Salford City yesterday had the chance to leapfrog Bamber Bridge in the league and stay in touch with the play off positions but a late soft penalty allowed the Bambis to sneak a draw at Moor Lane.
Hampered by the gusty wind and heavy pitch, Salford were slow to get going and it was Bamber that had most of the first half chances, blasting every one of them about a mile over the bar, much to the delight of the Ammies' fans and their donkey brays.
In fact, absolutely nothing happened in a dour first half until the 43rd minute when a mix up in defence allowed a Bamber attacker to break through and slide the ball past Chris Howarth in the Salford goal. Just one minute later, however, the Ammies were level. New striker Osebi Abadaki challenged the giant Bamber centre half in the air and the ball fell for Gavin Salmon, lurking near the penalty spot who crashed in an unstoppable shot. Half time 1-1.
The second half should have seen Salford collect the three points, after Bamber's centre forward was sent off for a second yellow for scything down Darren Hockenhall on the edge of the defender's area. The Ammies finally began to play passing football and it paid off just after the 60th minute when Cayne Hanley threaded a pass to Jamie Baguley who squeezed the ball past the Bamber keeper from an incredibly tight angle. 2-1
Salford had chances to increase the lead, firstly with a mighty scramble in the Bamber six yard area which eventually ended with a panicked clearance, and later when Raphale Evans scooped the ball over the bar, Bamber-style.
With chances not taken, Bamber were able to sneak back into the game with a soft penalty late on, when their winger, on the by line with nowhere to go, begged to be tripped and a Salford defender duly obliged. Chris Howarth flung himself to his left to save the penalty but couldn't stop the follow up and Bamber Bridge had got the draw.
So, with a point being little use, Salford remain in mid table, with Ossett Town and Warrington away to come this Tuesday and Saturday.
Meanwhile, Salford City Youth team is storming the North West Youth Alliance First Division, 15 points clear before yesterday's game…
Photos by Andrew Goudie and Gareth Lyons.
Main pic by Andrew Goudie