Salford City Reds slumped to their fifth-straight league defeat against Warrington Wolves on Sunday afternoon.
An under-strength Wolves side proved too strong for the visitors despite a late Reds rally.
Warrington coach Tony Smith had one eye on next weekend’s Challenge Cup quarter final with Catalan Dragons and rested several of key men for Sunday’s clash.
The hosts showed no early effects of the squad rotation and took the lead when winger Rhys Williams held off strong pressure from Daniel Holdsworth to cross.
After losing hooker Wayne Godwin to a wrist injury the Reds took the lead themselves when halfback Gareth O’Brien’s pass was intercepted by Ashley Gibson and the winger raced 60 metres to score under the posts.
Reds continued their pressure and were rewarded once more when good build up play involving Joel Moon and Jodie Broughton was finished by Luke Patten slipping Gibson in for his second.
Warrington were not disheartened though and took the lead at the break when Williams grabbed his second of the day shortly before half time.
Reds winger Broughton had a try disallowed for a foot in touch before Warrington went up a gear.
First, strong work from the Wolves forward pack saw Ben Currie score his first for the club before veteran prop Garreth Carvell powered through two Reds defenders to extend the lead.
Many would have expected Warrington to coast away but Reds hit back again with two further scores.
Standoff Holdsworth profited from poor handling from Chris Riley to touch down before winger Danny Williams was first to a loose ball to score himself setting up a grandstand finish.
But the hosts held on to secure the win which moves them back to within a point of Super League leaders Wigan Warriors.
Reds coach Phil Veivers was again disappointed that his side let another winning opportunity slip.
“There were opportunities that we missed,” he said.
“I’m probably going over old ground again in saying that it was another game that got away from us that we were definitely in there to win.
“It’s very frustrating at the moment and the players in the dressing room are feeling pretty tough, they’re in a bit of a dark place and they’re lacking a little bit of confidence.
“It just takes one win to build some confidence and they haven’t got that at the moment so they need to hang tough because things just aren’t going right.
“We’re just on the edge of getting a win, I think. And we just need to get that win just to build that confidence back up.”
Reds have a weekend off next week before facing Bradford Bulls at Barton Bridge on Friday May 18.