It was Fergie time all over again for members of the class of ’92 who have invested in the dream of taking non-league Salford into the Football League.
When the illuminated board was raised displaying five added minutes, Salford – who have risen from football’s ninth tier to the top of the National League – were facing a shock defeat against the basement club.
You were half expecting a Manchester United style rant from Paul Scholes who along with Gary Neville , Phil Neville, Nicky Butt and Ryan Giggs joined forces with wealthy backer Peter Lim to buy the club in 2014.
There are bound to be bumps along the way but you don’t expect them at home against the bottom side and also after an unbeaten run of 12 games.
Gary Neville looked on anxiously from one of the stands in the impressively rebuilt Peninsula Stadium, opened by Sir Alex Ferguson himself last year.
But just like Ferguson teams of old whose DNA was late goals, Salford snatched a welcome point through a Scholes ginger nut lookalike with time running out.
Striker Rory Gaffney who had incredibly scored the opening goal after just 50 seconds struck again with a fierce drive through a packed penalty box.
So maybe Scholes’ prediction that Salford will one day be playing in the Championship doesn’t look so daft after all – not with this never die spirit from Graham Alexander’s team.
After the match, Alexander said: “Yes, successful sides do score late but they don’t concede too many either!
“But what I can take out of this game is that we did finish strongly, positively and aggressively.”
A healthy crowd of 2,710 had turned out to watch the latest stage of the journey.
The burger bar might have gone upmarket and the grassy slope once frequented by members of the United class of ’92 has been usurped by a new stand, but it’s still only £10 (£5 concessions) to witness the emergence of another football force just down the road from the two Manchester giants.
Former Scottish international Alexander knows that a four year contract isn’t any protection if expectations aren’t met.
“Ask any manager in England and ask them if there is pressure. Of course there is, it’s the nature of the job.
“This incredible story started way before I came here and I just want to play my part in the next step of the way.
“We know and we are realistic about the work we have to put in place to make it happen.
“The story is quite unique so far.”
He soon discovered that Braintree hadn’t come along for the ride and the Essex boys deservedly equalised just before the break from a Mo Bettamer penalty prompting a half-time roasting from Alexander, who in his playing days knew how to take spot-kicks.
But things got worse for former Scottish international Alexander as Bettamer made it 2-1 following a lightning Braintree break and Reece Grant rattled the bar with a long range chip, before Salford’s Scholes look alike came to the rescue.
Paul Scholes would have approved.