AMMIES ARE ON A ROLL
...BUT TOWN TOP THE PILE
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
ROR BLIMEY: Rory Gaffney is mobbed after opening the scoring for Salford at Bromley
SO CALL! Harrogate Town’s Callum Howe wheels away after his goal