Wolves edge out battling Reds
An under-strength Warrington were made to dig deep before eventually seeing off Salford 24-20 to move to within one point of leaders Wigan.
The Wolves, missing several first-team players, were trailing 10-4 for most of the first half but they went two points ahead on the stroke of half-time thanks to Rhys Williams' second try.
Second-half scores from Ben Currie and Garreth Carvell seemed to end the game as a contest but the Wolves were left hanging on after Daniel Holdsworth and Danny Williams both touched down.
The Wolves, who were beaten by the Reds in the corresponding fixture last year, were able to just about close out the game and condemn Salford to a fifth successive defeat.
However, with key players such as Brett Hodgson, Lee Briers and Chris Bridge absent, coach Tony Smith will be relieved to collect the two points and move on.
Warrington made eight changes from the starting line-up that beat Bradford in the Carnegie Challenge Cup last week, while Williams replaced Sean Gleeson as Phil Veivers decided to stick with most of the team that lost to Leeds last week.
The hosts showed no initial struggles as Williams opened the scoring after a smart passing move along the left ended with the winger holding off the challenge of Holdsworth to touch down.
Although Salford hooker Wayne Godwin's afternoon was ended early when he went off clutching his wrist, the Reds got their first try of the afternoon after a mistake from Gareth O'Brien.
Forty yards from Salford's try line, O'Brien's pass along the line went straight to Ashley Gibson, who won the 60-metre foot race to go over under the posts.
Warrington coach Smith believed Salford were better than their current league position suggested and the Reds were trying their utmost to prove him right.
After good work from Joel Moon and Jodie Broughton on the left ended with the latter falling just short of the try line, the ball was worked along the right and Luke Patten put through Gibson to touch down in the corner.
Warrington were not lacking in enthusiasm and Williams touched down on the left for his second of the afternoon after Patten had given away a penalty for a knock-on deep in Salford territory.
With O'Brien adding the extras, Warrington were able to take a slender 12-10 interval lead.
After Jodie Broughton had a try disallowed for a foot in touch, Currie made Salford pay by grabbing his first Warrington try.
Paul Wood started the move by bursting through Salford's defence and with the bit between their teeth, the Wolves quickly worked the ball to Currie, who stepped inside to wriggle over - despite suggestions of a double movement.
Carvell then excellently bundled his way through two Salford defenders to cross near the posts and O'Brien's fourth conversion gave the Wolves a 24-10 advantage.
With seven minutes remaining, the game looked done and dusted but Warrington made life difficult for themselves when Holdsworth touched down after Chris Riley had spilled Matty Smith's bomb.
Williams set up a grandstand finish when he grounded a loose ball on the right to narrow the deficit to just four points, but the hosts held on.