TRAFFORD picked up just a single point over two Christmas matches as their Evo-Stik West play-off ambitions were dented.

In their first outing on December 22, they went down 2-0 at Prescot Cables.

Things could have been so different, however, as Trafford striker Aaron Burns squandered a great chance in the opening 30 seconds when Harry Winter released him down the middle but home keeper Ben Barnes left his line to block at point-blank range.

In the 12th minute, disaster struck when Trafford keeper Matty Cooper was adjudged to have fouled Michael Monaghan when in fact he parried the ball, and, despite the vehement appeals of the visitors, a penalty was awarded that Chris Almond coolly dispatched into the bottom corner.

Just after the half-hour mark Trafford’s cause was made more difficult when Darius Palma was forced to withdraw with a leg injury.

Prescot were on top as the second half got under way and on two occasions their appeals for a penalty were waved aside.

However, in the 52nd minute they doubled their advantage when a deep cross from the left was volleyed against the upright by Jack Lenehen and Monaghan followed up to knock the ball in from close range.

The final 20 minutes belonged to the home side as Trafford struggled to cope with their pace and teamwork.

It was slightly better for Trafford on Boxing Day when leading scorer Burns came off the bench to snatch a late equaliser against Atherton Collieries at the First Point Shawe View Stadium.

The visitors started the game at an incredible tempo with Connor Gaul driving into the side-netting after just nine seconds.

Trafford keeper Cooper then tipped a thunderous effort by David Sherlock over the bar in the second minute and from the resulting corner, Ian Rowlands glanced a header just wide.

The onslaught continued with Cooper pushing a Tom Bentham shot past his near post and then brilliantly blocking a Ben Hardcastle blockbuster following a superb slick move by Colls.

A Gaul shot was deflected into the side-netting and Danny Lafferty shot weakly at Cooper as Colls dominated and it was not until the 30th minute that Trafford threatened the visitors' goal when Lewis Nightingale struck a low free kick past the left-hand post.

As half time approached Tom Baker’s side got into the game with Winter shooting straight at Greg Hartley who then saved a Chris Palmer snapshot at the second attempt.

The second half began in a similar vein to the first with Colls pushing forward relentlessly.

A free kick by Gareth Peet was deflected too high and once more Rowlands headed the corner over.

And in the 53rd minute the visitors were finally rewarded for their superiority when a cross was flighted in from the right and Tom Bentham rose unchallenged to head past Cooper.

Sherlock and Hardcastle both went close to doubling Colls lead before, in the 63rd minute, Trafford’s giant centre-back Keil O’Brien saw his goal-bound header cleared off the line by Peet.

With 25 minutes remaining Trafford introduced substitutes Ross Davidson and Burns and at last the hosts began to play with greater conviction and authority.

Winter was controlling the midfield and went close with a header from eight yards in the 83rd minute.

At the other end, Colls substitute James Kirby struck a great angled drive from 25 yards into the side-netting before the visitors were stunned in the 86th minute by the equaliser.

Trafford built neatly down the left flank and when the ball was played in to Burns, he turned neatly to strike a low shot that was deflected past Hartley by defender Rowlands.

Bentham shot weakly at Cooper following a fine run by Gaul but it was Trafford who finished the stronger and Palmer could have snatched the winner in the dying seconds when his blast from 15 yards was deflected behind by Peet.