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Skelmersdale United 3 Trafford 1
Updated 2:21pm Thursday 6th March 2014 in Sport
TRAFFORD produced some superb football to dominate for long spells but were ultimately undone by three outstanding goals by title chasing Skem.
Garry Vaughan’s young side started brightly and after just three minutes Rory Fallon flashed a shot into the side-netting from 10 yards.
However, with virtually their first attack of the game, and against the run of play, Skem took the lead when Dean Astbury broke in the inside left channel and lashed a magnificent drive into the top corner from 20 yards.
Both sides were playing neat, controlled football although the hosts had the greater cutting edge and in the 37th minute Mark Jackson almost made it two when he headed an Adam Morning cross wide of the near post.
Tom Read saved well at the foot of the post to prevent Astbury from doubling the lead whilst at the other end Tom Schofield curled in a great shot from 20 yards that was brilliantly saved by Zac Hibbert.
In the 65th minute Trafford were rewarded for their enterprise with an equaliser, Skem captain Tom Hardwick pulling Shelton Payne to the ground and the quicksilver forward dusting himself down to coolly place the resultant spot kick into the bottom corner.
Three minutes later Read performed heroics once more to deny Astbury with a save at point blank range but the busy home striker restored his team’s lead in the 76th minute when he rounded off a slick counter attacking move with a neat finish from eight yards.
Trafford battled gamely to get back on level terms but were unable to trouble goalkeeper Hibberd and after Read produced another fine block to thwart James Moore, Skem substitute Chris Moore completed the scoring in the 88th minute with a 25 yard thunderbolt past the despairing Read.