Trafford’s struggles continued as they crashed to their third successive defeat against a physically superior and well-organised Kidsgrove side.
Home manager Karl Marginson gave league debuts to goalkeeper Sam Booth, centre back Tom Eckersley and striker Niall Cummins and Booth was quickly in the action, producing a brilliant point blank save to thwart Oliver Finney in the 6th minute.
Eckersley was not so fortunate, however, as just a minute later he was forced to leave the field with a calf injury to be replaced by Kwame Osigwe.
Ally Brown cleared off his own goal-line as Kidsgrove dominated and Booth was called into action once again when he pushed a Finney drive from 25 yards past the upright.
Tom Beckett struck a free kick from the edge of the penalty area wastefully into the defensive wall as Trafford mounted a rare attack and the first half appeared to be heading for a stalemate when the hosts gifted Grove the opening goal in the 44th minute, Osigwe sending a back pass straight to Anthony Malbon who had the simplest of tasks in firing past Booth.
The opening stages of the second half saw both teams surrendering possession far too frequently but Grove doubled their lead in the 56th minute when Joe Woolley glanced an in-swinging free kick from the left past Booth and into the bottom corner.
Three minutes later Trafford centre back Harry Norris headed over at the back post and then substitute Hilal Khan blasted well over from the edge of the penalty area following great work down the left by Damola Sotona.
Rob Worrall fired just wide from 25 yards as Marginson’s men battled spiritedly and they were thrown a lifeline in the 88th minute when Tom Beckett stepped inside two defenders and planted a fine shot inside the right hand upright to make it 2-1.
Two minutes later, man-of-the-match Beckett, almost struck again with another piece of impish skill on the left that ended with a low drive that scraped the opposite upright.
But it all proved to be too little too late as the final whistle signalled another terribly disappointing performance and result that leaves Trafford second from bottom in the NPL West Division.
View from the dugout: “We play when the pressure is off.”
Post-match interview duties were passed to coach and former Trafford player Harry Winter, as Karl Marginson was unavailable due to a lost voice. Harry reflected on our newest signings and discussed the importance of mentality. His full interview can be found on our YouTube channel.
On Saturday, Marginson’s team travel to play third from bottom 1874 Northwich, currently two points ahead of Trafford, in a crucial relegation battle kicking off at 3 p.m.