29 April 2023

Luke Bolton winner at Carlisle leaves Salford on course for play-off place

29 April 2023

Luke Bolton bagged a last-gasp winner as Salford closed in on securing a League Two play-off place with an incredible 3-2 away win over fellow promotion-chasers Carlisle.

First-half goals from Colin Hendry and Bolton put the visitors firmly in the driving seat.

But Joe Garner pulled a goal back for the hosts with 13 minutes remaining, before they had Jon Mellish sent-off for violent conduct with seven minutes remaining.

The midfielder was given his marching orders for seemingly pushing Salford’s Elliot Watt in the face after Garner had won a penalty when Liam Shephard foul him in the box.

Kristian Dennis stepped up to slot home the equaliser from the spot but there was still time for Bolton to bag his second of the afternoon with a stunning left-foot strike to secure maximum points with just two minutes left.

It condemned Carlisle to their first defeat in five games with just one league fixture remaining, but they sit three points and eight goals better off than eighth-placed Mansfield, who were beaten at home to strugglers Harrogate.

Salford’s victory moved them level on points with the Cumbrians and they are four goals better off than the Stags ahead of the final round of fixtures.

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