FRIENDLY REPORT: Salford City 1 Wanderers 2

Thomason Morley celebration

George Thomason was on target for the second weekend running before Aaron Morley bagged a late winner as Wanderers finished their pre-season road trip on a high note.

Thomason and Morley struck in a fast-finishing final 20 minutes as Ian Evatt’s men came from behind to extend their unbeaten summer run.

The strikers had shared the goals in mid-week as Wanderers put five past Bradford City in a training ground-game.

And this time it was the midfield duo who took the honours as Wanderers overcame more League Two opposition as their build-up gathers pace.

Thomason goal

Salford led as they made the most of a purple patch either side of half-time but after Thomason continued his impressive pre-season form with a deflected leveller, the Whites had the momentum to go on and wrap up victory a couple of minutes from time when Morley bagged his first goal of pre-season.

Boss Evatt again rotated his line-up with new loan man Zac Ashworth among those given a start, two days after arriving from West Bromwich Albion.

The 20-year-old swiftly looked at home on the left-hand side of the Whites’ three-man central defensive unit and within a couple of minutes he could have seen his new team go in front.

An excellent move from back to front ended with a low cross from Kieran Sadlier, which Jon Dadi Bodvarsson side-footed over the bar.

Bodvarsson chance

The Icelander unfortunately then picked up a knock 25 minutes in to be replaced by Victor Adeboyejo.

Adeboyejo also had the chance to make a quick impression as Wanderers – who had also seen Will Forrester head another early chance just wide from Declan John’s cross – looked to go in front before the break.

The striker released Dan Nlundulu, who beat his man before seeing an effort cleared off the line by City defender Theo Vassell.

And Adeboyejo then had a chance of his own after he collected a lovely flick from Josh Sheehan and rounded keeper Alex Cairns before his attempted finish was also blocked.

Not that Wanderers had it all their own way in a decent contest watched by a sell-out away following over 1,400 fans.

City were a frequent threat on the break and twice just before half-time, Wanderers’ keeper Joel Coleman had to be alert to keep out efforts from Luke Bolton and Hendry.

Morley team celebration

Hendry, the Ammies’ top scorer last season, was a lively presence in the City attack and five minutes into the second half he gave the hosts side the lead.

Substitute Matthew Lund collected a clearance from Coleman and then fed the ball into Hendry who twisted and turned to make space for a shot he buried from 12 yards out.

With almost an hour gone Wanderers then started their multiple changes to give the whole squad some more minutes a fortnight out from the opening League game and with the final two home friendlies to come next week.

Gethin Jones was among those to come on and it needed a timely intervention from the vice-captain to stop Salford doubling their lead, although his block still saw the ball fall loose for Conor McAleny to hit the outside of a post from a tight angle.

The game lost some of its early flow as City also made a flurry of substitutions but Wanderers began to pick up the rhythm again and after beginning to dominated struck with just over a quarter of an hour to go to make it 1-1.

Evatt applause

Morley’s raking cross-field pass earned a corner through Kyle Dempsey’s persistence and when Morley then delivered the set-play, Thomason pounced just outside the penalty area to thump home a low volley which took a slight deflection in flying past Cairns.

That lifted the intensity further as Wanderers, with all their senior men on, then pushed for a winner with Salford down to 10 men due to injury.

Adeboyejo went close, Thomason forced Cairns into a save and Dion Charles hooked an effort just wide as the Whites – wearing their new black away kit – piled on the pressure.

Another dangerous ball in from Randell Williams saw Adeboyejo flick the ball over the bar and then with a couple of minutes to go Wanderers did find a way through.

They had peppered the City penalty and when Jones got forward to drive over another cross, Morley arrived at the far post to ram home the loose ball and keep Wanderers’ momentum going before they face Premier League opposition in the shape of Everton on Tuesday night.

Wanderers: Coleman; Forrester (Jones 60), Almeida Santos, Ashworth (Iredale 60); Sadlier (Dacres-Cogley 57), Sheehan (Morley 62), Thomason, John (Williams 57); Nlundulu (Dempsey 62); Bodvarsson (Adeboyejo 25), Jerome (Charles 64). Substitutes: Baxter.

Salford City (starting): Cairns; Garbutt, Vassell, Shepherd; Bolton, Watt, Ashley, Berkoe; Mallan, McAleny; Hendry. Substitutes: Torrance, Lund, Bailey, Smith, Dackers, Nmai.

Referee: Ollie Yates

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