There was a run in the second half of this game, where Nelson Mota jinked and dinked his way past two defenders, leaving them literally on their arses, and then rounded the Padiham keeper for what should have been a third sublime Salford City goal – but the ball got stuck between a divot and Mota's heel, allowing the keeper to scramble back and grasp it for the score to remain at 2-1.
Nevertheless, this run and more by French and Portuguese national Mota, whose international clearance finally came through this week, was enough to get Salford fans purring with talk of the Irwell's answer to Messi and Bale.
Mota, who played last year for the famous Spanish team Atletico Sanluqeno Club de Futbol Atacante, opened the scoring for Salford City after 16 minutes, slotting home after winning back the ball from the aged Padiham defenders on the edge of the area. 1-0.
With Padiham offering very little in attack but disrupting the midfield with Stoke-style tendencies, Salford couldn't quite break through the final third of the pitch, despite completely dominating possession.
But just as the Ammies looked to complete the first half with a solitary goal for their efforts, Lee Hodgkinson, pounced on a through ball from the buzzing Wes Bancroft, turned and curled a stunning shot past the Padiham keeper. 2-0.
And in added time there were another two chances for Salford to increase the lead even further – the Padiham keeper saving with his knees from a vicious Wes Bancroft shot with Nelson Mota, following up, not able to keep his shot from looping over the bar. Padiham went in at half time relieved to be only 2-0 down.
The Lancashire team came out for the second half with nothing to lose – but another ten goals – and proceeded to try and impose their physical long ball game, admirably dealt with by centre backs Otis Gorman and Balotelli-alike Aaron Walters. Forward Danny Browne, filling in at left back, and Mike Aston at right back also had solid games. Indeed, Padiham were only ever going to score from set pieces, and so it came to pass with a header from a corner after 65 minutes. 2-1.
Salford almost hit back with that stunning run from Mota, while sub Eder Ruiz twice stung the hands of the Padiham keeper. As time ticked away Padiham, sensing the possibility of grabbing a draw, poured forward, Kieran O'Boyle making two top saves, the second from a free kick in the last minute.
In between, Nathan Bond, forced yet another save from the Padiham keeper, as the game ended with a Salford victory and the Ammies up to fifth place in the league in the play-off spot. The scoreline flattered well stuffed, newly promoted, Padiham.
That's five games unbeaten in league for the Ammies, bouncing back in style from last week's FA Cup disappointment at Cammell Laird – who they play again, away in the league, on Tuesday night. The Scousers will see a very different Salford City this time.
The game was watched by Salford's former champion boxer Jamie Moore, who tweeted `Really enjoyed it. Reckon me and Mikey will be makin a regular thing'...
The Ammies need more Salford people, like Jamie Moore, to roar us on to promotion. Next home game v Bamber Bridge Tuesday 17th September 7:45pm. The tangerine devilution has begun.
Photos by Andrew Goudie and Gareth Lyons
Main photo by Gareth Lyons