Jack Nolan scored twice as Accrington Stanley got 2024 off to a winning start with a 3-0 victory over managerless Salford City.
Stanley raced into a three-goal first half lead, with Shaun Whalley also on target, but were put under pressure in the second half.
However they celebrated a clean sheet as they maintained their push for a Play-Off place.
John Coleman kept faith with the same squad which drew at Barrow on Friday night – the first time Stanley had the same squad for two consecutive games this season.
Ex-Red Ryan Watson fired over the bar in the opening seconds for Salford but that was their only real chance of the half.
Whalley tested keeper Alex Cairns with a long-range effort on eight minutes before Stanley opened the scoring on 14 minutes.
A Nolan corner was punched by Cairns and it fell to Dan Martin at the far post, on his 50th appearance for the club. His shot spun out to Whalley who blasted the ball home.
The Reds looked for a second and left back Connor O’Brien had a low strike kept out by Cairns and Nolan could only fire the follow-up over the bar.
It was all Stanley and they were awarded a penalty on 33 minutes when Luke Bolton brought down Joe Pritchard in the area and Nolan blasted home his seventh goal of the season.
It was three on 41 minutes when Lewis Shipley’s ball across the box found Nolan at the far post, his first effort was blocked but he fired home the rebound.
Stanley came so close to a fourth after the restart when Josh Woods got the ball six yards out but fired straight at Cairns.
Salford then enjoyed a spell of pressure and keeper Joe Walsh produced two superb saves in the 54th and 56th minute to deny City top scorer Matt Smith a goal.
Sean McConville made a welcome return to the pitch on 72 minutes for the Reds after an injury which had kept him out since August.
Conor McAleny rifled an effort narrowly over the bar for City on 75 minutes while Stanley couldn't add to their score but remain just outside the Play-Off places.
Lewis Trickett came on for his League Two debut in added time.
Stanley: Walsh, Shipley, Hills, Gubbins, O’Brien, Martin, B Woods, Whalley (McConville), Pritchard (Henderson), Nolan (Trickett), J Woods (Adekoya)
Subs: McIntyre, Mellor, Pickles
Yellow: Gubbins, Martin, J Woods
Crowd: 2735 (299 from Salford)