Five Star Trafford Stun Skem
Trafford 5 Skelmersdale United 1
By Simon Driscoll
After a narrow defeat to league leaders Radcliffe in midweek, United suffered a humbling at Shawe View with a 5-1 loss to Trafford. The sides met in the first of a double header with a League Cup tie on Prescot awaiting on Tuesday.
Dave Powell handed a second start to on-loan Scott Moloney with Terry Smith only fit enough for the bench, Mike Roddy returned from suspension while Will Dunne was promoted from the bench to replace Charlie Ennis who retuurned to parent club Buxton.
The early stages saw the hosts on the attack with Ally Brown's cross narrowly missing a touch from Matty Bryan to trouble Scott Moloney before a Will Dunne free-kick needed a touch at the back post from the Trafford defence to prevent the opener. Trafford came close to opening the scoring as a corner from the near side caused a melee of headers with the hosts heading over the bar.
Dave Moore raced down the wing before lofting the ball across goal for the chasing Kyle Hawley but the height of the cross proved too high for a connecting header. The chance was to prove costly for United as Trafford struck the opener on 27 minutes, Charlie Duke's header under pressure from Danny Wilkins allowed the forward to collect the ball and advance down the wing before blasting past Moloney for 1-0.
A nice combination from Dunne and Kevin Edgar minutes later saw Edgar force a low save from Matt Cooper from an acute angle. Brown's lofted through pass for the hosts saw a superb clearing header from Moloney as Wilkins looked to collect.
United's best chance to equalise came on 37 minutes as a rapid counter attack by Edgar and Dunne saw Jack Fleming loft a cross to Moore whose powerful header swept past the post. Trafford's reply saw Brown and Derbyshire forcing saves from Moloney from close range efforts as the first half came to a close.
Trafford raced out of the blocks in the second half with efforts from Wilkins and Derbyshire and Keil O'Brien narrowly missing the target. United were unlucky not to equalise on 50 minutes as Duke saw his shot blocked wth Edgar's rebound drawing a strong stop from Cooper. The resulting corner saw Moore's header creep past the far post.
Wednesday night saw an inspired subsitution on 55 minutes lead to an instant goal for United, this time it was the opposition who achieved that feat as Aaron Burns took under a minute to extend the lead for Trafford, second after coming on he raced down the win before cutting inside and firing past Moloney for 2-0.
United were carved open on 64 minutes as a low cross from Burns found Matty Bryan in acres of space to tap past Moloney for 3-0 and leave United with a mountain to climb to avoid defeat. Any hopes of a comeback were ended on 74 minutes as a cross from Brown allowed Bryan to slot in at the back post for his second goal and Trafford's fourth.
Skem contiuned to threaten with Moore's rasping effort forcing a powerful stop from Cooper befor Burns blazed over from close range at the other end. Trafford wrapped up the win on 89 minutes as Bryan completed his hat-trick by heading past Moloney from a corner. United did have the last say on the scoreline though, a lofted cross from Tom Molyneux saw Fleming force a save from Cooper which allowed substitute Sean Yeldrem to tap in against his former side for 5-1.
The final whistle came straight after the restart leaving United still in search of their opening win of the season which they hope may come away from the league as they host Trafford on Tuesday night in the Integro League cup.
Trafford- Cooper (c), Brown, Palma, Wilshaw, Heathcote, O'Brien, Dorney (Palmer 69), Langford, Derbyshire (Burns 54), Wilkins (Davidson 69), Bryan. Subs not used - Taylor, Crothers.
Skelmersdale United - Moloney, Duke. Fleming, Molyneux, Brownsword, Roddy (c), Moore (McLoughlin 86), Griffiths (Galloway 65), Edgar, Hawley (Yeldrem 65), Dunne. Subs not used- Woods, Smith.
Referee- S. Morland