TWO defensive blunders cost Trafford dear as they were held to a 2-2 draw by City of Liverpool at the Home Estates Shawe View Stadium on Tuesday night in the BetVictor League North West Division.

After Darius Palma and Toyeeb Mustapha went close in the opening minutes, the hosts fell behind when a misunderstanding between Sam Egerton and Matty Cooper allowed Thomas Peterson to net from close range.

However, in the 32nd minute Palma atoned for his miss with a fine equaliser when he rifled an angled drive past James Aspinall form 15 yards.

Just two minutes later Tom Baker’s side gifted the Merseysiders the lead once more when Chris Palmer uncharacteristically surrendered possession and the ball was fed through to Peterson who coolly slotted it past Cooper.

A brilliant effort by Peterson from 45 yards flew just over the bar as City threatened a third but it was Trafford who struck next when substitute Curtis Miller broke forward and crashed a low drive inside the far post from 25 yards.

Trafford poured forward in the closing minutes in search of the winner but could not find a way through.

Four days earlier, Trafford’s dreams of Wembley were extinguished when they were beaten 3-1 on home soil by National League North side Darlington.

Tom Baker’s side frustrated Darlington for long spells until disaster struck in the 38th minute.

Darlo striker Adam Campbell collected the ball on the right and floated an innocuous looking cross to the back post, and as the Trafford defence failed to react, Stephen Thompson rose to head unchallenged past Cooper.

In the 62nd minute the hosts introduced substitute Palma to the fray and he made an immediate impact, volleying past Chris Elliott from 12 yards after Darlo failed to clear a cross from the right.

Trafford’s magnificent supporters sensed an upset but they were rocked just three minutes later when Cooper spilled a low free kick by Thompson and danger man Campbell pounced to crash the ball home from close range.

Ross Davidson flashed a header wide following a Tom Schofield corner as Trafford sought an equaliser but it was the visitors who finished the stronger with substitute Justin Donowa twice going close before wrapping up the tie in the 88th minute with a back-post header to make it 3-1.

Trafford are in league action once more on Saturday when they host Dunston, kick off 3pm.