McAleny bags brace as Salford sink Sutton to climb into fifth
A Conor McAleny double boosted Salford’s promotion bid as they defeated Sutton 2-0.
The in-form forward netted twice in the first half as the hosts clinched a second successive home victory and rose to fifth in League Two.
After a fast start, McAleny opened the scoring inside nine minutes when he finished a precise effort low into the far corner.
The visiting U’s, unbeaten in four matches prior to the fixture, offered little in front of goal in difficult conditions.
Resurgent striker Matt Smith, who had scored six goals in eight matches, proved a constant threat and came close to doubling the Ammies’ advantage.
But it was strike partner McAleny who notched his and Salford’s second in stoppage time before the interval.
Flapping Sutton stopper Lewis Ward misjudged a looping cross and McAleny was on hand to poke home – his fifth strike in only three games.
To compound a miserable afternoon for Matt Gray’s side, Rob Milsom had a tame penalty saved in the 70th minute by Salford’s January recruit Alex Cairns.