A match that was heading for a draw was suddenly turned on its head eight minutes from time when sub Wes Bancroft, on the edge of the area and surrounded by Harrogate Railway defenders, tee'd himself up and unleashed a ferocious half volley that flew over the keeper's flailing arms and into the top right corner of the net.
It was a stunning goal, only matched by the joyous celebrations of Wes, the whole team and the managers as months of re-building came to fruition.
The Ammies, in the light blue away kit, lined up with only the majestic Aaron Walters left from the team that finished last season, plus the return of skipper Alex Mortimer and Wes Bancroft after a few seasons absence. The Spanish contingent was missing, with two awaiting international clearance and another suspended. But Salford were solid throughout, piling on the pressure in the opening period, as winger Stuart Cook shot just wide and the busy, tricky Michael Gill had a header saved by the Beavers' keeper.
While the Ammies' new players were getting used to Harrogate Railway's full tilt pitch and the pathetic brandishing of yellow cards by the clown ref, the home side got a couple of good shots on target, well stopped by goalie Kieran O'Boyle. So the first half ended 0-0.
In the second period Salford City continued to press, and the ref continued to confetti cards to both teams for the slightest touches, as the game looked set to peter out as a scoreless draw. Then, with just under half an hour left, Wes Bancroft came on, Salford pushed two up front, the chances came and the match turned.
First Bancroft had a shot from the left collected by the keeper, then, with six minutes left, he hit that scorching half volley, a shot that deserved to win any match. The Carlos Tevez style roar into the Salford Star camera said it all, as team mates and the managers piled in to congratulate him. This new Salford City team has an amazing spirit already, fostered by new co-managers Barry Massay and Phil Power - and the first win ever on the opening day of an Evo-Stik First Division North season.
It's only the first victory of a very long campaign, so supporters shouldn't get excited. But sod that, let's get excited. Let's get very excited. The Ammies are on the up!!!
Salford City have two home games coming up –
Tuesday 20th August v Clitheroe at Moor Lane 7:45pm kick off
Saturday 24th August v Northwich Victoria at Moor Lane 3pm kick off
For further details see the official Salford City FC website – click here
For Salford City supporters banter see also the Forum – click here (best to register)
Photos by Andrew Goudie