edge of the box.
“We scored first, we did when we went there as well. They’ve scored another free kick, two set-pieces there as well. They are a good side, probably one of the better teams we’ve played this year and they’ll do well in the play-offs.”
With the last kick of the half he doubled his tally, converting from the spot after Salford’s goalscorer Turnbull handled the ball in the box climbing for a header. Rolling the spot-kick down the middle, the visitors were ahead at the break.
Lund’s second-half header looked to inspire the turnaround but after waves of attack couldn’t find the crucial winner. After the game, he described the progression the squad has made throughout the year.
“The second half of the season we definitely improved but we need to start better. We definitely could’ve started the season better this year and given ourselves a chance rather than trying to claw it back because it’s difficult when you feel like you’re so far off it at points.
“We did well to get into the position but we’re just frustrated we couldn’t get the victory today to take it to the last day and hopefully get something there.”