Cristian Montano struck a late winner as Port Vale won 1-0 to ensure Paul Scholes’ first game in the Salford dugout ended in disappointment.
Despite a run of three games without a win, Vale created the better chances in the first half though Ammies keeper Vaclav Hladky had been untroubled.
Against the run of play, Salford had the best opening though, with leading scorer Ian Henderson guilty of an unbelievable miss.
The striker had been upended by Vale skipper Leon Legge for a clear penalty but, after Scott Brown had parried his spot-kick straight back to him, Henderson somehow managed to sidefoot his second chance over the open goal.
The visitors looked to show greater intent after the break but Bruno Andrade fired wide and substitute Brandon Asante’s effort just cleared the bar.
Salford’s chances suffered a blow on the hour mark, when veteran midfielder Darron Gibson, a former team-mate of Scholes, was taken straight to hospital with a suspected broken leg.
Shortly after Salford’s James Wilson had his powerful header well saved by the impressive Brown, Montano struck the winner with a fierce finish from David Worrall’s cross.
And, although eight nervous minutes were added on after the lengthy delay for Gibson’s injury, Salford failed to find a way an equaliser.