TWO goals in the last five minutes inflicted defeat on Trafford at Runcorn Linnets when they had looked good for all three points in BetVictor North West Division.

And they ended the match with 10 men after striker Lewis Walters was shown a straight red for his protests after a late penalty was awarded to the hosts from which their winner came.

The first half contained little in the way of entertainment, the sticky pitch making it difficult to manoeuvre or play free-flowing football.

Trafford were perhaps the more adventurous team, but sometimes struggled to find a white shirt with their passes.

Runcorn threatened at times, and could have been ahead just before the 20-minute mark but Trafford keeper Matt Cooper made two outstanding saves within a minute of each other – the first one parrying a close-range shot that came through the legs of his defender Sam Baird, the second a moment later saw a shot from outside the box take a wicked, looping deflection which Cooper managed to claw away for a corner.

The hosts applied a little more pressure as the half drew to a close, but Trafford always had an outlet via forwards Sam Grimshaw, Darius Palma and Walters.

Fed by the midfielders, the Trafford frontline made some rapid counter attacks and carved out one or two half-chances without success.

With the score goalless at the break, Trafford began the second half with much more purpose.

Chris Palmer, who had replaced Tom Schofield a few minutes before the interval, brought an additional burst of energy to the midfield and the visitors were starting to threaten the Runcorn back line.

In the 54th minute a great piece of skill on the right from Palma led to a chance that was scrambled away for a corner. From the resulting delivery, centre-back Baird soared above all challengers and powered home a header to put Tom Baker’s team ahead.

The visitors looked organised from this point on but late in the game things went wrong in spectacular fashion.

In the 86th minute a free kick was awarded on Trafford’s left which seemed harsh following a shoulder-to-shoulder challenge.

The kick was half cleared but fell to Runcorn’s Lewis McKinney who drove low into the corner from the edge of the box.

Then, to rub salt in the wounds, a 90th-minute penalty box melee resulted in the referee pointing to the spot, much to the delight of the home fans.

The resulting spot-kick, taken by former Trafford player Louis Corrigan, was saved by Cooper only for the ball to rebound kindly to the taker who took the second chance gratefully.

Even more drama followed when Walters was dismissed as Trafford saw their chance of victory slip away.

Trafford’s next game is at The Home Estates Shawe View Stadium on Saturday against Tadcaster Albion (3pm).