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Prescot Cables 1 Trafford 1
12:20pm Wednesday 6th March 2013 in Sport
AN opportunistic goal by Michael Oates five minutes into injury time earned Trafford a well-deserved point in a physical encounter at Prescot on Tuesday night.
The uneven surface made creative football extremely difficult and was more suited to Prescot’s long ball tactics.
And it came as no great surprise when the home team took the lead in the 13th minute, Jonathon Bathurst heading in a right wing corner at the back post.
Nine minutes later Ged Murphy almost made it two with a carbon copy header following another corner whilst Trafford’s best opportunity fell to Rory Fallon when he fired over following a lightning quick counter attack.
As half time approached Cables pushed forward in search of a second goal and tricky left winger Ryan Grotton twice went close, chipping over from the edge of the area and then being denied by a brave save from point blank range by Tom Read.
Trafford’s second half performance was a revelation as they adopted a far more physical and direct approach although both Melford Knight and Andy Smart were perhaps fortunate to escape with cautions for rather reckless challenges.
A Martyn Andrews header was well saved by Cables keeper Adam Reid as Trafford won a succession of corners and then Rory Fallon screwed his shot just wide following a goalmouth scramble.
On three occasions the visitors appeals for a penalty were turned down as they lay siege on the Cables goal and Andrews and Oates both went close to an equaliser.
The home defence was superbly marshalled by the veteran Ged Murphy and it seemed as if the Merseysiders would hold out for a rather undeserved victory.
However, in the fifth minute of injury time Andy Smart curled in a free kick from 20 yards, Reid failed to hold on to the ball and leading goalscorer Michael Oates pounced to net from six yards for his 30th goal of the season.
Trafford thoroughly deserved this late equaliser as they had bombarded the Prescot goal throughout the second half and they will now be hoping to take this form into Saturday’s encounter at high flying Mossley.