Harrogate Town 3 Salford City 2: Sulphurites finally break Ammies hoodoo
Following a run of 11 matches without a victory against the Ammies, Simon Weaver’s team triumphed 3-2 at Wetherby Road on Saturday afternoon.
The Sulphurites had lost all of their previous four home meetings with Salford without scoring even a single goal, but surged into a 2-0 lead midway through the first half courtesy of George Thomson’s penalty and a Sam Folarin effort.
Strikes either side of the interval would however see City pull level, but Town were not to be denied and secured a first success against the Class-of-‘92-owned outfit when Odoh curled a cultured 80th-minute finish into the bottom corner.
“It’s a test of resolve and mindset when they come back from 2-0 down to 2-2,” Weaver reflected.
"But we said at half-time, no matter who scores the next goal, we have to keep passing it, we have to keep playing how we’ve been training, keep being positive.
"We looked to be more creative and to score three goals at home, especially against Salford, when we haven’t beaten them for quite some time, means a lot to us.
"It is a big win, it’s a big win for several reasons against Salford and for confidence levels, confidence in the system and how we are trying to play the game.”
Town have struggled to find the net from open play in League Two all season, but Saturday saw them carry far more of an attacking threat.
Thomson’s swerving effort smashed against a post early on with Odoh somehow firing wide on the follow-up with the goal at his mercy, but Town did break the deadlock on 16 minutes.
Matty Daly was caught by Ethan Ingram inside the box, and when referee Ben Atkinson pointed to the penalty spot, Thomson sent Alex Cairns the wrong way from 12 yards.
The hosts doubled their advantage seven minutes later, Daly’s neat pass finding Folarin, whose unconvincing low shot squirmed underneath Cairns and trickled over the goal-line.
Curtis Tilt’s acrobatic overhead-kick following a corner reduced the deficit before half-time, though Town went close to restoring their two-goal cushion shortly after the interval, Anthony O’Connor’s goal-bound header from a corner cleared off the goal-line before Daly’s follow-up came back off the inside of the upright.
Salford then levelled matters on 58 minutes with a goal of the softest variety, Matt Smith able to stab Stevie Mallan’s low cross through both Kayne Ramsay and Mark Oxley from close range.
Town’s response was however positive, Kayne Ramsay seeing a deflected shot from a tight angle strike the frame of the City goal, while Odoh’s blast was well saved by Cairns.
But Odoh would go on to register his first goal for Harrogate with 10 minutes of normal time remaining following some good work by Daly.
The former Everton attacker advanced down the middle of the pitch, feinting to shoot as he approached the edge of the box before slipping a pass left for Odoh to calmly beat Cairns.
Saturday’s win lifts Harrogate up to 18th place in the League Two standings.