`Are you betting on the game? Are you bet-ting on the game?'
Fifteen minutes after the match has finished and the players are in the club house having a drink and some post match butties. But where is the referee and his assistants? They're still locked in the dressing room, asking for their butties to be brought in, too scared to face the wrath of the Salford fans after a decision that may well cost the club promotion come the end of the season.
And what a shocking decision it was. With minutes to go Salford had fought their way back into the game, a Dean Cooper shot rolling into the net after rolling off the chocolate palms of the Clitheroe keeper. It was two apiece and many Salford fans would have taken that scoreline, Clitheroe having taken the lead in the first half and added a second with half an hour of the match to go.
In the 70th minute Steve Foster had pulled one back for the Ammies, scoring his first league goal of the season following a Sam Freakes corner. Salford piled on the pressure and were unlucky not to equalise when, first the Clitheroe full back headed a Martyn Andrews effort off the line, and then when Steve Foster whipped the ball over the bar from the edge of the area following a lay off from Rhodri Giggs.
Salford had eventually got the reward their pressure deserved when Dean Cooper equalised with four minutes to go but the ref and his liner intervened to spoil the day. Two minutes into injury time a pass out to the Clitheroe winger saw the bloke at least a yard offside as he raced through the Salford defence. The linesman's flag stayed down. The referee kept his whistle up his bum and the lucky winger crossed for a Clitheroe forward, who also looked offside, to score the winner.
It was a horrible way for Salford to lose a proud undefeated home record that stretched way back to last winter. And the referee and his `assistants'? As far as we know, the terrified trio are still in the dressing rooms, trying to tunnel their way out with a teaspoon…
Hopefully Radcliffe Borough, who Salford City play in the big local derby next weekend, will suffer the backlash…
Photos by Mikey K and Anya K