Last weekend saw Salford snatch all three points at home to Bradford City, with Matty Lund’s injury- time strike sending The Peninsula Stadium into jubilation. His first goal for the club couldn’t have come at a sweeter time, securing an important win in an entertaining game right at the end.
Lund, who signed from Rochdale in the summer, has been an integral part of Salford’s start to the campaign and was delighted to open his account for The Ammies;
“It’s great to get my first goal, I think it’s been coming!
“I’ve had a few chances in the previous few games but to get a goal – at the time in the game – it was even better to be honest because we knew we could just hang on for the last couple of minutes and the game would be done.
“It was a great relief for us to get the three points and to get my goalscoring underway for the season.”
The 30-year-old midfielder has come close on numerous occasions but for some outstanding goalkeeping performances denying his first in a red shirt. That has been the case for Salford in the opening seven games, with the points not necessarily warranting performances. Lund knows results like that will come more frequently, like last Saturday, when the finishing touch is applied;
“We’ve been playing some good football, there’s not really been a game where I thought we haven’t played particularly well. There are obviously times in games when we could’ve done better but the Gaffer’s kept our feet on the ground and we’re always ready for the next one.
“We’ve just got to keep playing the good football we know we can play and the results will come.
“We had a bit of luck with Kingy making some great saves but recently it’s been the other keepers making the great saves and us ending up drawing or losing so it was nice for it to happen the other way round last weekend.”
Salford’s experienced number eight is more than just a creator from midfield, also looking to get into the box to get on the end of things himself. Bagging 11 goals in League One last season, Lund seems to have a ‘right place right time ‘ability and believes it will only be a matter of time before more chances come and he can turn them into goals.
“Sometimes keepers make saves you can’t really do much about, I’ve had a couple of chances that I usually take and I took a lot of them last year. I always seem to create a chance and that’s my game really to get into the box and score. I’m not the sort of person to lose confidence by not scoring a goal, it never really affects me in that way, I just keep trying to get in there and get goals.”
Forward Conor McAleny is a doubt after being withdrawn early in the win against Bradford, but otherwise Salford have a fully fit squad to choose from.
With two wins, two draws and three losses, Rovers sit alongside Salford in the middle pack of League Two where seven teams share eight points. Unbeaten in their opening three games, Tranmere started strong although defeats to Newport, Scunthorpe and Rochdale has seen form dip in recent weeks.
Last year’s play-off semi-finalists will be hoping to learn from the previous year’s performance and be in and around the top spots come the end of the season.
Manager Micky Mellon is currently in his second spell in charge of the Super White Army following his return in June. In his previous four-year tenure, the Scot led Tranmere to successive promotions, from the National League in 2018 and League Two in 2019, becoming a cult hero at Prenton Park. Last year Mellon led Dundee United to a ninth-place finish on their return to the Scottish Premiership, whilst also taking them to the Scottish Cup semi-final.
Mellon has made a variety of additions to bolster his squad with the noticeable addition of former West Brom, Sunderland and 2013 FA Cup winner with Wigan Athletic Callum McManaman, who returns to English football after a spell in Australia with Melbourne Victory. The 30-year-old got off to a flying start on his debut, scoring the winner against Walsall on the opening day. Salford fans will also recognise the name of Mani Dieseruvwe, who made the move to Merseyside in June, making five appearances so far this season for Rovers.