It's well over a month since Salford City played at home and this derby against Radcliffe Borough, just a few points above us in the Unibond 1st Division, should have been the start of an emphatic climb up the league.
The scene was perfectly set, with the Salford Star Team of the Year Award and Rhodri Giggs' Salford Star Sports Personality of the Year Award being presented before kick off. But after that everything seemed to go as dull as the wet misty day that engulfed Moor Lane.
After only five minutes Radcliffe took the lead after a shot from outside the area somehow managed to skid through keeper Andy Robertson's hands to open the scoring. And seven minutes before half time Radcliffe doubled the score with another soft goal, after their forward evaded the Salford back line and was put clean through to shoot with ease into a gaping net.
In the second half Radcliffe sat back and allowed City to press forward without too much of a threat until, with 65 minutes on the clock, Rhodri Giggs picked up the ball well outside the Radcliffe area, glided past a couple of defenders and hit a brilliant shot into the right hand corner.
Thereafter Salford looked well capable of getting at least an equaliser. The eternally hard working and skilful Craig Mahon went painfully close with a shot which just curled around the post and centre half, Andy Pearson, could have squared it at the death with a clear sight of goal but he shot over from close range.
Definitely not a good start to the New Year for the Ammies with two straight defeats. But there is some good news on the horizon with an announcement imminent about a new club house and changing rooms, following last year's fire …
"We had a very positive meeting with a number of parties at Moor Lane last week and the next three or four weeks should see a lot of things happening" wrote Chairman Darren Quick in his programme notes.
Meanwhile, Salford City will be looking for revenge against Radcliffe at Moor Lane on Tuesday night in the Manchester Premier Cup and will be looking to move up the league with victory over Leigh Genesis at home again next Saturday.
There's also a new Salford City website being launched later this week at www.salfordcityfc.co,uk