St Helens Town 2 Trafford 0 THIS was just the boost St Helens Town needed to get their title chase back on track and it completed a double over their Manchester rivals.
Town were without Showers, Robinson and Flood but still put together a solid looking unit in which Craig Cunningham and veteran Joe Gibiliru were outstanding.
The opening exchanges were crisp and fast but there was little end product from either side, although Town's Gary Jensen did find the net only to be ruled offside.
Orchestrating most things which Trafford did was skipper Franny Vaughan.
A clearance off the line from Trafford's Fitton prevented Cunningham giving Town a 23rd minute opener with a powerful header and there was another goal line skirmish when 'keeper Campbell allowed Nolan's cross to skip through his fingers.
Approaching the interval, the visitors enjoyed their best spell when firstly Dahl had to save bravely at Lundy's feet before launching himself to his right to parry away Ogden's blast but the visitors had the wind taken out of their sails a minute before the break when Town broke to score.
Cunningham made a surging run down the right and his deep cross found Jensen, who angled a perfect header into the path of John McAllister who scored with ease.
As the second half unfolded, Trafford had a great chance on the hour but Lundy planted a free header wide while at the other end Town blew a series of decent situations with poor final passes.
The 70th minute brought a major scare for Town when Trafford's Vaughan lobbed over Dahl's advance but Gibiliru raced back to hook the ball off the line.
In Town's midfield, recent signing David Nolan was beginning to assert himself and a superb crossfield pass got Jensen down the inside left channel, who spurned a decent chance to score.
With 10 minutes remaining, Town put the seal on a good day with the clinching goal, and it was one to savour from substitute Lee Pegram.
During the dying minutes, Dahl was forced to save smartly from close range.
Town incurred two late bookings but that was the only blemish on a good afternoon's work which keeps the Knowsley Road club snapping at leaders Fleetwood's heels.
Town face local Atherton on Monday, January 3.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for St Helens
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 17 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 13 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: South east