Iron denied by last-gasp equaliser at Salford City
PUBLISHED: 11:53 14 October 2018 | UPDATED: 11:53 14 October 2018
Salford City 2 Braintree Town 2
Braintree Town were desperately unlucky not to have returned from Salford on Saturday with all three points, as the home side scraped an equaliser in the third minute of stoppage time.
For most of the game, bottom club Braintree more than matched their big spending hosts, who are currently top of the league, playing some neat, attacking football and having the most shots at goal in a game this season.
Little wonder former England and Man United star Gary Neville, one of the ex-United players now backing Salford, admitted at the final whistle: “Braintree were unlucky and deserved to win.
“They played some attractive football and were the better side for most of the game. We were lucky to get a draw.”
Iron caretaker manager, Hakan Hayrettin, returning to the Essex club the previous week following the departure of Brad Quinton, was also proud of his players.
“They all did really well, played as a unit, worked hard and closed the home side down whenever they could,” enthused Hayrettin.
The Iron had a disastrous start, conceding a goal after only 31 seconds when a long ball forward through the defence saw Rory Gaffney latch onto it and lob the ball over the advancing keeper, Ben Killip.
Undeterred by this early setback, the Iron came back strongly, playing some of their most attractive football of the season. Twice, midway through the first half, Mo Bettamer went close to equalising.
And on the stroke of half-time, the Iron did get their equaliser. Inou Touray handled in the penalty area and Bettamer duly dispatched the spot kick.
It was no more than the Iron deserved and it was much the same story in the second half, Reece Grant, Cameron James and Bettamer all going close.
Salford’s wings were clipped on 74 minutes when a great through ball from Grant found Bettamer, who beat his marker and drove the ball home past keeper Chris Neal.
Three minutes later, Iron could have added a third when a long range shot from Grant, having seen Neal off his line, rattled the bar and was scrambled clear.
But in the third minute of injury time, the ball unluckily rebounded off Kodi Lyones-Foster straight to the feet of Gaffney, who snapped at the chance to drive the ball into the Iron net for an equaliser.
BRAINTREE: Killip, Muleba, Ellul, Lyons-Foster, Gabriel, Della-Verde, Frimpong (sub Cass, 79), James, Pattison (sub Amaluzar, 58), Bettamer, Grant (sub Allen, 74). Unused subs: Sagaf, Thompson.