TRAFFORD did just enough to overcome a stubborn and well-organised Burscough side 2-0 with goals at the end of each half putting them in the First Qualifying Round of the FA Cup for a home tie against Bamber Bridge.

There were few clearcut chances throughout a defence-dominated game with Trafford’s Sam Grimshaw curling a drive over from the left and Darius Palma firing a 25-yard free kick into the side-netting.

Zack Adekayo saw his powerful drive fly just past the upright in a rare attack by the visitors and the deadlock was finally broken two minutes before the interval when Grimshaw burst from midfield and drilled a good low drive into the bottom corner from 25 yards.

Hesitancy in the Trafford defence allowed Jordan Coates to steer a header into Matty Cooper’s hands four minutes into the second half and home striker Lewis Salmon broke clear shortly afterwards but was denied by a brilliant last-ditch tackle by Luke Smith.

The hosts were now well in control but were again unable to create any clearcut chances although Palma should have done better when he fired over following a brilliant end-to-end move orchestrated by Declan Rydings.

Four minutes into stoppage time, Palma atoned for that miss when he broke clear down the left, cut inside and coolly placed the ball past Dominic Garner to seal the victory.

Tom Baker's men were brought back down to earth at Ramsbottom United on Monday when they slipped to their third successive league defeat when a Tom Kennedy free kick in the 74th minute gave the hosts victory.

There was nothing between the teams in the opening stages with defences on top and the first chance of any note arrived in the 16th minute when Rammy striker Reuben Jerome turned neatly just inside the Trafford penalty area but was denied by a brave save by Cooper.

Iyrwah Gooden fired over six minutes later as the hosts threatened once more and on the half hour the same player ended a great run with a powerful drive just past the upright.

Trafford showed much greater purpose and intensity at the start of the second half and in the 50th minute Palma wasted a glorious opportunity when he half-volleyed wide from just six yards following a cross by Dantai Gabidon.

Gooden sent an overhead kick just over the bar as the game swung from end to end and Trafford centre-back Keil O’Brien twice saw shots blocked in an almighty goalmouth scramble.

Then, in the 74th minute, disaster struck for Baker’s side when a Sam Egerton slip ended with him conceding a free kick on the edge of his penalty area and Kennedy stepped forward to fire past Cooper into the bottom corner.

Trafford gave their all as they desperately sought an equaliser but a vain penalty appeal for handball and a Rydings shot straight at Tom Stewart were all they had to show for their efforts.

Baker’s Boys must now aim to put their poor start behind them on Saturday when they entertain Clitheroe at the Home Estates Shawe View Stadium before travelling to play Kendal Town on Tuesday night.