WIDNES suffered a record equalling tenth successive league defeat as they went down 26-12 at Salford Red Devils.

The last time the club went on such a losing trot was way back in the 1950/51 season; not a statistic the club will be shouting from the rooftops.

In a last minute switch, centre Stefan Marsh dropped out meaning Matt Whitley reverted to centre from second row, Tom Olbison was promoted to the starting line-up and youngster Dan Norman came in on the bench.

Co-captain Chris Houston returned to the Vikings line-up alongside scrum-half Tom Gilmore and prop Alex Gerrard was also back in harness.

Widnes started on the front foot and took the lead on five minutes when Joe Mellor’s kick took a ricochet and allowed Gilmore to touch down under the posts and add the extras himself.

Salford hit back when a Gilmore kick was blocked and picked up by Kris Welham who raced 50 metres to touchdown to make it 6-4.

The familiar Widnes failing of turning over cheap ball began to rear its head and the Red Devils took advantage when Robert Lui put Welham over for his second four pointer.

Welham blotted his copybook by getting himself sin-binned for a tackle off the ball and the Vikings took advantage as Gilmore’s pinpoint cross-kick found winger Patrick Ah Van in space to score with ease. Gilmore’s fine goal gave Widnes a 12-8 lead.

Both sides had their chances as the half progressed but couldn’t quite find the key to add to their scores before the interval.

A nervy start to the second half saw both teams playing safety first rugby but the home side gradually began to gain ascendancy.

A nice shift play to the right created the space for Jake Bibby to level the scores as he dived over in the corner.

The Red Devils now had the bit between their teeth and piled on the pressure and it was prop Greg Burke, coincidentally on loan from Widnes, who charged over from 20 metres for a six-pointer to give his side an 18-12 lead.

A chance to apply some pressure at the other end was blown by Widnes as they were bundled into touch on first tackle.

The error was compounded when a penalty was conceded under the posts which Lui put between the posts to give Salford a 20-12 advantage with 13 minutes remaining.

Things went from bad to worse when Houston was sent off for dissent, getting his original sin-binning for a late hit on Burke upgraded.

Lui put the final nail in the coffin when he caught Craven’s desperate kick and ran 60 metres for a self-converted try.

Salford: Littlejohn; Olpherts, Welham, Sa’u, Bibby; Lui, Shorrocks; Tasi, Wood, Burke, McCarthy, Griffin, Lannon. Subs: Kopczak, Tomkins, Nakubuwai, Chamberlain.

Widnes: Craven; Ince, Whitley, Runciman, Ah Van; Mellor, Gilmore; J Chapelhow, Johnstone, T Chapelhow, Olbison, Hauraki, Houston. Subs: Gerrard, Norman, Heremaia, Farnworth.

Half-time: 8-12

Referee: Mr J Child

Attendance: 2,248