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Trafford 1 – 2 Stafford Rangers.
2:33pm Wednesday 23rd April 2014 in Sport
Trafford rewarded loyal fans on Saturday for their support over the season.
The Shawe View club had given all paying supporters a token for a free drink or a hot dog for children.
The hospitality was also extended to the away team as a lacklustre first half gifted 3 points to the visitors.
A decent crowd of 324 saw already-relegated Stafford start stronger and they duly took the lead after eight minutes when an Ian Craney free kick was headed back across goal and Andrew Griffiths powered his header past Hayden Buckley-Smith.
Trafford tried to force their way back into the game but repeatedly fell short in the final third.
Luke Heron should have scored on 16 minutes after a neat exchange with Shelton Payne, but visiting ‘keeper Andrew Jones saved easily with his legs.
Stafford were looking more and more comfortable and in the 32nd minute the lively Jack Edwards beat Steve Mason down the left and although his near-post shot was saved, Griffiths was there to tap the rebound home.
Trafford started the second half with more purpose and the tricky Payne was brought down by Joseph Ballinger who picked up a booking for his efforts. The resulting free kick was headed just past the far post by Mason.
Trafford were getting back into the game and Michael Oates powered a header wide from Simon Hackney’s left wing cross.
Fans’ favourite Joe Shaw was introduced for his first game since a pre-season knee injury and he was immediately involved, setting up a right wing cross that Martyn Andrews dispatched into the net.
Stafford were now defending more and more deeply but Trafford were unable to find the equaliser despite Nia Bayunu crashing a header off the visitors’ cross bar.