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Last gasp winner deflates United

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Photo Courtesy Kev Phelan

Skelmersdale United 2-3 Trafford

Skelmersdale United crashed to defeat in their first game in the Pitching-In Northern Premier League in the cruellest of fashions, with the scores at 2-2 Elliott Morris was set free by Substitute Abdul Djalo his near post shot was diverted for a corner by Trafford keeper Connor Robson from the resulting kick the ball was cleared and Trafford piled men forward, eventually finding Michael Burke in the box who fired home from close range to break the hearts of the United faithful.

United had taken the early initiative in a game played in horrendous heat, Darren Brannigan heading into the hands of the keeper after good work on the wing from Morris and it was Brannigan who got the opening goal, Alex Griffiths combined with Danny Mitchley and it was the veteran striker who set up the youngster to tap home after just 14 minutes.

Morris was tormenting the visitors defence and another of his telling crosses just evaded Mitchley and Brannigan at the far post.

Trafford were back in the game on 23 minutes a quick breakaway saw Ford and Morgan combine with the latter placing his shot from the angle of the box out of the reach of United keeper Coughlan.

Just after the half hour Skem were back in front Joe Nicholson’s powerful run found Mitchley in the 6yd box to stroke home.

The game could have been out of sight as the half time whistle approached, Sam Sheen battling through a cluster of defenders and with only the keeper to beat saw his shot go inches wide it would have been no more than United deserved heading into the break, they had been the better side by far, but Trafford were still causing the occasional threat.

Sam Sheen was again in the thick of it just after the break as again he battled his way towards goal, he was closer this time the keeper tipping the ball round the post.

The heat played a significant part of the proceedings with the game becoming disjointed and scrappy, substitutions were made by both sides, and it wasn’t until 76 minutes that either side had a meaningful shot on goal.

Djalo was upended outside the box and up stepped Kenny Strickland, a sweet effort was only kept out by the width of the crossbar. The let of inspired the experienced Trafford side and for the remaining minutes of the game piled on the pressure on United’s goal, Mitchley cleared of the line on 77 minutes but there was no one there as Tom Bentham drew the sides level moments later.

Then the final seconds that saw Trafford claim all 3 points, United will play a lot worse than this and pick up points they will also play a lot better.

United Line up – Coughlan, Griffiths, Hont, Herbert, Grogan, Strickland, Morris, Sheen, Mitchley, Nicholson, Brannigan. Subs: Lees, Djallo, Clair.

Trafford – Robson, Morgan, Mathews, Mulholland, Morris, Mathews, Ford, Worrall, Morton, Elhassan, Bentham. Subs: Burke, Findlay, Fleming.

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