AN under strength Trafford side completed their Evo Stik League Premier Division season on Saturday when visitors Ilkeston blasted five late goals to walk away with the points.
Home manager Garry Vaughan rested 10 players ahead of Monday’s Manchester Premier Cup Final against Hyde but shocked Ilkeston in the 35th minute when Ali Nsangou rounded off a slick build-up with a firm angled drive into the bottom corner from 15 yards.
The goal aside, there had been little to whet the appetite of the large and appreciative crowd in what was a generally lacklustre first half.
However, the visitors came out for the second half with all guns blazing and in the 49th minute Kane Richards cut in from the left but was denied by a superb last ditch tackle by Callum Jones.
Richards then glanced a header just over the crossbar as Ilkeston pushed forward relentlessly and Trafford’s resolve was finally broken in the 68th minute when they failed to clear a free kick from the right and Joe Maguire stooped to head past Hayden Buckley-Smith.
Four minutes later the visitors took the lead when Che Adams drove powerfully against the foot of the post and Trafford substitute Steve Mason was unfortunate to turn the ball into his own goal.
Within a minute, however, Mason made amends for his error with a foray into the opposition penalty area that ended with Oliver Riley blasting a fine drive into the roof of the net from 15 yards.
Despite this, Ilkeston continued to press forward and in the 81st minute Richards was tripped by the luckless Mason and James Reid crashed the resultant penalty past Buckley-Smith.
The impressive Reid then paved the way for the visitor’s fourth goal when his powerful drive was parried by Buckley-Smith and Luke Shaw pounced to force home the rebound.
But the goal of the game was saved for the dying seconds when Ilkeston substitute Michael Williams collected the ball in midfield and advanced to smash a sensational drive into the top corner from fully 30 yards.
Despite this defeat, Trafford FC can take great heart from what has been an excellent first season in the Evo Stik League Premier Division with 10th position and a cup final appearance being just reward for their hard work and high level of performance.