So many times this season Salford City have found themselves two or three goals down, only to mount stunning fightbacks that have sometimes led to draws or very narrow defeats. Think FC United in the FA Cup, when three goals down and looking out for the silverware count, the Ammies surged back and could have equalised in the last second.
Today was no different. Lethargic in the first half, two goals were gifted to Ramsbottom, both from unchallenged runs and crosses that were tapped in by attackers. Even when the Rams' keeper was taken off injured and replaced by a diminutive outfield player, Salford still could hardly muster a shot on goal. At the half time break, and 2-0 down, the Ammies looked out of the contest.
Things got worse early in the second half when, still unable to manage an effort on target, the Ammies fell further behind as a corner was flapped by Ritchie Branagan onto the head of a Ramsbottom attacker who made it 3-0.
Three goals down, twenty minutes to go and no shots at goal for the non-keeper in the Ramsbottom nets to save. As usual it was time for the Ammies to start playing.
Jamie Rother took the game by the scruff of the net, hitting another Gareth Bale-alike spectacular goal from outside of the area, just like he did in the midweek draw against Harrogate Railway. A stunner that no keeper, never mind a dwarf in an oversized goalkeeper shirt, could have got near. 1-3.
The three Salford subs, who had come on like the cavalry, were changing the game. With eight minutes remaining, Calvin Crooks took one of his mighty throw ins and big Rob Kinsella, despite being scragged by a gaggle of Rams defenders, got his head to the ball and directed into the far corner of the net with the `keeper' watching helpless. 2-3.
For the last few minutes Salford piled on the pressure, Ramsbottom camped in their own half, and every Salford player piling forward for an aerial bombardment. Twice in the last few seconds defenders had to clear off the line to rescue a win that keeps them in the play-off places.
Meanwhile, Salford will be questioning why, too many times this season they've had to mount stirring comebacks. Very exciting. But fans would rather just have one of those boring 1-0 wins sometimes…or even a draw.
* Ammies player Andy Heald, who has been caretaker manager over the last few months, was this week named as the new Salford City FC permanent manager, with Chris Thompson as his assistant.
Photos by Andrew Goudie and Gareth Lyons