Trafford’s winless run stretched to 10 NPL West games when they were defeated 1-0 at Stalybridge on Saturday, although were desperately unlucky to strike the woodwork, see a goal disallowed and an obvious penalty failing to be awarded in the closing stages.

Due to player departures and injuries, newly-appointed manager Karl Marginson was forced to make four changes to the side that had drawn with Runcorn and included four players from the club’s Under-21s team on the bench.

For most of the first half, the big, physical Celtic side dominated.

And four minutes into the second half, the deadlock was finally broken when Celtic were awarded a corner on the right, the ball was floated onto the head of giant centre-back, Connor O’Grady, and when he headed down towards the back post, Matty Bryan was on hand to tap home from two yards.

Trafford’s tale of woe continued in the 55th minute when left-back Sean Higgins was stretchered off with a nasty-looking leg injury, Mackena Bradshaw taking his place in defence.

Brad Rose was fortunate to escape when his attempted clearance was charged down and in the 78th minute manager Marginson introduced substitutes Mike Burke and Matt Lusakueno in an attempt to salvage something from the game.

Trafford were completely on top in those closing stages and should have been awarded a penalty in the 81st minute when an attempted clearance by O’Grady struck his hand in an unnatural position.

Five minutes later Lusakueno brilliantly controlled a high ball beyond the far post, sped past Wara and crossed for Burke to net from eight yards. Trafford’s joy was short-lived, however, as the assitant raised his flag although there was uncertainty whether the goal was ruled out for offside or for Lusakueno allegedly taking the ball over the goalline.

The visitors continued to push forward in search of the equaliser and were unfortunate once again when, in the first minute of added time, Eddie Survets cut in from the right and struck a great angled drive that rattled the bar.

Time eventually ran out for Trafford and they were left to reflect on another game in which fortune failed to smile upon them.

They now face two crucial home games in the space of four days, entertaining Chasetown on Saturday (3pm) and Nantwich Town on Tuesday (7.45pm).