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Holmes double edges Motors nearer the top

VAUXHALL MOTORS  2, STONE OLD ALLEYNIANS  1.

A smart double from Ben Holmes saw Vauxhall Motors leapfrog over their visitors into third spot in the Hallmark Security League Division One South promotion race, in a game that was a lot more comfortable than the scoreline may suggest, as the home side recorded their fifth straight win.

Mick McGraa’s side took a 10th minute lead when Holmes fired home from the right-hand side of the area and into the far corner, beyond the reach of Stone’s keeper Adam Alcock, to give the hosts a superb start to this must-win fixture.  Stone went close to levelling shortly after, but Kyle Blake dragged his shot wide of the target when well placed. After another excellent build up by Motors, Alcock did well to deny Dave Webb and soon after George Hassall was also thwarted by an assistant’s flag for offside, having volleyed into the net.

After the interval, a superb through ball put Joe Brandon in the clear.  He turned inside to square the ball to Hassall, but his shot was blocked when a goal looked certain.  But there was no denying Motors a crucial second goal on 67 minutes, when Holmes nipped in to head an awkward bouncing ball beyond Alcock.  Matty Carlin had a couple of headed chances to increase that lead before Holmes was denied a hat-trick with another blocked shot.

Somehow the referee managed to find seven minutes of added time at the end of the game and right on the stroke of the final whistle, Stone’s Blake netted a consolation, to give the scoreline an unrealistic look.  The victory takes Motors up to third spot, having been inactive for the last two weekends.  They remain seven points off the top but on current form, cannot possibly be discounted in the final run in with nine matches to play.

Next up is a trip to Eccleshall next Saturday, as they look for another league success.

Vauxhall:  Leigh, Quinn, Drummond, Carlin, Mitchell, Heath, Brandon (Burkey 80), Cooper, Hassall (Hamm 60), Webb, Holmes.  Sub not used:  Costello, Mason, Scarisbrick.