TRAFFORD eased through to the second round of the Doodson Cup (Evo Stik League Cup) with a comfortable 3-1 victory over Leek Town on Tuesday night.
Despite the recent appalling weather, the pitch was a credit to groundsman Graham Foxall and his assistant Paul Thomas, and allowed Trafford to play the neat, possession football that has become their trademark.
The home side should have taken the lead after just four minutes when Shelton Payne squandered a great chance by shooting weakly from ten yards and allowing Tim Sanders to clear off the line.
At the other end Trafford keeper Tom Read produced two good saves to thwart Tim Grice and Tom Urwin before Garry Vaughan’s side surged ahead in the 18th minute.
Kamahl Whight tormented the Leek defence on the right, crossed hard and low and the ball fell to the feet of Payne who shot clinically into the bottom corner.
Michael Oates had a great chance to make it two shortly afterwards but Dan Weston saved bravely at point blank range.
However, Weston was powerless to prevent Whight from doubling the score in the 36th minute when the fleet footed winger cooly wrong-footed the Leek keeper from 10 yards.
Despite the two goal deficit, Leek finished the first half strongly with Dan Smith blasting in a shot from 25 yards that Read tipped around the post and then Grice skipping past two defenders but firing wide of the near post from just eight yards.
Payne and Whight continued to tease the visiting defence in the opening stages of the second half but were denied once more by the heroics of Weston and Trafford had to wait until the 66th minute for their third goal when Michael Oates rounded the visiting keeper and side-footed the ball into the empty goal.
Trafford’s play then became sloppy and over-casual and after centre back Steve Mason had cleared a Tim Sanders chip off the line, substitute Dan Cope rounded off a neat move by clipping the ball past the advancing Tom Read.
Within a minute Cope should have scored again but scuffed his shot wide from just eight yards and then Tim Sanders struck a 30 yard thunderbolt just over the Trafford crossbar.
Deep into injury time Cope struck the foot of the post as Leek battled gamely to the end but overall, Trafford were well worth their 3-1 victory and can look forward to another home tie in the second round against Warrington Town.
Trafford return to league action on Saturday with a trip over the Pennines to play Wakefield, kick off 3 p.m., and then on Monday night they travel to play Curzon Ashton, kick off 7.45pm.