Gainsborough Trinity started their Bank Holiday double header with a narrow 3-2 defeat away at much fancied Salford City.
A bright start for Trinity in their ‘volt’ change strip saw them take a lead inside the opening five minutes, with Ashley Worsfold rising highest to power home a header off the underside of the bar from a Matt Thornhill corner, before two goals in two minutes, five before the break turned the game on its’ head.
An impressive opening 20 minutes from the Lincolnshire visitors failed to yield a second goal and Trinity were made to pay when Simon Grand turned home from close range after James Poole’s free kick rebounded back off the post.
The second came a minute later when a Michael Nottingham centre was driven in by Mike Phenix.
And in a crazy final six minutes of the opening period, Salford could have undone their hardwork when James Poole went in with a wild challenge on Ashley Worsfold and was lucky to escape with only a yellow card from referee Underwood.
Despite going in at the break behind, Trinity came back out looking to get into the game.
A lot of endeavour was on display from Dominic Roma’s men – and with Darnelle Bailey-King growing into the game and getting the better of O’Halloran the Salford left back, Trinity looked like they would be able to haul themselves back into the game.
Any hope of that looked to disintegrate however, when captain Nathan Jarman was shown a straight red card, for an elbow. Roma responded immediately by shuffling the pack, introducing Jacob Hazel and Jake Scott to the action.
Although Salford saw more of the ball, Trinity continued to threaten on the break and reduce Salford to speculative shots from range that were comfortably dealt with by Jonathan Hedge.
Four minutes from time however, Trinity as they piled forward were undone by a sucker-punch. Caught on a rapid break, led by Craig King stemming from a Gainsborough set piece, Hedge had to be alert to divert Nottingham’s near post effort round for a corner.
From a subsequent corner, Hedge was impeded and as Gainsborough appealed, centre back Preistley was in the right place at the right time to head home and kill the game off.
Not to be deterred though, Roma’s men rallied again and superb wing play by Bailey-King won his side a corner, which substitute James Reid swung in to the far post, Ioan Evans leaping highest to head back across goal, where centre back partner Adam Quinn couldn’t miss, heading in virtually on the goal line, to narrow the deficit on 90 minutes.
Salford City FC: Lynch, Nottingham, O’Halloran, Burton, Grand, Priestley, King, Walker, Phenix, (Warburton 74’) Poole (Allen 70’), Hulme (Johnstone 86)
Subs not used: Worley & Clark
Gainsborough Trinity FC: Hedge, Picton, Lacey, Thornhill, Evans, Quinn, Bailey-King, Wiles (Reid 83’) Worsfold (Hazel 74’) Jarman, Rothery (Scott 74’)
Subs not used: Beatson, Eastwood.
Referee: David Underwood.