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Lairds v Trafford in Play-Off Final

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Friday`s Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division North play-off final will be between Cammell Laird and Trafford….

…..at Kirklands following Bank Holiday Monday`s semi-finals.

Laird, who surprised many by finishing as runners-up to champions Skelmersdale United in the regular season, inflicted a cruel blow on a Mossley side who only just crept into the play-offs on the final day of the season.

A fairly even affair at Kirklands in front of a crowd of 338 looked like heading for extra-time, with only a Craig Cairns` effort that was cleared off the line by Mossley`s Cavell Coo coming near to breaking the deadlock.

However, in the 3rd minute of injury-time at the end of the game, Joe Holt popped up with the winner for Tony Sullivan`s side.

The other semi-final at Church Lane paired a New Mills outfit who were forced to play no less than twelve games in just over four weeks to catch up after suffering more than most during the bad weather, with the dangerous Trafford side, who have been fairly consistent throughout the campaign.

The start was delayed for 15 minutes due to Bank Holiday traffic congestion in the Peak District holding up the Trafford bus.

A crowd of 448 saw another evenly-matched contest in which both sides hit the woodwork.

But it ended goalless after normal time, but within 7 minutes of extra-time Will Ahern broke the deadlock by giving Trafford the lead.

And then with virtually the last kick of the game, Michael Oates scored his thirty-fifth goal of the season to take the visitors through to Friday`s final.

But for the Millers, it was one game – and extra-time – too many.


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