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Trafford 4 Harrogate Railway Athletic 0
12:29pm Monday 3rd September 2012 in Sport
TABLE-topping Trafford strolled to victory with a scintillating display of attacking football at sunny Shawe View on Saturday.
The opening minutes were close fought with Michael Oates firing wide from the edge of the area, Paul Ashton having a goal disallowed by a marginal offside decision and Harrogate left back Jerome White cracking a drive from 25 yards that Tom Read tipped over the crossbar.
However, Trafford took control of the midfield with some neat possession football and in the 20th minute Will Ahern headed against the bar following a Martyn Andrews cross.
In the 34th minute Nia Bayunu released Oates with a superb through ball but the league’s leading scorer was denied by a brave save at point blank range by Craig MacGillivray.
Four minutes later Trafford were rewarded for their superiority with a beautifully worked goal, Will Ahern rounding off a superb four man move with a simple tap in from six yards.
The second half started quietly with both defences on top and little goalmouth action.
However, Trafford then secured the points with two goals in a three minute spell, Andy Smart flighting a magnificent free kick into the top corner from 25 yards in the 57th minute and Oates notching his 10th goal of the season with a clinical volley following a left wing cross by Ashton.
Garry Vaughan’s side were now in complete control with the visitors looking tired and dispirited and substitute Warren Collier, Smart and Oates all went close to increasing their lead.
The scoring was completed in the 69th minute when centre back Steve Mason rose to send a soaring header into the top corner following another cross from the left.
Even then, Trafford should have added to their tally with super-sub Scott Barlow blasting in a low drive that MacGillivray pushed behind and Martyn Andrews and Paul Ashton both firing over from the edge of the penalty area.
To their credit, Harrogate did not totally give up the fight and just before the final whistle David Ward had the misfortune to curl a shot against the inside of the post with Read beaten.
This victory means that Trafford now top the Evo Stik League Division One North table following three wins and a draw but they face a very difficult game on Tuesday night when they travel to play Lancaster City. Then on Saturday Trafford are in FA Cup action with a Preliminary Round Tie at Runcorn Town.