In the end it was well worth the trip up to the lost civilisation of hillbilly land Clitheroe, via roads where sheep kiss your car windows and road markings are a thing of the future. Rhodri Giggs' winner at the end of the first half of extra time ensured a run in the FA Trophy, following Saturday's draw when a dramatic last minute Salford goal grabbed this replay (see here).
As they did in the first game, Clitheroe took an early lead and must have felt like they were cruising to victory. But this time, Salford just didn't let them get a first half grip, storming back with some top attacking play that led to chances for Danny Heffernan and Scott Metcalfe.
Midway through the half, Metcalfe was weaving his way through the Clitheroe defence when he was tripped in the area. He brushed himself down, hit the penalty hard and low to the left but the Clitheroe keeper made a great save.
Meanwhile, Clitheroe were launching some dangerous attacks themselves, one of which led to the new Salford keeper, Josh Welsby, making a triple save with his feet, legs and head. With Clitheroe fans already dreaming of the half time pies, however, Danny Heffernan poked in a shot at the far post to make it 1-1.
In the second half, Salford got the scent of victory and first Danny Heffernan and then Gavin Salmon had shots that flashed past the upright. But Clitheroe hit back, with one audacious effort from well outside the area slapping the base of the post.
Clitheroe were given a further boost when Salford's centre half, Rafale Evans, was sent off for a second yellow card, following an off the ball incident that no-one but the referee appeared to see.
With only ten men and the rain sodden pitch soaking up energy, Salford clung on to take the game into extra game with the full time score 1-1.
In the first half of extra time, Rhodri Giggs brought himself on as a sub, and every time he got the ball Salford came alive. And it was Giggs who sealed the victory, rounding the despairing Clitheroe keeper to make it 2-1.
The second half of extra time saw Clitheroe throw everything at the Salford defence, which stood firm despite almost constant pressure. Even so, Glyn Barker could have made the game safe in the final few minutes but lifted his shot just over the bar.
At the final whistle, there was total joy on the faces of the Salford City team which, despite being shorn of five first team regulars and having a man sent off, had battled to a brilliant, hard fought, but deserved victory.
Next round of the FA Trophy: Burscough away.
Meanwhile this Friday night Salford are back in league action, facing unbeaten Curzon Ashton at Moor Lane 7:45pm kick off.
Photos by Andrew Goudie