Lee Ashforth was disappointed to see Clitheroe’s five-game unbeaten run come to an end against Trafford but accepted there were positives to take from the performance.
The Blues were beaten by a late wonder strike from substitute Ross Davidson having held a first half advantage at Shawbridge.
The visitors had threatened first, inside the opening 10 minutes, but an Aaron Burns header from Matthew Bryan’s inviting cross was straight at Cameron Terry.
Clitheroe were forced in to a change before the quarter-of-an-hour mark was up as Jonah Gosling sustained a fractured eye socket following an accidental collision.
Trafford’s next opportunity came midway through the first half when Terry turned Burns’s close range effort for a corner before Matthew Bryan’s left-footed attempt from Jack Dorney’s resulting set-piece cleared the crossbar.
The away side went close again on the half-hour mark, from another corner routine, but James Moore’s header was cleared off the line by Macauley Harewood.
Trafford goalkeeper Matt Cooper held on to Hyuga Tanner’s attempt from the edge of the penalty area moments later but there was nothing he could do to prevent the hosts taking the lead in the dying embers of the half.
Debutant James Boyd, who had arrived from Bamber Bridge, was the man to get it, coolly slotting past Cooper from Jamie Rainford’s dummy.
After looking dangerous in the opening 45 minutes, Burns finally got his reward when pulling Trafford level seven minutes in to the second half.
Centre back Moore was allowed to bring the ball forward unchallenged and eventually whipped in a cross for Burns to head home.
Neither side were able to make an impression in the final third for the majority of the half but Davidson changed that with five minutes to go.
The midfielder had picked the ball up deep and carried it forward before unleashing an unstoppable drive from 25 yards out that secured Trafford all three points.
“It’s disappointing to lose to a late wonder strike but I thought we played very well in the first half,” said Ashforth.
“I thought we had the majority of possession, without creating anything too clear cut, and Trafford will probably say the same.
“In the second half we looked tired and Trafford were the better team.”
“They got it forward quicker and forced us to defend, especially from the number of set-pieces they had.
“I thought our lads put in a shift, we look a lot more solid, we look better, the new lads that came in did very well and so it’s disappointing to lose.
“We’ll kick on again now, there’s no doubt that Trafford are one of the better teams in the league and they’ll be up there at the end of the season. We’ll take the positives.”
The Blues welcome Pontefract Collieries to the Ribble Valley on Saturday in the FA Trophy with kick off at 3 p.m.
“You take positives out of the game and now I’ve said to the lads they’ve got to try and create another winning run,” Ashforth continued. “We’re not going to go all season without getting beaten.
“It’s important that we now regroup and recover.”