Yet again, lucky, `cheating', Curzon Ashton escaped Moor Lane without defeat, despite intense Salford City pressure that should have seen the Ammies take all the points.
With winger Osebi Adabaki constantly mesmerizing the Curzon defence and player/manager Darren Sheridan showing his Premiership midfield class, the Tameside team were constantly on the back foot, their chances relying on quick breaks, each one of which was squandered in the six yard box.
Salford City took a deserved lead after 30 minutes, Steve Yarwood beating a couple of defenders before squeezing the ball past former Ammies' keeper, Josh Ollerenshaw. 1-0 Salford City.
Salford could have doubled the lead a few minutes later, as Adabaki tied the Ashton defence in knots before crossing for Yarwood to push his shot just past the post. Half time 1-0.
Salford City began the second half in similar style, Adrian Bellamy heading just over the bar from a free kick, and Chris Thompson skying a chance in the six yard box.
Against the run of play, Curzon equalised with a scrappy goal mid-way through the half to make it 1-1, and then relied on play acting to frustrate Salford's attempts to regain the lead, the left back, in particular, hitting the deck, feigning death at every opportunity.
With a good crowd urging them on, Salford came closest to scoring as the game opened up, one effort hacked off the line by a Curzon defender. And then the referee ruined the excitement by inexplicably sending off Ammies' captain Jimmy Holden for a second yellow card `offence' which no-one but him actually saw. Now down to ten men, Salford sat deep and held on for the draw, to give Darren Sheridan an unbeaten start to the season.
The new Salford City team is looking good for a play-off place at least, judging by this performance against an Ashton side already the bookies' favourites for promotion.
Next up at home is the FA Cup against either Runcorn Linnets or Hemsworth MW – 25th August 3pm, before another home game against big spending local rivals Radcliffe Borough on Bank Holiday Monday 27th August 3pm..
Read the Salford Star interview with Darren Sheridan – click here
Photos by Andrew Goudie