WOEFUL Huddersfield have only themselves to blame for this dreadful defeat.
With the possibility of a place back in Super League's top six at stake, the Giants appeared to have all the motivation in the world to secure a ninth win of the campaign and at the same time inflict a ninth successive defeat on their hosts.
But when it came to the crunch, they produced a performance that was flatter than a pancake.
Some of the errors they made were awful, and their hosts simply stood back waiting to take full advantage.
All three of Salford's tries came as a direct result of Huddersfield errors, while the Giants also gifted the City Reds several penalties in very kickable positions.
Seldom have the Giants been so generous to opponents, and it was pretty obvious that a controlled display would have been more than enough to see off the home side.
On the rare occasions the visitors did respect the ball, they came up with points, with all three of their tries being well-crafted - as opposed to Salford's three gifts.
Huddersfield also had a 47th-minute `try' disallowed by the video referee when Marcus St Hilaire was ruled to have touched the ball down on the deadball line rather than in the in-goal area.
The winger was adamant the try should have stood, claiming the benefit of the doubt should have gone to the attacking side.
A try at that stage could have proved crucial and tipped the balance in the Giants' favour at 10-8.
But, in truth, Huddersfield never deserved to win this game.
They started the contest brightly enough, with Karl Fitzpatrick denying Paul Smith with an excellent tackle over the tryline in the fifth minute before the Giants took the lead three minutes later.
An excellent James Evans break from deep made it possible, creating the position for St Hilaire to outpace the cover to score.
Chris Thorman converted and the Giants were looking good.
But straight from the restart, Paul Reilly was inexcusably forced into touch and from the resulting scrum the position was created for Cliff Beverley to step through a static defence with embarrassing ease.
It was a score which was to sum up the entire contest.
Chris Charles landed the goal and seven minutes later banged over a penalty after the Giants had conceded one of their many cheap penalties.
With both sides continuing to make errors, neither team was able to take a grip on the contest and at 8-6 to Salford at the break, the game was perfectly poised.
But following the video referee's decision to disallow St Hilaire's `try' after touching down Thorman's kick to the corner, the balance of power began to swing Salford's way - courtesy of their guests.
In the 49th minute, Beverley's kick-through on the sixth tackle was fumbled by St Hilaire and Luke Robinson had the simple task of touching down for Charles again to convert.
Then six minutes later, Jon Grayshon knocked-on from the base of a scrum 15m from the Giants' line and the loose ball was kicked ahead for Charles to take full advantage.
His conversion made it 20-6.
Although Eorl Crabtree and Chris Nero combined to send Stuart Donlan racing over in the 61st minute for an unconverted score, another penalty which was frustratingly conceded enabled Salford to regain the initiative five minutes later.
A spear tackle on Stanley Gene breathed new life into the Giants and in the 68th minute Thorman raced over for a superb individual try, which he also converted to cut the deficit to six points.
Suddenly, a matchwinning fightback looked to be on the cards.
Yet once again, Huddersfield then decided to hit the self-destruct button.
With eight minutes remaining, Wayne McDonald drove the ball into the Salford defence on halfway on the first play.
Instead of taking the tackle, he attempted an offload and Salford gratefully regained control.
Seconds later Robinson's drop goal attempt had been touched in flight and the Giants were forced to drop-out from under their own posts.
Brad Drew's short kick which he hoped would find a colleague failed to go 10m and Charles had the simple task of landing the penalty from under the posts to crucially extend the advantage to eight points.
Paul March and Paul Smith were both unfortunate not to be rewarded for late efforts, but the damage had already been done.
The Giants fans had responded to the club's call and came in their numbers to cheer on their side.
But, unfortunately, after this effort they may have wondered why they bothered!
* There was more for the Giants to cheer earlier in the day as their Junior Academy side secured an excellent 52-12 triumph over Salford in a curtain-raiser to the Super League clash. Full details tomorrow.