Chris Chester felt Wakefield Trinity were fortunate to maintain their 100 per cent winning start to the Betfred Super League season after Gareth O’Brien missed the chance to seal a draw for Salford.
The Red Devils scored three tries to Wakefield’s two but it was the goal-kicking that made the difference, with O’Brien failing to split the posts with any of his conversion attempts, while his last-gasp miss from out wide proved decisive at the Mobile Rocket Stadium.
Wakefield, who defeated promoted Hull KR last week, move on to four points alongside Leeds but Trinity coach Chester had mixed emotions following their 14-12 victory.
Chester said: “I thought it had gone over when he first struck the ball. There was a little smile on my face when he missed.
“I’m just down a little bit because I know we can play a hell of a lot better. I’m pleased with the result but I thought they deserved something from the game.”
Scott Grix’s converted try and Liam Finn’s penalty gave Wakefield an 8-0 lead after an attritional first half on a bitterly cold night in West Yorkshire.
Salford, thrashed 40-12 by Wigan in their season-opener last week, rallied after the break through tries from Robert Lui and Niall Evalds.
But Jacob Miller’s converted score gave Wakefield a lead they did not surrender, despite Kris Welham touching down in the final minute which set up the dramatic finale.
Chester added: “I was really pleased with the first 40 minutes and disappointed with the second 40.
“I thought Salford deserved something from that game, they were very good in that second half.
“They’re going to be there or thereabouts again this year, there’s no doubt about that, if they keep their main players fit and healthy.
“We needed to be a little bit smarter when we went six points in front, maybe slowing the game down a little bit, kicking the ball into touch.
“We just managed to get through the other side and maybe this game 12 months ago, we would have lost so I’m happy with the character of the guys and I’m just pleased that we got a result.”