Chris Hopes Salford Can Be The Neal Deal At Wembley!

Salford City goalkeeper Chris Neal is a man that's been there, done it and got the free pizza!

The 33-year-old has played every minute of the National League season and has previously won promotion on three occasions.

On the bench for Morecambe's National League play-off final win in 2007, Neal then went on to secure promotions from League Two with Port Vale and Shrewsbury Town.

But having played every minute of the Ammies' National League campaign so far this season, he admits winning promotion with Salford City might just top the lot.

"When I sat and met the manager and the people involved in the club in the summer, I knew straight away this wasn’t a club that wanted to stand still," he said.

"We’re a club that want to rise up the leagues and I think with the backing of the owners and the manager, it’s only a club that go forward so to be involved in a promotion with Salford would be a dream come true."

Many tipped Graham Alexander's side for a title push but the club had to settle for a play-off place.

Neal was the hero of the hour, saving spot-kicks from Sam Matthews and Chris Zebroski to book Salford's first ever visit to Wembley.

"That’s what any keeper dreams of," Neal said. "Ideally, we would have won it in normal time because penalties can be a bit of a lottery but it’s just nice that I could step up and produce for the boys.

"I have to say, the lads’ penalties were fantastic, they gave their keeper no chance so for me to save a couple was even greater for them as well."

And while winning at Wembley may be the stuff of dreams, unlimited pizza doesn't sound too shabby either!

After keeping out Jamie Vardy and Leicester City last year, Neal and his Fleetwood Town team-mates landed a year's supply of the stuff.

"Our game was being televised and a lot of sponsorships jump on board. Papa John’s sponsored the game and they came up with this thing that if we kept a clean sheet, we would get a year’s supply of pizza.

"I think they were probably a little bit shocked that we actually pulled it off!"

Where next?

King Can’t Call National League South Shoot-Out Welling United manager Steve King says Sunday’s National League South Promotion Final shoot-out with Woking is too tight to call.
AFC Fylde Get Play-Off Well Wishes From The PM! AFC Fylde have received some, perhaps unexpected backing from Prime Minister Theresa May.

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