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Seddon thunder strike sees Salford City through to dream play off final

Salford City marched on to their first Northern Premier league play off final in their history after beating Ashton United 3-1.

Extra time goals from Gareth Seddon and James Poole secured the win for The Ammies.

Jordan Hulme took the lead for Salford, but a 78th minute equaliser from James Dean forced the game into extra time.

For 30 minutes Salford were in complete control and broke Robins’ hearts with two moments of magic from their best strikers.

Salford struck first blood near the half-hour mark thanks to Jordan Hulme with a driven strike into the bottom corner.

With everything on the line Ashton were not deterred by going a goal down and had a golden chance moments after the opening goal.

Despite his good form throughout the league campaign, Martin Pilkington was hit by bad luck as his shot was blocked on the line, James Dean would attempt a rebound, but it was hit wide.

It was a warning sign for The Ammies who pushed up in order to utilise the space being left by The Robins.

Salford were rewarded almost instantly with a swinging cross from Poole aimed at Webber, yet once again was too close to Paul Phillips.

Salford continued to dominate the remaining 15 minutes of the half.

First a poor clearance from captain Jay Gorton fell only as far as Poole who took a touch before striking the ball wide; then a superb run and cross from Evan Gumbs deserved to be rewarded with an assist, however the full back’s inside ball went clean through.

The best chance of the game saw Salford wishing they’d scored, after a goalmouth scramble saw the ball ping around the six yard box with the Ashton defence trying desperately to clear; The Ammies claimed the goal, but referee Aaron Jackson waved away the protests.

Like the warning sign fired from Ashton in the first half, this was a statement of intent from Salford that Ashton needed to use their physical presence to get back into the game or face another year of play-off heartache.

The warning sign was duly responded by Dean who single-handedly turned the game on its head.

First, a crisp chipped effort that pinged off the woodwork; before the forward finally got his reward a few minutes later with an equally finessed shot that had Jay Lynch beaten.

Salford were struck with a hammer blow when FA Cup hero Richie Allen was taken off injured, however his replacement Gareth Seddon sealed his name in Ammy folklore with a thunderbolt.

It was a stunning goal at any level, after Seddon picked up the ball from Steve Howson from 20 yards he would line his shot up; his leg moving with the mechanical efficiency of a rifle bolt, before pummeling the ball into the top corner with a effort that wouldn’t have looked out of place at Old Trafford.

James Poole’s strike near the 120th minute guaranteed Salford their place in the Northern Premier League playoff final against Workington on Saturday at Moor Lane.

Main image courtesy Quaysnews.net

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Oliver is an aspiring young journalist currently studying at Salford University. He covers non league football and local politics for multiple outlets.