Salford City earned a first league win since the opening day after beating Grimsby Town 1-0 at The Peninsula Stadium.
A stunning first half free kick was scored by Mark Shelton to settle the tie, a drilled shot from 25 yards which was not dealt with by James McKeown.
The visitors had the ball in the back of the net early in the second half and Jordan Cook thought he had equalised with an equally impressive free kick, however the effort was ruled out after being guilty of infringing a new rule regarding defensive walls.
Grimsby pushed on and nearly snatched another late point, as they did at Oldham Athletic on Saturday, but ultimately were denied by the brilliant Kyle Letheren who tipped over a Luke Waterfall shot.
The Ammies now haven’t lost a home league midweek game since January 2016, now a run of 18 games, but more importantly Graham Alexander said it was a relief to get a second league win of the season.
“It was what we needed, I thought the players were absolutely magnificent.
“Yesterday, we were talking about the character we needed to show that represents the City of Salford, the club of Salford, and I thought we showed that in abundance.
“I thought every single player threw his body on the line and he just left everything out on that pitch tonight and that’s what it took you know, Grimsby are a good team, they’ve got a bit of everything, strength and height up front but they’ve got good players and a lot of energy and I think we knew that we’d have to defend for certain spells, but defend we did and the quality goal from Shelts has won us the game.
“We looked at it, we looked at the big players and the players that got us into the Football League really, and that’s no detriment to the new lads that we’ve brought in but we felt tonight was a sort of game for us to dig into what we’ve done previous really and use that, and that’s what we decided to do.
“We could see the player was infringing our wall and the new rules, the fourth official to be fair to him was saying it straight away to the ref, but the ref couldn’t hear it because of the euphoria of their supporters but as soon as the noise died down I knew the ref had took the message.”
One of eight changes tonight, defender Cameron Burgess described it as a ‘massive’ win and was pleased to get a chance to play himself after arriving on loan from Scunthorpe United for the season.
“It was massive for us, good to get a clean sheet first and foremost, it was a big graft for us but we did the right things, made the right decisions and you could see what it meant to everybody at the end of the game, big celebrations from everybody, everyone comes off with a smile on their face.
“It’s been frustrating not to play, but to get a chance is good and to return that faith with a clean sheet as well, but obviously we’ve got a big squad and a good squad at that so everyone’s chomping at the bit to get in which makes it really competitive and everybody knew that coming in so it’s more of the same from everybody.”