A gritty battling never-say-die backs-against-the-wall (and all those other clichés) performance saw Salford City come away with all three points against high flying Witton Albion.
Normally it's the Ammies' attackers who take all the credit for victories but at Witton it was the back line of Matty Cross, Billy McCartney, Simon Woodford and Rick Watson, backed up by some game saving stops from 'keeper Andy `Rubes' Robertson, that kept Salford's undefeated run intact.
With the defence on song, Witton hardly got through on goal, and when they did, Rubes made two stunning saves – one, a leap to keep out a shot that was heading for the top corner, the other a point blank block in the six yard box that looked a goal all the way.
While Witton had most of the possession, it was Salford City that had the better chances. In the first minute winger Adam Morning curled a shot just over the bar, and a few minutes later forced the Witton goalie to make a save from an on-target effort hit with venom.
Witton tried knocking the ball around sweetly but Salford's defence broke up virtually every attack with some succulent tackling that would have pleased the Tranmere Rovers scout, here to check out a Witton defender. And it was Salford that nearly took the lead when Steve Foster, lurking at the far post, controlled an Adam Morning cross and rolled it just wide of the post. Half time 0-0.
The second half was only two minutes old when Steve Foster and Rhodri Giggs got onto yet another Adam Morning pass deep into the box. As the pair slid onto it, the ball hit the keeper's arm but Foster was first to react to the rebound, dinking it into the net. Witton Albion 0 Salford City 1.
The Witton supporters couldn't handle it and began to berate the referee at every decision, moaning louder and louder as the game went on - only to be mocked louder and louder by the Salford City supporters.
As Witton huffed and puffed and got nowhere but the brick wall that was Salford's defence, on the break the lead could have been doubled, with Adam Morning constantly finding room on the wing. Just before the final whistle, sub Ben Beresford got clear and around the keeper, only to be bundled over just outside the area. It all took up valuable seconds as Salford City held on to record yet another victory.
Before the kick off to this match, there was the strange sight in the club house of lots of FC United fans having a drink, as they were playing Northwich Victoria, whose ground is literally across the road from Witton's. During the minute's `Remembrance' silence before Salford's game you could hear the FC fans singing from the other ground. But by the end, FC fans were silent, beaten 1-0 by Northwich - and it was the Salford fans who were singing… `Rhodri Giggs' Tangerine Army'… `Going Up, Going Up, Going Up!!!!'
Salford City remain eighth in the League but are now just three points off second place.
Photos by Andrew Goudie