No-one gave Salford's top team a chance of avoiding relegation from the Unibond Division One North…not the bookies who had Salford down as favourites for the drop before a ball had even been kicked this season…Nor the rest of the division who came to Moor Lane expecting to stuff the Ammies…Not anyone. But Salford's staying up. And now you're gonna believe it!!!
Hawaii Five Oh!
Why is everyone in Hawaiian outfits? No-one knows. Where the hell is Garforth? No-one cares. Salford City have laid on a free coach for fans to go and cheer the Ammies on the last day of a mad mad mad season. All those who had stood in the sleet and the rain and the icy Kersal wind watching us get walloped every week have come out to play in the sun, hoping the miracle will happen. The maths is simple. Salford City have to win. And Rossendale United have to lose or draw. Any other score and Salford are back down to the Vodcat land of Bacup Borough.
Ten minutes into the game and a Garforth fan shouts up that Mossley are winning at Rossendale. A few minutes lates he shouts that they're getting stuffed 3-0. Is he taking the piss? Apparently not, as word filters through and the chants reach the players…`3-0 to the Moss-e-ley'…Salford's Staying Up!!!
And then…And then…Garforth score with their first and only shot on target…
Hawaii Five Oh Shit!
Half time and it's Garforth 1 Salford City 0, despite all the pressure coming from the Ammies. We're still in the bar drowning our sorrows when we reappear to find Salford have equalised in the first minute of the second half. And then Salford score again! And again! It's 3-1…then 4-1…then 5-1…then 5-2! Who scored the goals? Haven't a clue. It's a blur. And Rossendale are still getting stuffed. And then the final whistle goes. And everyone knows that Rossendale are down and Salford are staying up. And everyone's on the pitch celebrating with the players singing The Great Escape…
De De - De..Derr..Da..De De – De..Derr..De.De Derr De Derr - SALFORD!!!
We serenade the Garforth fans…`We'll see you all next year…We'll see you all next year…We'll see you all next yeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrr'
And it's hats off to Darren Quick – ex-player and chairman of Salford City for having the balls to change managers three times during the season and changing the team a zillion times until he got it right.
"I'm absolutely delighted for the football club, the players, the fans…I still can't really believe it" says Darren "It's not only down to me – there's Dave Russell along with a few other people who have helped with the finances. I'm still a bit numb to be honest to realise that we've actually done it. This morning I thought that Mossley could go and get something at Rossendale but could we beat Garforth? Now we're two points ahead of them and it's great.
"Having gone through this experience we didn't realise how difficult it was going to be" he adds "We're going to build on this for next season. We want to see all the players back here next year. But now we're going back to Moor Lane for a drink…"
And so we pile on the coach back to Moor Lane for that drink, listening to United winning 5-2 against Spurs. But who cares? The real 5-2 was Salford's.
Hawaii Five Oooh Ooooh Oooooooh Yeeeeeeess!
And the fans?
"I've been supporting them for nearly eleven years, often when we played away I was the only supporter" says Tony "I was there when Salford won the league cup but this was better…"
And there's Richard and Mozzer, Carl and Adam
"Totally unbelievable…After that first half when we were 1-0 down, I never envisaged that we would come back and hit them with five goals in the second half…
"What a bloody great day out to stay up in the Unibond that's all we wanted. What can you say? We're going to have several pints of Guiness and enjoy it"
"Talk about the great escape…talk about coming back from the dead…The best football game I've ever been to in my life…brilliant…"
"COME ON SALFORD!"
Salford City's goals were scored by Steve Foster (2), Ian Fitzpatrick, Martyn Andrews and Steve Moore. For a proper match report see www.salfordcityfc.com
see the film they made about Salford City