SALFORD CITY boss Graham Alexander hailed teen hat-trick hero Kamar Moncrieffe as the Ammies booked their place in the Manchester FA Premier Cup quarter-final with a 3-1 win over Ashton United on Tuesday night.
Moncrieffe netted his three-goals in 36 first-half minutes as the National League leaders comfortably earned a place in the hat at Moor Lane.
Ramirez Howarth thumped home a consolation in the closing stages of the contest for Jody Banim’s outfit.
Alexander was delighted with Moncrieffe’s display as well as the collective team performance.
He said: “I thought they all did well, Kemar getting the hat-trick will get the profile, but all the players that came into the team for the first time under myself did well, it was great to see as I thought it was a carbon-copy as some of our first-team performances and we feel we have got some good potential in those young players.”
“I thought we were excellent, I thought it was an extremely strong performance, I thought we were aggressive on the pressing side of it, we were aggressive with our passing and we progressed through the pitch really well and we were really clinical in the first part of the game.”
Salford opened the scoring in the first minute when an enticing cross from the right found its way to Moncrieffe who swivelled to finish well from inside the penalty area.
Alexander’s side doubled their lead in quick succession as Salford found themselves in behind the Robins defence again. A ball across the box finds Moncrieffe who scored his second of the game.
The hosts were awarded a penalty when Moncrieffe, was fouled inside the area following his mazy run.
The striker saw his penalty saved by Turner but was quickly on hand convert the rebound and seal his hat-trick.
The second half was much of the same as Salford kept up the pressure on the Ashton defence and came close with efforts from Nick Haughton and Josh Askew.
Having had their openings, Ashton’s consolation came on 80 minutes courtesy of a wonderful strike from Howarth which sailed past home stopper Max Crocombe into top right-corner.
Ashton boss Banim took the positives from the defeat away at Salford, as United bowed out.
He said: “In the second-half we got to grips with the game a little bit better, we got tighter, we stopped them getting free men in the middle of the park which was hurting us.
“We passed it well, which is what we do usually, it’s a lovely pitch so we could zip the ball about. The second half was pleasing, and we can take plus points from it.”