Salford 2-0 Stevenage: Mani Dieseruvwe hits double as City win first ever Football League game
By Simeon Gholam
Last Updated: 03/08/19 5:54pm
Salford City cruised to victory in their first ever Football League game as Mani Dieseruvwe inspired their 2-0 win over Stevenage.
The club, who are part-owned by the 'Class of 92' - with Paul Scholes watching at Moor Lane - had won promotion from the National League last season and made light work of their opening fixture at the higher level.
Richie Towell and Martin Smith made their debuts for Salford, while Chris Stokes, Jamie Fielding and Tom Soares all made their debuts for Stevenage. Dean Parrett was back in the side for the first time since leaving three years ago.
Dieseruvwe struck either side of half-time to seal the win, getting City off to a perfect start to life in League Two against a surprisingly flat Stevenage side, who themselves had just missed out on the play-offs last season.
Salford dominated the first half and deservedly took the lead after 29 minutes thanks to a fantastic team move.
Debutant Martin Smith threaded a fine defence-splitting pass through to Scott Wiseman, who found Dieseruvwe in the middle, and he made no mistake in prodding home from six yards.
Salford: Neal (7), Wiseman (8), Pond (7), Piergianni (7), Touray (7), Shelton (6), Maynard (6), Towell (7), Smith (7), Rooney (6), Dieseruvwe (8)
Subs: Beesley (n/a), Armstrong (n/a), Threlkeld (n/a)
Stevenage: Farman (5), Wildin (5), Cuthbert (5), Fielding (5), Stokes (5), Iontton (5), Parrett (5), Soares (5), Vancooten (5), Sonupe (6), Guthrie (5)
Subs: Taylor (5), Newton (5), Husin (n/a)
Man of the match: Mani Dieseruvwe
Amid a host of other chances, Dieseruvwe doubled his tally and Salford's lead three minutes after half-time, pouncing on a well-worked free-kick to poke in at the second time of asking.
It took 75 minutes for Stevenage to even test Salford goalkeeper Chris Neal, and even then it was a straightforward enough save, as he got down low to block Danny Newton's header from a corner.
Man of the Match - Mani Dieseruvwe
What a way to help your side announce themselves in the Football League. Dieseruvwe scored two but could have had a hatful more as he proved a constant nuisance to the Stevenage defence. He will be one to watch this season.
Graham Alexander: "The play-off final last season was a great experience of managing a big game and occasion and we did that really well. We remind ourselves it is a great start but it's only one game.
"We are trying to improve each weekend. Good to start with a win. We did not have a point after three games last year and we still got promotion, but the win will have settled people down. I thought the players handled the game superbly but I had confidence in them."
Dino Maamria: "I think the first game of the season is always difficult because you get so emotional - six weeks preparation and everyone excited by the first game.
"It's always brilliant to get a first win. Sometimes you just learn from it and move on, but that's not going to decide the fate of our season."
Salford City head to Crawley Town next Saturday, while Stevenage host Exeter. Both games are 3pm kick-offs