TRAFFORD are still searching for that elusive first Evo-Stik North victory after Atherton Collieries held them to a 1-1 draw at the First Point Shawe View Stadium on Monday.

A large Bank Holiday crowd saw a bright start to the game with Colls striker Darrhyl Mason shooting weakly at Grant Shenton in the ninth minute and Jamie Forbes hooking a volley just over from the edge of the box.

However, both defences were on top for the remainder of the first half and there was a distinct lack of goalmouth action.

In the 50th minute Trafford keeper Shenton produced a fine reflex save to thwart an angled drive by Josh Messer and five minutes later the hosts took the lead when Scott Sephton flicked on a long throw by Steve Mason and James Dean rose to head home from close range.

In the 64th minute Trafford should have been 2-0 ahead when Danny Lafferty was adjudged to have handled but Ash Woods blasted the resulting penalty against the bar and the danger was cleared.

In the 70th minute Colls substitute Jordan Cover broke clear down the middle and was denied by a superb point-blank save from Shenton but the Trafford keeper blotted his copybook four minutes later when he pulled down Mason and Iain Howard equalised with a coolly-taken penalty.

Home manager Tom Baker introduced substitute Timmy Raheem and the hosts dominated the remainder of the game, Woods firing over from the right and Kingsley Williams cracking a great low drive from 25 yards that cannoned back into play off the foot of the post.

But with Ally Brown cutting in from the right and curling his shot just wide Trafford were once again frustrated at their inability to secure the points and have now drawn their last three games following the 2-1 defeat by South Shields on the opening day of the season.

Two days earlier Baker's boys had produced a performance full of character and resilience to collect a vital league point from a 1-1 draw at Mossley.

After a scrappy start on a difficult surface, the game burst into action in the 26th minute when Trafford keeper Shenton made a superb full-length save from a long-range free kick and then a brilliant block to thwart danger man Liam Ellis.

Mossley full-back Caldon Henson was causing problems with his long throws from the right and in the 29th minute centre-half Tom Dean headed straight at Shenton from six yards.

Shenton was in action once more in the 35th minute when he parried a powerful drive by Adam Latham, while home keeper Oliver Martin pushed a thunderbolt from Williams past the upright just before half time.

Ellis headed another Henson long throw straight at Shenton in the opening minutes of the second half and a long kick downfield by the visiting keeper ended with a weak shot by Dean that Martin gathered with ease.

In the 56th minute Mossley took the lead when a long diagonal pass found Adam Latham on the right and he cut inside to fire hard and low into the far corner.

Mason cleared off the line after Tom Dean had hooked yet another long throw goalwards but on the hour Trafford levelled when the hosts failed to clear a corner from the left and Sephton popped up to head in at the back post.

Trafford were now on top with Woods seeing his shot blocked following another left-wing corner and debutant Shiraz Khan curling just wide from 20 yards.

Raheem came on to replace Jack Dorney as Trafford sought the winner and the former made several piercing runs that unfortunately came to nothing.

At the other end Ellis headed straight at Shenton and Mason Duffy cut in from the left and drilled a shot just wide of the upright.

An entertaining and exciting second half ended with Trafford striker Dean spectacularly sending an overhead kick into the hands of Martin and the spoils were shared.

With home games on Saturday against Prescot Cables and on Tuesday against Colwyn Bay, the Trafford management are confident that victory can be achieved.