Evo-Stik Division One North
New Mills 1
AFTER five league victories in a row, New Mills crashed to a disappointing defeat at home on Saturday to Trafford, another club with realistic ambitions of finishing the season in the play-off places.
Tom Read in the Trafford goal was forced into an early double save, keeping out efforts from Chris Young and Daniel Grimshaw, as the home side dominated territory and possession in the early exchanges.
On ten minutes Russell Saunders in the New Mills goal produced a wonderful save to keep out a 25-yard free-kick as Trafford battled their way into the game. They took the lead 19 minutes in, Shelton Payne, who was to be a thorn in the Millers side throughout the match, raced clear and although Saunders did superbly to keep out the attackers initial effort, the subsequent deflection was cruel on the keeper and Payne was left with the simple task of slotting into an empty net.
The goal galvanised Trafford and they were to dominate the remainder of the first half, with the home side’s best opportunity being a low cross from Michael Fish that Carlos Meakin could not quite reach at the far post. The talismanic midfielder limped off shortly afterwards to be replaced by Wez Wilkinson.
The Millers grabbed an equaliser just before the break. On 41 minutes they were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the Trafford area, and Grimshaw’s left-footed strike clipped the defensive wall and drifted past Read into the far corner of the net.
Having been second best for much of the first-half The Millers started the second-half in more energetic fashion.
They were denied by the post following a fine effort from Fish, and they had what appeared to be a legitimate claim for a penalty turned down when Chris Luby tumbled in the area following a challenge by the visiting keeper.
Trafford battled their way back into contention and took control of the midfield once more. Payne saw a fine effort clawed away by Saunders on 70 minutes, and then with their next attack they took the lead.
The Millers failed to deal with a left-wing cross and Chris Palmer was unmarked six yards out to head past Saunders for what turned out to be the winning goal.
The Millers failed to threaten the Trafford goal in the remainder of the game, their best effort being another Grimshaw free-kick that sailed well wide of the target.
New Mills: Saunders, Bowler (Hampson, 85), Fitzpatrick, Grimshaw, Weston, Egerton, Meakin (Wilkinson, 36), Young (c), Luby, Fish (Walton, 74), Horrocks. Unused subs: Evans, Innes.