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New Mills 1 Trafford 2
6:23pm Monday 7th January 2013 in Sport
TRAFFORD recorded their finest victory of the season on Saturday when they defeated high flying New Mills in their Evo Stik League Division One North clash at Church Lane.
The Millers came into the game on the strength of a magnificent 4-0 win at league leaders Mossley on New Year’s Day and they started confidently by forcing the visitors onto the defensive.
Trafford keeper Tom Read produced two fine saves in the opening minutes to deny Michael Fish and Daniel Grimshaw but gradually the visitors assumed control with their neat, possession football.
Andy Smart struck a free kick from 20 yards that was parried by Russell Saunders and then Martyn Andrews broke clear on the right but was denied by a last ditch tackle by David Fitzpatrick.
In the 19th minute Andrews created the opening goal with a superb pass to Shelton Payne, the fleet footed winger seeing his initial shot blocked by Saunders but then reacting quickly to pounce on the ball and side-foot home.
Chris Palmer just failed to connect with a Payne cross and then Smart rifled another drive inches over as Trafford sought a second.
Four minutes before half time the Millers equalised against the run of play, Daniel Grimshaw striking a free kick from 20 yards that took a slight deflection and wrong-footed Tom Read.
The second half started in a similar fashion to the first with New Mills pressing forward and in the 47th minute Michael Fish was unfortunate when his low drive cannoned back into play off the foot of the post.
Home striker Chris Luby was then cautioned for a dive after the Millers appealed in vain for a penalty before Trafford settled once again to dictate the midfield with Andrews, Melford Knight and Chris Palmer particularly dominant.
Shelton Payne was a constant menace to the home defence and in the 67th minute he cracked in a drive that Saunders saved at full length.
Trafford were once again in the ascendancy and in the 76th minute they were rewarded for their superiority with the winning goal, Andy Smart swinging in a great cross from the left and Chris Palmer arriving at the back post to head cooly home.
The remaining minutes saw the Millers pushing for the equaliser but there was no way through the superbly marshalled Trafford defence and the final whistle signalled a memorable victory for the visitors who are now firmly entrenched in the promotion race.
On Saturday Trafford entertain league leaders Mossley in a game that is sure to attract a bumper crowd to Shawe View. Spectators are asked to arrive early to avoid congestion at the turnstiles around the kick off time of 3 p.m.
Then on Tuesday night Trafford travel over to Merseyside for a Doodson Sports (League Cup) Tie against Marine, kick off 7.45pm.