Yet more new faces lined up for Salford City as Ammies players come and go in this year's revolving turnstile that is Moor Lane. Making their debuts today were Lee Woodyatt at right back and James Green on the right wing, to add to recent new signings Melford Knight and Steve Burke.
Meanwhile, in goal for Trafford was former Salford City legend Andy Robertson and, on the Trafford bench, another former Ammies stalwart, Gareth Thomas. With both teams out of play-off contention, the game was about bragging rights. No-one won that one but Salford certainly won the battling rights, coming back twice from a goal down to squeeze a draw.
Trafford took the lead after only nine minutes, a header from a corner that ghosted through the Salford defence into the net. For the rest of the half, apart from a Melford Knight header that went close for Salford, Trafford were almost in control of everything, bar their shooting boots – hammering a variety of shots anywhere but on target; ten miles over the crossbar, six miles wide of the post; two inches past the tractor in the next field…
…And banana booted Trafford paid in first half injury time when Steve Burke controlled the ball on the corner of the penalty area and slapped a superb shot into the top corner of the net past the despairing Andy Robertson. Half time 1-1.
More of the same ensued in the second half with Trafford unable to find the target, and when they did, found Salford keeper Chris Howarth in fine form. Unfortunately Howarth could do nothing to stop Trafford's second goal, a tap in from a breakaway move.
With Trafford's meagre support finding its voice, silence reigned again minutes later when Salford pulled a goal back, Chris Green hammering in a debut second equaliser from the edge of the six yard box after a corner was dropped by the statuesque former Ammies idol, Robertson. 2-2.
Trafford huffed and puffed for the rest of the game but battling new look Salford held out in what will be seen as a moral victory. Two shots (and a header), two goals. A finish above Trafford is now well on the cards.
The next game is yet another local derby against Radcliffe Borough at Moor Lane on Easter Monday – kick off 3pm. More details at www.salfordcityfc.co.uk
Photos by Gareth Lyons