Trafford 0 Skelmersdale United 2

TRAFFORD’S magnificent unbeaten home record finally came to an end on Tuesday night when they were beaten 2-0 by title favourites Skelmersdale United.

Garry Vaughan’s side last tasted defeat in the league at Shawe View in February 2012 at the hands of Woodley Sports but on this occasion they could have no complaints against an extremely impressive Skelmersdale outfit.

After a bright opening in which Shelton Payne looked dangerous for the home side with a number of penetrating runs down the right flank, it was Skem who had the first attempt on goal when, following a superb move, Mark Jackson’s goalbound effort was brilliantly tipped over by Tom Read.

In the 19th minute Trafford fell behind when Ally Brown carelessly conceded possession on the half way line and the ball was played in to Gary Burnett who sent a magnificent curling drive into the top corner from 25 yards.

Anthony Hickey then screwed a shot wide as the visitors dominated with some slick, neat possession football although Shelton Payne came close to an equaliser on the half hour mark when he just failed to intercept a back header to Skem keeper Sam Ashton.

As half time approached, Trafford keeper Read produced three more tremendous saves to deny Burnett, twice, and Jackson, and but for the heroics of the home custodian, the game could have been out of sight at the interval.

However, Trafford fought back at the start of the second half with Andy Smart cracking in a low drive that was held by Ashton and then Martyn Andrews striking the foot of the post in the 56th minute.

In the 61st minute, and against the run of play, the visitors struck again when Burnett was allowed to advance from an offside position to plant the ball past the onrushing Read.

Shortly afterwards Burnett almost completed his hat-trick when he stepped inside two defenders and struck a stinging drive that Read saved with his feet.

The Shawe View outfit now face three away games in the space of seven days, with a trip to Burscough on Saturday, followed by journeys to Bamber Bridge on Tuesday and Harrogate Railway Athletic on February 23.

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