After Covid-19 postponed The Ammies first shot at a major trophy, their fairy-tale visit to the home of football finally came true in March of 2021.
They topped a tough group containing Bury, Tranmere Rovers and an Aston Villa under 21s that featured current Premier League striker Cameron Archer, who currently plies his trade at Sheffield United.
Comprehensive back to back 3-0 victories against Wolves under 21s and Port Vale set up a quarter final tie against Accrington Stanley where the Ammies ran out 2-1 winners and now only Newport County stood between Salford and a trip to Wembley stadium.
After a tense semi-final a shootout was required against goalkeeper Tom King who would go on to play for City later in his career. It was Salford stopper Chris Neal who stole the headlines sealing a place in the final by saving Ryan Inniss’ spot kick.
But it wasn’t Neal who started the final, with Vaclav Hladky being trusted between the sticks in the final. The Czech goalkeeper, who was MOTM in the final saving two in the shootout, now finds himself at Premier League promotion chasers Ipswich Town and has six clean sheets so far this season.
🧤 Most Clean Sheets in the Championship This Season:
🥇 Alex Palmer- 9
Jan Alnwick- 6
Daniel Bachmann- 6
Vaclav Hladky- 6
Ilian Meslier- 6
Mads Hermansen- 6
Seny Dieng- 5
Anthony Patterson- 5
Max O’Leary- 5
— Champ Chat (@TheChampChatPod) December 4, 2023
Right Back Tom Clarke hung up his boots in 2023 after moving to Preston North End following just 30 appearances for the Ammies unlike Ashley Eastham who went on to captain Salford until he was released last summer after three years at the club.
His defensive partner Jordan Turnbull left the club in a more gloomy manner when he refused the offer of a new contract at the end of the 21/22 season opting to instead join fellow League 2 outfit Tranmere Rovers and has since played back at the Peninsula, welcomed by a mixed response from the Salford faithful upon his return.
A more familiar name started at left-back, Ibou Touray, another man who went on to don the captain’s armband at the Peninsula before leaving to local rivals Stockport County on a free transfer this summer. He had over 200 appearances across six years at the club.
None of manager Richie Wellen’s midfield four remain at the club, with Jason Lowe at League One Port Vale, Oscar Threlkeld at fellow fourth tier side Morecambe, and Richie Towell returned to his native Ireland where he has played for Shamrock Rovers for the last two seasons.
The final of the four Ashley Hunter, like Threlkeld, had a spell at Morecambe before joining MK Dons in the summer window.
A strike partnership of James Wilson and Brandon Thomas Asante already boasted a rather impressive football CV with the former having spent time and scored at Old Trafford. Wilson still scores goals in League One now for Port Vale.
BTA has probably had the most meteoric rise of those involved in the final, earning a move to Championship with the Midlands side paying a reported £300,000 to acquire the talented forward, who has since registered 14 goals in 53 appearances.
“THAT IS RUTHLESS!” 😤
Clinical from Brandon Thomas-Asante! 👏 pic.twitter.com/q7TpcxXewJ
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) October 30, 2023
Salford gaffer Richie Wellens, who led the Ammies to the club’s only major trophy in league football, left the club just nine days after his Wembley triumph via mutual consent and has since managed Doncaster Rovers where he lasted just 199 days.
His latest spell at Leyton Orient was far more successful with Wellens steering the Os to promotion in 2023.
Feature Image: taken as a screenshot from Salford City Youtube channel