The Non-League Football Paper - - FRONT PAGE - By Ruth Tun­nell

SAL­FORD CITY have found their National League feet as they made it eight games un­beaten to move up to fourth in the ta­ble.

Goals from Rory Gaffney and Tom Walker took Gra­ham Alexan­der’s side to a 2-0 vic­tory at Brom­ley. The Am­mies are four points be­hind sur­prise pack­age Har­ro­gate Town, who con­tin­ued their fine start to life at Step 1 with a 2-0 win over Maid­stone, right. Wrex­ham are sec­ond fol­low­ing their 4-1 thrash­ing of Ebb­s­fleet, while Leyton Ori­ent re­main un­beaten in third af­ter beat­ing Bar­net 2-1.

THERE was no fairy­tale start to Harry Wheeler’s reign at Maid­stone United as lead­ers Har­ro­gate Town eased to a com­fort­able vic­tory in an unin­spir­ing en­counter at the Gal­lagher Sta­dium.

First-half goals from de­fender Cal­lum Howe and Jack Mul­doon se­cured a sev­enth win of the sea­son for Town, but new Stones chief Wheeler, drafted in af­ter they parted com­pany with Jay Saun­ders a fort­night ago, isn’t too con­cerned about the size of the task ahead.

“This game doesn’t de­fine the lads,” Wheeler said. “It isn’t a big­ger job than I thought it was and it will be a grad­ual turn­around. To put to­day into con­text there are still 115 points to play for.”

Town struck the post early on through Do­minic Knowles and it was no sur­prise when they took the lead on 17 min­utes. Ge­orge Thom­son’s cor­ner from the right was headed back across goal by Knowles and Liam Kitch­ing saw his header hit the bar, Howe was on hand to head in the re­bound for his fourth goal of the sea­son.

Maid­stone were strug­gling to cre­ate any­thing of note and just be­fore the break, Har­ro­gate scored again. A fine long ball for­ward from Joe Leesley sent Mul­doon rac­ing to­wards goal and although Lee Wor­gan got a hand to the ball, he could do noth­ing to pre­vent it nest­ing in the bot­tom right cor­ner.

Dom­i­nant Town were perhaps for­tu­nate not to fall fur­ther be­hind in first-half stop­page time – Wor­gan left in no-man’s land al­low­ing Thom­son a shot from dis­tance to­wards an empty net but Alex Fin­ney cleared.

Maid­stone briefly ral­lied af­ter the break and they did threaten to pull a goal back on 48 min­utes. A cor­ner from Jack Pax­man was met by Shamir Mullings, who forced

James Belshaw into an ex­cel­lent one-handed stop.

The sec­ond half was largely a quiet af­fair un­til the Stones be­lat­edly upped the tempo in the fi­nal ten min­utes. The change in pace seemed to start when Michee Efete drove for­ward down the right be­fore a one-two be­tween Mullings and Stu­art Lewis re­sulted in the lat­ter curl­ing the ball into the area where Mullings’s de­flected ef­fort struck the top of the bar. This turned out to be the clos­est the Stones came.

“It was an ex­cel­lent away per­for­mance,” said Town boss Si­mon Weaver. “Our commitment was sec­ond to none. The lads are very ca­pa­ble of achiev­ing re­ally good things. Ob­vi­ously it has been a step up but we have been over­joyed with the commitment, we are not car­ry­ing any pas­sen­gers and hope­fully we can con­tinue to move up.”

STAR MAN: Cal­lum Howe (Har­ro­gate) ATT: 2,222 EN­TER­TAIN­MENT: ★★★★★ REF­EREE: Si­mon Mather 7/10

PIC­TURE: Ed Boy­den

ROR BLIMEY: Rory Gaffney is mobbed af­ter open­ing the scor­ing for Sal­ford at Brom­ley

PIC­TURES: Matt Bris­tow

SO CALL! Har­ro­gate Town’s Cal­lum Howe wheels away af­ter his goal

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