Salford City were beaten 3-1 away at Huddersfield Town in their latest Central League outing.
The hosts took an early lead before Luke Armstrong levelled things before the break, however a second half brace scored by Kieran Phillips secured victory for the Terriers.
A soggy afternoon in Yorkshire, and Salford’s game plan was quickly extinguished when Sam Peplow notched his side in front after just five minutes. Terriers captain Ben Jackson played a ball between the defence which was picked up by Peplow, who rounded Nick Hayes before dispatching into the vacant goal.
Not an ideal start, but The Ammies grew into the contest as the game continued. In the 10th minute Mani Dieseruvwe was brought down and George Boyd took the free kick quickly, picking out Armstrong in the box. The former Middlesbrough striker hit a shot that was saved by Ryan Schofield, who picked himself up quickly to react and save Dieseruvwe’s follow-up.
The front man has two goals from his last three games and had another sight five minutes later when a Salford free-kick on the left was cleared to him as he waited on the edge of the area. He hit a shot on the half volley but could only watch as it spun away from the far post.
Not a bad response and a couple of minutes later Martin Smith nearly took advantage of the inclement weather. A free-kick was won on the left which the midfielder floated in, and the wind picked the cross up, blowing it dangerously towards goal. Schofield was scrambling to get back, but in the end he was fortunate in the end to see it drop over the crossbar.
He was being tested again shortly after when Armstrong won possession high up the field and played in Boyd. The 35-year-old headed a ball to Dieseruvwe who squared a cross back to Armstrong, now in the middle, but his effort was again saved by Schofield.
Huddersfield’s turn next as Peplow was challenged well by Tylor Golden, but possession came back to Kian Harratt who in turn found Jackson to lash a shot wide of the far post.
Approaching the half hour mark it was still Salford with the majority of the chances. Dieseruvwe was on the end of a high press but could only drill a low shot wide, before closing down another clearance and seeing his resulting effort smothered by Schofield, then shooting wide of the post again in a good spell.
Eventually The Ammies did find an equaliser, although there was a literal slice of good fortune. Schofield came to meet a short back-pass, but got right underneath the clearance which rose into the air and blew behind him. Boyd seized upon the error and despite a tightening angle fancied his chances, only to be denied by the recovering Schofield, nevertheless Armstrong was also on hand and made no mistake in burying his shot with Schofield tangled around the post.
Harratt couldn’t find a way to restore Huddersfield’s lead a couple of minutes later, with his shot flying across goal and wide, before a rising Kevin Berkoe drive for Salford at the other end also missed the target.
Salford carved out one more chance before the break when Boyd found himself in space 25 yards from goal, but his mis-hit effort was gathered.
The rain continued to lash down, and a slip-up early in the second half saw Salford go behind again. Like in the first, a ball in behind parted the defence with Phillips the benefactor, tucking away his first of the afternoon with near-enough his first touch after coming on as a substitute.
Chances were less regular in the second period, but the first came to Martin Smith from a set-piece, left-of-centre, which rose over the bar. A couple of minutes later Armstrong won possession for Salford inside the penalty area but Brandon Thomas-Asante could only clear the bar with his effort.
The last Salford chance of any note also came to the 21-year-old shortly after the hour mark. Dieseruvwe was brought down as he tried to break into the area, but Thomas-Asante’s shot was frustratingly also over the cross bar.
Fortune can be a favouring quality, and it favoured Huddersfield in the 69th minute to put the game to bed. An attempted clearance ricocheted off the back of Golden and dropped kindly for Phillips to control, turn and pass a low shot beneath the oncoming Hayes.
Salford continued to search for openings, but were perhaps guilty at times of taking too many touches and allowing Huddersfield to clear their lines.
We will have to wait until the new year now to pick up on the Central League, when Walsall are due to visit, but so far The Ammies have won one and lost one.
Starting XI: Nick Hayes, Tylor Golden, Kevin Berkoe, Hayden Campbell, Sam Fielding, Martin Smith, Dan Hawkins, Luke Armstrong, Mani Dieseruvwe, Brandon Thomas-Asante, George Boyd (c).
Subs: Hayden Evans, Harry Ditchfield, Cerny Ando, Matt Sargent.