JACK van der Laan’s superb first-half strike saw Newcastle Town end their season with a 1-1 draw with Trafford at the Home Estates Shawe View Stadium.
The first half began in an even, if scrappy, manner, with neither team able to create a clear goal-scoring opportunity.
The best chance of the opening exchange fell to Newcastle on eight minutes, as Ethan Vale’s freekick was spilled by Cooper, but Askey could only volley over. As the half progressed, neither side was able to take control of the game, as some poor passing and positioning scuppered each side's possession.
Newcastle in particular seemed to be able to find space in the Trafford defence, but with players getting isolated they could not capitalise. As the game progressed towards half time, Trafford began to look dangerous, with both Ollie Ford and Matty Barlow shooting wide from good positions.
However, it was Jack van der Laan who lit the game up on 38 minutes, with his sensational long-range strike.
The goal was somewhat against the run of play, and Trafford ended the half by heading wide again from an excellent attacking position.
Trafford began the second half as they finished the first, and Askey had to be alert early on to head a dangerous cross out for a corner. Newcastle had their best opportunities at the beginning of the half, as Connor Russo, Ryan Baxter and Jack van der Laan all managed to set up promising positions.
However, as the half continued Newcastle came under increasing pressure, with Slinn forced into several crucial interventions to deny Trafford. But Trafford’s pressure eventually told on 83 minutes, as Bickerton found himself in space in the centre of the Newcastle box, and fired past Slinn’s dive.
Trafford nearly had a second minutes later, as Slinn nearly spilled a free kick into the path of two attackers, but he just regathered in time.
Newcastle spent the last few minutes trapped in their half, but their defence held firm to secure a well-earned point.
Defeats for Prescott Cables and Glossop North End mean that Newcastle finishes the season in 16th, and remain in the Northern Premier League West for the 2022/23 season.
Match Report by Christopher Sweetman.