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Matty Willock lets fly to equalise against Leyton orientA Matty Willock screamer rescued a point for Salford at home to Leyton Orient in their League Two opener.

The debutant deceived an oncoming Orient defender with a smooth drop of the shoulder before unleashing what could be a goal of the season contender in the campaign’s first game. His right-footed strike from range flew past Lawrence Vigouroux between the sticks and nestled in the top corner, ultimately sealing a point for The Ammies.

“It sort of just opened up for me, I thought why not and had a strike, luckily enough for me and the team it went in.”

Willock got his first competitive 90 minutes in a red shirt, enjoying every moment. The former Manchester United youngster relished the opportunity to get his season underway and more importantly to share it with a packed Peninsula Stadium

“It’s such a buzz to have them back, even before the game when I walked out onto the pitch, I got goosebumps hearing everyone singing. That’s the reason why you play football, it’s for the fans and for me there’s no better feeling.”

However, it was the away side that opened the scoring, to the delight of the travelling fans. In a sequence of heavy pressure from The O’s just past the half-hour mark, Omar Beckles slotted away a saved shot beneath Tom King. The keeper made two good saves in the build-up to the goal, but it was Orient’s big centre back who provided the finishing touch the third time of asking.

“We dominated the game in parts, we created a lot of chances especially in the second half. It’s disappointing conceding a goal like that, from a corner, which is something we’ve been working on trying to avoid all week in training, but I suppose it’s something we’ll have to work on.”

Both goals came in the first half, but the second 45 minutes provided arguably more action. Salford came out the brighter with the momentum of the goal just before halftime seeming to put some wind in the sails. Ibou Touray had a strike fizz just past the post just minutes after commencing from the break, whilst Matty Lund and Ian Henderson both came close with headers.

Josh Morris posed a threat to The Os for the majority of the game, he also had a chance saved, Vigouroux getting down well at the front post to save with his feet.

“I don’t think you’re ever happy with a point at home, especially when we created the chances we did, so no I wouldn’t say I’m happy but there are definitely some positives to take from the performance.”

An opening day point to a physical Leyton Orient side will provide Gary Bowyer with food for thought, and a benchmark to build on looking forward to Tuesday nights Carabao Cup fixture against Derby County at Pride Park.

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