Trafford 2 Blyth Spartans 1

by Dave Law A BRETT Mbalanda brace earned Trafford three points in a pulsating encounter at Shawe View on Saturday.

The visitors shaded the opening exchanges with Paul Robinson missing a great chance after only five minutes when he fired wide from ten yards and Trafford keeper Tom Read pushing a low drive by Robert Dale around the near post.

Read was quick off his line to block a Danny Maguire effort before Trafford took the lead slightly against the run of play in the 16th minute.

Shelton Payne neatly played the ball out to Paul Ashton who cut inside before cracking a fine low drive that amazingly struck both posts, trickled along the goal line and was tapped in by Brett Mbalanda.

Spartans quicksilver striker Danny Maguire once more teased the home defence with a sharp turn and thunderous shot that flew inches wide of the post as the visitors sought an equaliser.

Both teams were playing with tremendous pace, passion and skill despite the increasingly stormy conditions and the first half ended with Trafford left back Andy Smart curling in a free kick from the right that flew just past the upright.

Within three minutes of the restart Mbalanda should have made it two when he glanced a header straight into the hands of goalkeeper Michal Misiewicz from just six yards but the big striker made amends six minutes later when he broke clear, skipped around the advancing custodian and netted from an acute angle.

Despite this setback, Spartans continued to play with great spirit and reduced the arrears in the 71st minute when dangerman Maguire pounced in a packed area to steer the ball past Read.

Tom Read came to Trafford’s rescue once again when he smothered a close range effort by substitute Matthew Wade but the final whistle arrived to signal a magnificent victory for Trafford that moves them out of the relegation zone.

On Saturday Trafford travel to Ilkeston for a clash that kicks off at 3pm. and then over the Christmas period Droylsden visit Shawe View on Boxing Day and Witton Albion are the visitors on December 28, both games kicking off at 3pm.

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