Friday night in freezing New Mills. Not everyone's ideal way to start the weekend but those from Salford who braved the journey were rewarded with a stunning performance from the Ammies which led to the third league victory in four games.
Matt Purcell opened the scoring after only six minutes, Wes Bancroft, returning after injury, held off a couple of challenges on the edge of the area and unselfishly squared for unmarked winger to slot home. 1-0.
As if to celebrate, the neighbouring church began its Friday night bell ringing practise which continued throughout the game providing a Christmassy soundtrack to the deadly mute New Mills supporters…
"It's just like being in church" sang the Salford supporters, followed by "And the bells rang out for Salford City" with the verse "You scumbag, you maggot, you cheap lousy faggot…" thrown in for the New Mills players (as a joke, before anyone starts going on about it)…
Meanwhile, on the pitch, Salford were looking dangerous every time they broke and could have been two or three up by half time. First Mark Battersby just couldn't quite connect with a low Wes Bancroft cross. Then Battersby brilliantly bamboozled a few defenders in the area before tee-ing up a volley for himself which the keeper saved at point blank range. Half time 1-0.
It didn't take Salford long to increase the scoring after the break, as Danny Browne, who had constantly tormented the New Mills defence, broke from the half way line skinning a few more defenders before cutting in and hammering a shot that hit the post. He smacked in the re-bound off the keeper to make it 2-0.
With New Mills offering little in return, and their keeper screaming at his players - amusing the Ammies supporters no end - Salford City attacked at will. A Warren Gaskin header from a corner was kicked off the line; an attempted chip by Mark Battersby was foiled by the goalie; and new signing and sub Troy Pennycooke-Morgan hit a shot wide at the far post. Another new signing, Damase Kiwanda, also on as sub, caused absolute havoc on the left wing.
There was still time for Mark Battersby - who on another night would have claimed a hat-trick - to have two more shots saved well by the annoyed New Mills keeper. Meanwhile, the Salford keeper Kieran O'Boyle, returning from injury, was rarely troubled as the Ammies kept a welcome clean sheet.
The final score of 2-0 didn't really do justice to the total domination of this game by Salford City. In form and looking up the league. With bells on...
Next home game is Harrogate Railway next Saturday 7th December, 3pm kick off Moor Lane
Photos by Andrew Goudie