Salford City extended their unbeaten start of this year’s Vanarama National League North campaign with a 1-0 win against FC United.
In a game that had Moor Lane rocking like never before, Mike Phenix scored the only goal of the match to silence the hundreds of traveling supporters.
The result boosts Salford up to fifth in the table, behind the likes of Gloucester City and table-topping AFC Fylde.
It took 10 minutes before the first shot on target was delivered by Jason Gilchrist.
After a Salford clearance from the corner, defender Tom Eckersley showcased superb ball control and passing abilities, pinging a play-switching ball to the forward, however his show was tame and fell straight into the hands of Jay Lynch.
Salford’s first chance came 11 minutes later and was much needed as FC’s massive and passionate support made The Ammies seem like the away side.
Jordan Hulme broke free of Chris Chantler’s marking, but couldn’t direct his shot on goal.
A minute later The Ammies got an even better opportunity after a corner whipped in by James Poole was met by Simon Grand whose header was denied by the crossbar.
In a game that continued to ebb and flow towards the half hour mark, FC United had the lion’s share of chances including a goalmouth scramble thanks to their pinpoint passing, but couldn’t find the back of the net.
It was Salford though, against the run of play, that struck first blood.
On a lightning counter attack, Mike Phenix secured his second in two games after an inside run put him one on one with Dave Carnell.
The forward didn’t miss a beat and struck it clean into the far corner.
Within seconds of the second half kicking off, Salford had a chance to double their lead through Sam Walker who burst through the FC midfield and fired a powerful shot that blazed over the bar.
Jason Gilchrist had easily the best chance for FC United to equalise after 50 minutes.
The striker did well to breeze past Michael Nottingham and find himself with only Lynch to bear, but he sliced what seemed an easy shot well over the bar.
It did raise The Red Rebels fans to fever pitch.
They were now rocking the shed opposite the Moor Lane stand that they had made their own through the match.
But Salford continued to frustrate, almost a carbon copy of how Gloucester City played against The Ammies on the opening day of the season.
Tensions almost boiled over when both teams had the handbags ready after a bad challenge by Scott Kay on Michael Nottingham, the FC midfielder was promptly booked as referee Richard Wild kept the situation well under control.
But it was no good for FC, who would leave Moor Lane empty-handed.
Salford will travel down the M6 for their next game away to Warwickshire side Nuneaton Town on Saturday 20 August.
Salford City (4-3-3): Lynch, Nottingham, O’Halloran, Burton, Grand (c), Priestley, Warburton, Walker, Phenix (Allen ‘86), Poole, Hulme
Subs Not Used: Clark, Barnes, King, Allen, Johnston
Booked: Walker ‘44 Hulme ‘82
FC United of Manchester: (4-4-2 Diamond): Carnell, Tonge (c), Chantler, Kay, Eckersley, Ashworth, Wolfenden (Madeley ‘68), Sheridan (Greaves ‘62), Johnson (Thomson ‘62), Winter,
Booked: Eckersley ‘56, Kay ‘74 Winter ‘76 Ashworth ‘91
Subs Not Used: Lowe, Williams.
Referee: Richard Wild (Greater Manchester)
*Correction*: The original article incorrectly listed Salford City’s next opponents as Tamworth, they are in fact playing Nuneaton Town in Warwickshire on Saturday August 20th. The original article also listed the attendance as 1,473 which was much lower than the official attendance of 1,966.*
Main image: Mike Phenix lines up the shot that wins the match – courtesy Salford City FC Youtube