Just what do Salford City have to do to win a home game? You have to go way back to December 15th - before the snow, Christmas, £30,000 worth of Salford Council biscuits and even before John Terry and Cheryl Cole hit the headlines… yes that long ago – to find a 4-1 win against Mossley at Moor Lane.
In the meantime a parade of really rubbish teams have turned up in Salford and got away with wins or draws when they should have been bounced out of sight. The latest contenders were Warrington Town, complete with a dozen supporters, two big flags, a not very exciting team and an excitable manager.
Salford lined up with yet another new player – the 43rd of the season – Lewis Nightingale, a 19 year old first year professional from Huddersfield Town, loaned only until April 5th unfortunately. Played out on the left wing he looked a real prospect, terrifying the Warrington defence every time he went on a run. After 25 minutes he weaved into the penalty area and got scathed down, only for the no-eyed, bat-reared officials to wave play on.
It mattered not in the short term because five minutes later Stuart Tulloch put a wicked cross in from the right which was met at the far post by a stooping, diving header from Rhodri Giggs to open the scoring. Salford City 1 Warrington 0.
The Wazzas certainly had their moments in the first half, Andy Roberston pulling off some stunning saves to keep them at bay – but the half belonged to the Ammies, who played some top football and should have been further in front by the break.
The second period began with a Warrington player managing to loft the ball over the bar from about an inch out. But following that it was constant Salford pressure. On a rare foray, however, it was Warrington who equalised after 25minutes of the half when a cross was watched by the defence as the ball pinged about and a forward gleefully tucked it home. 1-1.
Wave after wave of Salford sorties followed as the wind floated Robertson's kicks high into the Warrington half. At one point Neville went clean through but pondered too long whether to pass to Giggs on his left or have a go himself. By the time his shot came in the defence slid back to knock the ball out for a corner. So on came City legend Barry Massay, the ballastic impact sub, and he could have finished the contest but his shot was foiled by the Warrington keeper with a few minutes to go.
So Salford had to settle for yet another home draw, provided by yet another Giggs goal but with Nightingale on the left and Tulloch on the right the play is getting prettier and potentially more deadly…
The Rossendale hillbillies are next up on Tuesday night, as Salford breaks out the horse and carts and heads for the middle of nowhere…
Photos by Andrew Goudie