TRAFFORD crashed out of the FA Trophy at the Home Estates Shawe View Stadium on Saturday when they lost 3-0 to Runcorn Linnets at the preliminary-round stage.

Runcorn looked lively from the start and took the lead on 11 minutes, Kurt Sherlock finishing off a slick move by firing into the bottom corner from a crowded six-yard box.

The visitors were sharp down the right flank and both Sherlock and Jamie Rainford fired in dangerous crosses.

And it was another ball from the right that proved to be Trafford’s undoing, fired low across the box before Sam Baird inexplicably turned the ball past his own keeper.

To the home team’s credit, they didn’t let their heads drop and had a good chance to get on the scoresheet before the interval when neat play down the left saw Joel Amado feed Curtis Miller, who curled a shot over from the edge of the area.

Runcorn increased the pressure after the teams came out for the second half and neat inter-play between Thomas Owens and Rainford saw the ball played to the impressive Ryan Gibson who could only drag his shot wide.

Trafford responded and almost pulled one back. Miller found himself in space and his shot from the edge of the box was tipped past the post by the Linnets keeper.

A triple substitution on 60 minutes tried to change Trafford’s play with Tom Baker striving to add inspiration and pace.

However, any hope of a Trafford comeback was cruelly quashed two minutes later.

Gibson drove down the left, shrugging off the challenge of Jake Kenny, and pulled the ball back to Rainford. He swivelled, getting the ball under control before burying it into the bottom corner, giving Matt Cooper no chance.

Trafford were still knocking on the door and Laurence Taylor threaded a great pass to Lewis Salmon who was thwarted by the Runcorn stopper.

The Runcorn defence remained resolute and it was the visitors who almost put the icing on the cake in the dying minutes when Gibson broke from midfield and outsprinted the home defence but he was denied a goal as he flashed his shot across Cooper and wide of the far post.

Trafford were in mid-season friendly action on Tuesday with a home game against Stockport County.

Baker's side lost 3-1 to the Hatters, Toyeeb Mustapha netting a late penalty consolation after he was upended in the box.

Trafford return to BetVictor League North West Division action on Saturday with a trip to the North East, at Dunston UTS.