West Didsbury & Chorlton 0 v 1 Vauxhall Motors
A solitary goal from in-form Danny Cross just before the interval, proved to be enough to earn Vauxhall their record-breaking 20th consecutive away victory – and promotion to the NWCL Premier Division, with seven league matches still to play.
On a heavy pitch with drizzle throughout the game, the large home crowd saw both sides start slowly. The first chance came after 12 minutes when Vauxhall’s Ben Holmes whipped in a dangerous cross but Ryan Cox was just unable to make contact when at full stretch.
The best chance fell to Motors’ top scorer Karl Noon but his firm header was superbly saved by the agile Andy Jones in the home goal. At the other end, Motors keeper Ryan Crump had little to do but did save comfortably from Matthews going down to his right on 40 minutes.
Right on the stroke of half time, the Motormen edged in front when Holmes fed Danny Cross and he beat two defenders before firing at goal. His effort took a big deflection which gave Jones absolutely no chance in the West goal – but this was no more than the visitors deserved for their overall dominance of the game. It was his fifth goal of the season and his fourth in fairly quick time.
After the break, the pattern of the match hardly changed, and Motors looked fairly comfortable with their slender lead. That said, Joe Heath had to put his body on the line to prevent the hosts from finding an equaliser on 67 minutes, when Josh Tinker burst through on Motors goal.
Motors manager Mick McGraa was clearly happy with the situation as he only made his first substitution after 79 minutes of the contest, but having introduced two players, Motors had their biggest let off as West wasted the best opportunity at the far post when Matthews fired over from close in.
Motors duly celebrated at the final whistle, as the victory confirmed their promotion but these were fairly muted – as the big target is still the league championship! Motors are due to play host to Abbey Hulton United on Saturday (3pm) at the Syncreon Arena before facing nearest rivals FC Oswestry Town the following Tuesday at home (8pm).
Vauxhall: Crump, Mason (Carlin 79), Heath, Gardner, Mitchell, Rule , Cross, Cooper, Cox (Drummond 90)) , Noon (Burkey 82), Holmes.