Ammies upset will linger long in memory
RICARDO MONIZ watched on as his Notts County side were dumped out of the FA Cup by Non-League Salford City and then delivered a damning verdict on his bungling players.
Evo-Stik NPL Premier outfit Salford may be owned by Class of ’92 stars Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt, Gary and Phil Neville, but even the famous five couldn’t have predicted a magic first round moment like this.
From the first whistle they did have belief, however, with League Two County putting in a woeful performance against a side 59 places below them in the pyramid.
Danny Webber opened the scoring just 18 seconds into the second-half before substitute Richie Allen showed great skill to skip away from three defenders and plant the ball into the bottom corner.
“They wanted it more, they deserved to win,” said head coach Moniz. “For us, it was the worst night so we are all dead at the moment.
“We can’t blame the pitch, because they also had that pitch. They were better and that’s unexplainable.
“From the first-half you could see not any player had strength against the ball, mentally we were very, very weak compared to them. That’s the biggest defeat. They wanted it more.The individual skill for their second goal, I must say, was exceptional, but on the other hand he got away from three people.
“Thirty seconds after half-time the ball was already in the net.Too many players were passive. There’s a difference between talking and doing.
“It’s always the responsibility of the coach.We have to stick together inside.We are dead at the moment and we will never forget.”
It’s a night that will live long in the memory of Salford fans too as their team pulled off this season’s first big FA Cup shock.
The only real surprise was they weren’t ahead at the break, with striker Jordan Hulme going close three times as the Ammies dominated.
Having weathered the storm travelling County fans would have expected a reaction, but instead the night went from bad to worse within a minute of the re-start.
James Poole skinned left-back Thierry Audel and crossed the ball to the far post where former Manchester United striker Webber tapped in.
Still there was no reaction. Hulme’s shot crashed back off the crossbar before County’s best chance came and went. Defender Steve Howson’s clearance cannoned back off Adam Campbell, but he recovered brilliantly to hack the sub’s goal-bound attempt off the line. And when Allen fired in the second on 73 minutes, the humiliation was complete.
“I’ve never felt so much raw emotion during or after a game in my life,” said Salford joint-boss Anthony Johnson. “When the second goal went in, I almost burst into tears.”
STAR MAN JAMES POOLE Salford