Trafford lifted the Robinsons Brewery Premier Cup for the first time in their history with a penalty win over cup favourites Hyde.
Goals from Martin Andrews and Shelton Payne turned the tie on its head following David Poole’s early opener, before Connor Hughes’ tame strike sent the game to penalties where Trafford secured victory.
While Garry Vaughan’s Trafford have secured mid-table security in the Evo-Stik Premer League this campaign, it’s been a torrid campaign for Hyde following their own promotion last year.
With just one win in the Skrill Premier Division all season, victory in the Premier Cup would have been just reward for a set of fans who have loyally stuck by their club throughout the campaign.
Their opponents were in town to spoil the party, however, and they did so despite the Tigers naming a strong squad, including 11 of those who travelled for last weekend’s narrow defeat at Luton Town.
The difference in class showed throughout the first half as Hyde broke the deadlock early on. With a long ball pumped forward and allowed to bounce in the Trafford defence, North ’keeper Tom Read watched on as Poole took control and converted from a tight angle.
It was the worst possible start for Vaughan’s side and as they struggled to settle into the game, their opponents pressed for a second. Connor Hughes forced a good save from Read, who was then called upon to tip Liam Tomsett’s long-range effort over from the resulting corner.
Poole’s lofted shot landed on the roof of the netting and Adam Blakeman's free-kick drifted narrowly over the bar.
Yet such has been Hyde’s misfortune this season that despite dominating much of the opening 45 minutes, they inevitably conceded an equaliser. Tom Schofield’s effort was poorly handled by Ashley Frith and captain Martin Andrews nodded his side level – much to the delight of the North’s vocal faithful.
Far from dampening the Conference club’s spirits, however, Hyde continued to take the game to their opposition throughout the latter stages of the half. James Pollard shot wide with the keeper rooted, before seeing a second strike tipped wide by Read. Read again came to Trafford’s rescue as he twice denied Regan Walker from restoring the Tiger’s lead as the half ended with both sides level.
With their manager’s words fresh in their ears, it was Trafford who restarted brightest. Payne forced a comfortable save from Frith, before wasting a golden opportunity just moments later. Peeling away from his defender from a corner, the striker lifted his shot over the bar when well placed.
He made amends in some style. After Palmer had been bundled over just outside the box, Payne stepped up to strike the resulting free-kick in off the underside of the bar in stunning fashion.
The boys in white should have sealed the victory soon after as Steve Mason failed to bundle home when through on goal and Andrews' effort was palmed away. As the clock wound down, they too were made to pay as Hughes’ weak shot trickled through the opposition goalkeeper and into the net.
Penalties followed and with Hyde unable to convert on two occasions, Trafford secured the 2013/14 Robinsons Brewery Premier Cup.