In a strange way the final result is one that both sides will be happy with but for completely different reasons. Mossley because its three points and four goals that takes them joint top of the Unibond First Division North and Salford because it was only four goals.
The game however may have had an altogether different complexion had Mark Dwyer's sixteenth minute shot (City's one real effort of note) bounced over the goal line and not along it after cannoning off the post. It was a moment of good fortune for Mossley but nothing compared to some of the luck Salford were enjoying at the opposite end of the Moor Lane pitch.
Not only had the visitors had a seventh minute Danny Dignan effort narrowly ruled out for offside, Salford also survived two extremely good claims for a penalty. The first coming after Dignan was floored by a challenge from behind by Tudor as he broke into the box and a second when a Lee Blackshaw free-kick was diverted over the cross bar by a raised arm in the Salford defensive wall.
That said the City defence were, in the main, doing some sterling work in trying to repel the flood of white shirts charging towards their goal. But with Mossley showing a significantly greater degree of invention and pace as the game wore on it looked more and more like a cause that the home side were going to lose sooner rather than later.
And so it proved in the thirtieth minute when the Lilywhites finally took the lead. A free-kick awarded 25 yards out for a block on Ryan Cook was converted by Michael Fish. The Mossley number nine stroking the ball almost effortlessly past both the Salford wall and a goalkeeper who remained rooted to the spot.
The second goal followed a host of missed opportunities by the visitors and like the first was scored from distance. This time though it came through some good football in open play by debut maker Cook and finished by the right boot of Danny Dignan.
A lengthy half-time interval failed to knock Mossley out of their stride and within seconds of the restart City's defence was once more under siege. Chances were again coming thick and fast but it wasn't until just before the hour point in the game that Mossley finally killed off any lingering doubt, if indeed there was any at this stage, as to where the three points would be heading.
For the second time in the match it was Fish who found the back of the net, directing Nick Boshell's perfectly weighted ball from the right wing past Salford keeper Martin Campbell from close range. Eight minutes later Mossley's leading scorer completed a deserved hat-trick by placing another right wing cross beyond the reach of Campbell; Dignan supplying the assist this time around.
The remainder of the match saw Mossley pour forward in ever growing numbers past an increasingly bedraggled Salford defence and create enough chances that, if converted, would have taken their tally closer to double figures . A mix of good goalkeeping, a lack of composure, over elaboration and the assistant referees flag though ensured that the scoreline, if only from a Salford perspective, remained reasonably respectable.
Over the course of the season Mossley will face far more sterner opponents than Salford but as the adage goes, you can only beat what is put in front of you and the Lilywhites did it convincingly and with some style.
Report by SJNR
Mike Fish versus Adrian Bellamy pic by Aaron Flanagan
Danny Dignan on the ball pic by Garry Hadfield
Mike Fish gives Mossley the lead with a great free kick pic by Aaron Flanagan
Fish's free kick pic by Garry Hadfield
Salford keeper Martin Campbell has no chance pic by Garry Hadfield
Danny Dignan rifles Mossley's second goal pic by Aaron Flanagan
New boy Ryan Cook goes close pic by Smiffy
Dignan gets another shot away pic by Garry Hadfield
Mike Fish heads Mossley's third pic by Garry Hadfield
...from another angle pic by Aaron Flanagan
and from behind the goal pic by Smiffy
Campbell is well beaten pic by Smiffy
Dignan fires another shot pic by Garry Hadfield
Mike Fish completes his hat-trick pic by Garry Hadfield
and from beind the goal pic by Smiffy
.... and celebrates his first treble for the club pic by Aaron Flanagan
Campbell saves from Dignan pic by Garry Hadfield
Danny Egan puts a header wide pic by Aaron Flanagan