It was tempting for the Salford City fans to sing `We all hate Manx and Manx and Manx' but that would have been unfair to the Isle of Man national team who might not have got the double entendre. Instead Ammies fans made do with a couple of tongue in cheek choruses of `Tax, tax, tax dodgers' and `You're worse than Isla St Clair'…
For the most part, however, this big international friendly was played in a good spirit, as Salford City tried out over twenty different players (more than the whole population of the Isle of Man) during the match to try and find the lucky eleven who will start the season in the hallowed tangerine jersey.
Those who started the game got a shock after only ten minutes when an Isle of Man forward, whose third leg was definitely offside, rounded the keeper and opened the scoring. 0-1.
Indeed, the Manx were looking a bit impressive, going close with shots on a couple of occasions, but Salford evened the game up after thirty minutes when Danny Brown hammered in a half volley from nine yards. 1-1.
Five minutes later the Ammies took the lead, Wes Bancroft breaking free and hitting an unstoppable shot that flew into the left hand corner of the net. 2-1. Danny Brown could have added to his tally but his effort screwed narrowly wide. Half time: 2-1
Salford started with almost a completely fresh side in the second half and made changes throughout the following 45 minutes as fans scratched their heads trying to work out who was who. However, trialist Eder Ruiz impressed throughout, while `old boy' Ossie Abadaki - one of the few survivors from last season's team - produced the winner, bending a shot around the keeper with the outside of his boot. 3-1.
Manx hit back to make the score 3-2 and would have played for the last ten minutes with their tails up – if they'd had any. In the event they went looking for the draw with some attacking style but ran out of time, and Salford City won their first genuine international fixture.
With only two friendly games left – Chorley at home this Tuesday (7:30pm) and Trafford at home on Saturday (3pm) – new co-managers Barry Massey and Phil Power have the hard job of sorting out a starting line-up before the real season starts on 17th August, away at Harrogate Railway.
• Following the Manx match, there was a charity fun day and All Stars 11 v Morson game at Moor Lane – which featured Coronation Street Salford stars Andy Whyment and Alan Halsall, plus the return of former Ammies player manager Rhodri Giggs in an unfamiliar Beckenbauer role at the back…and Ammies co-manager Barry Massey in nets.
Photos by Andrew Goudie