The Ammies finished off their momentous season with a convincing victory over Ossett Town, watched by over 1100 supporters thanks to the club’s decision to waive entrance charges.
There was a single change from the side that won at Burscough last week with Jordan Hulme dropping down to the bench to make way for Paul Linwoood. As a result Dom Smalley pushed up from right back to the right side of midfield with skipper Chris Lynch switching to full back from the centre of defence.
Town pushed forward from the start and with less than two minutes on the clock Jay Lynch had to come off his line to punch away a dangerous cross from Calum Hepworth. With the Salford keeper prostrate on the edge of the box the ball fell straight to Ossett skipper Steven Jeff and his delicate lobbed effort dropped just over the crossbar.
An early scare for the champions and they had another one less than a minute later. A miscued clearance went straight to Hepworth and he was away from the Ammies’ defence and cutting into the penalty area. Jay Lynch – as he has done so many times before – advanced confidently and spread himself formidably to make a save.
The first spell of real pressure on Town’s goal ended when Steve Howson touched a ball back from the edge of the area to Jason Jarrett who had a little space and time to weigh up a shot. The result was pretty spectacular as a thumping left-footer from twenty-two yards flashed inside Brad Dixon’s left-hand upright with the Ossett keeper hardly having time to move.
The goal seemed to focus Salford on the task in hand and they began to play some cracking passing football against opponents who suddenly looked very vulnerable.
In the ninth minute a clever touch from Seddon seemed to have set up Jarrett for another shot from distance but this time the experienced midfielder swung at the ball and missed. Phil Dean nipped in to whisk possession away and moved to the left before checking and placing a low left-footed effort past Dixon, with a sliding Town defender only able to help the ball into the net.
Another Salford goal seemed inevitable and midway through the first half any lingering comeback hopes Ossett may harboured had were firmly extinguished. Dean picked up possession wide on the left then swung in a cross that Jarrett Jarrett headed home to make the score three-nil.
With Ossett pinned back almost entirely the home side were always liable to add another goal and they duly made it four-nil inside first half time added on. Webber was the creator this time, whipping in a right-footed cross from the left and Seddon again displayed his knack of being in the right place at the right time, rising high on the edge of the six-yard box amongst a crowd of players to plant a header past Dixon.
As so often happens when a team builds a commanding first half lead the interval seemed to take a little wind out of attacking sails. Nevertheless The Ammies kept a tight grip on the game and within a minute of being introduced as a substitute Sam Madeley was denied a goal by the assistant’s flag.
In the sixty-sixth minute Jarrett was replaced by Gary Stopforth and received an ovation from the supporters to mark the end of a career that included over four hundred professional appearances.
Nathan Curtis looked occasionally dangerous for Ossett but this was Salford’s afternoon and with eighteen minutes left they crafted their fifth goal of the afternoon.
It was a good move too, with Smalley’s pass down the right sending substitute Jordan Hulme on a run that took him to the line from where he delivered a low ball towards the near post. Right on cue Dean arrived to tuck home a neat finish from close range and in truth five-nil did not flatter a Salford side who were enjoying a rare opportunity to express themselves without the pressure of needing to win a game.
There was time for one more chance and inside injury time Dean raced up the left before drilling a low ball across the six yard box but there was to be no finishing touch.
That was the last of the action and Salford had put on a show for their biggest league crowd of the season on a memorable afternoon for everyone concerned with the club.