MATCH REPORT | West 1-2 Trafford

Tuesday 8th October 2019, Manchester Premier Cup first round

West 1 (Argent-Barnes pen 68)
Trafford 2 (Grimshaw 55, Miller 76)
Att: 251

West bowed out of the Manchester Premier Cup as neighbours Trafford edged a tight game at Brookburn Road.

A much-changed West side, showing 11 alterations from Saturday’s Playermatch.com Cup win over Nelson, were competitive against the Northern Premier League Division One visitors, but Trafford ultimately claimed a deserved win based on chances created.

With one eye on the forthcoming FA Vase trip to Shildon, Brad Cooke handed full debuts to four players including recent signing Matthew Argent-Barnes, and the game had a tentative feel in the opeing moments. Ben Woods shot over after a driving run and Trafford went close after a quick counter-attack, but both keepers were relatively underworked until Trafford quickened the pace as the interval approached – most notably heading against a post after a deep cross from the left.

The game opened up after the restart, with Dylan Moloney and the lively Michael Itela both going close in the opening moments of the second period, but it was the visitors who struck first – a through ball found Sam Grimshaw alone on the edge of the box, and he comfortably beat Morgan Newns to open the scoring.

Itela immediately went close to an equaliser when his fierce shot was superbly tipped over by Trafford keeper Terry Smith, but a leveller did arrive midway through the second half when Argent-Barnes was pulled down inside the box. The forward assumed responsibility and placed his penalty past Smith to restore parity.

But Trafford, who reached the quarter-finals of this competition last season, were not to be denied progression and eight minutes later, Curtis Miller nodded home a wicked cross from the left wing to put the visitors back in front.

Cooke turned to his bench in an attempt to force a second equaliser that would have brought about a penalty shoot-out, but a final half-chance came and went in the last ten minutes when Chris Middleton glanced a header wide from a Matty Boland corner.

But it was the visitors who looked the more likely to add a further goal and Newns pulled off an impressive stop in added time to keep the score down. Sadly, though, it wasn’t enough to prevent West falling at the Premier Cup’s first hurdle for the second successive season.

West: Newns, Dale, B. Woods, Tinker, Middleton, Horner, Argent-Barnes, Moloney, A. Woods (Grimshaw 65), Itela (Boland 78), Steer (Sigsworth 65). Not used: Eckersley, Gavin.

West media player of the match: Michael Itela.

Post-match reaction

Analysis from the media team, Rob McKay and Brad Cooke.

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