Railway travelled over the Pennines for the first part of this Evo-Stik Division 1 North Double Header against Salford City. Railway making 1 enforced change Radcliffe in for Harratt, from the team that played an impressive part in a midweek 1-0 defeat away at Skelmersdale United. Salford sitting comfortable in mid table must have had high expectation of this fixture coming on the back of a 5 game unbeaten run.
A pretty even start with both sides sizing each other up but Salford probably having the better chances. A number of free kicks around the Railway box were either weak or squandered with poor execution. Rail started to gain momentum which was rewarded on 24 minutes when Palfrey won the ball on the right. Using his pace and strength he left two challenges behind him and unleashed a formidable shot that City Keeper Robertson could only help the ball into the top corner.
On 38 minutes disaster struck when Railway stopper Craig Parry had to be subbed and taken to hospital. From a goal kick Parry fell to the floor grasping his chest unable to get his breath and was obviously in immense pain. After tests at Salfords Hope Hospital A&E Craig had found to have torn a muscle in his chest. Could be sometime before he’s fit to play again.
Tom Osbourne came on in his place and was soon in action taking a great catch right under his crossbar only to see the Salford striker ruled off side. But Railway were on top and wanting to make it count with a fierce volley from Railways Si Parkes turned away by Roberson in the Salford goal. Hunter then tested the keeper with another good effort. 1 Nil Railway at half-time.
Railway struggled to get going in the 2nd period as Salford grew in confidence. A number of chances went begging as Osbourne pushed a good lobb over the bar and a couple of near misses. However Railway’s defence cracked as Mbalanda headed the ball into the path of Barker who struck a sweet drive beating Osbourne at his right hand post.
Rail lifted their spirit and were so close to taking all the points as Palfrey unleashed a great shot that came back off the cross bar. Good chances for Duckworth and Gray were spurned and the ever industrious Maloney unable to add to Railways tally as the game eventually finished all level.
They are now we looking to Tuesday and the reverse fixture with Salford having to make the trip to Station View for the 7:45pm Kick Off. Confident going into the game with Harratt available but we will miss Captain Gray (Suspended) and Keeper Parry (Chest).