An equaliser deep into stoppage time from Ash Eastham rescued a point for Salford City against Northampton Town as the game ended 2-2.
Matty Lund’s second home goal in two home games had already cancelled out Paul Lewis’ opener for the visitors, but Mitch Pinnock restored their lead in the second half against the run of play.
However three minutes into stoppage time the captain popped up to convert Ash Hunter’s cross from close range at the back post and secure an important point.
Manager Gary Bowyer was quick to highlight the relentless attitude of the team, missing key figures today, and feels that Salford could easily have won.
“If you look at the statistics with the possession that we had, their goalie makes a great save as early as the second or third minute then we’ve had a couple of great opportunities second half where the ball’s flashed across and you wonder how we haven’t got on the end of it.
“But I have to say the players’ character, the fighting spirit, the desire to keep going was evident again today. We scored a late goal here the other week to win against Bradford, and I was really pleased with the reaction when we scored a late goal again because we didn’t go and celebrate, we picked the ball up and put it on the centre spot ready to go again because we wanted to try and win the game, and that’s what we’ve got in the dressing room.
“It’s a new group coming together, hindered by injuries again and suspension this week, but rather than making them as excuses it’s provided opportunities for people and we’ve had a right good go.”
Brandon Thomas-Asante had an early opportunity denied to him by a quick Liam Roberts stop, but Northampton went ahead when Lewis headed in a flicked-on long throw, his second goal in his last two appearances at The Peninsula Stadium.
Salford responded though when Tom Elliott laid a ball back to Lund, arriving late at the top of the box, to lash in a leveller.
Into the second half Salford had a really good spell that saw Jordan Turnbull’s header across goal flash wide of the back post, Thomas-Asante’s long throws causing problems in the Town box, and a goalmouth scramble cleared.
That allowed Pinnock to head in a Sam Hoskins cross with just over 10 minutes remaining, but Eastham’s stoppage time finish – his first goal at home – was a sign of good traits displayed by The Ammies.
“It’s pleasing when you see that so early on in the season, everything else you layer and add to as the season progresses but that habit of scoring late that tells you a lot about the character of that group.
“Lundy’s strike was a wonderful goal, the two goals that we conceded we’re disappointed with and I’m sure Northampton will be disappointed with our equaliser but they can’t be too disappointed with the quality of Lundy’s strike.”
Despite what feels like a positive result, The Ammies drop to 19th and will be looking to elevate themselves in the table with a result away at Colchester United next weekend.