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Match Report – Vauxhall Motors 4-1 Longridge Town

Vauxhall Motors 4 Longridge Town 1

Saturday 19th March 2022, 3pm KO

VanEupen Arena

NWCFL Premier Division

Report by Ethan Hoijord

Vauxhall Motors beat Longridge Town 4-1 at The VanEupen Arena on Saturday afternoon as Mick McGraa’s side put four goals past the visitors with an immense first half performance.

The Motors started strongly, and they would soon be rewarded when Ben Dufton-Kelly put the hosts in front with a great strike. Longridge responded to this early set back by placing a great pass across the box, but a great goal line clearance kept McGraa’s team in the lead.

One goal in front turned to be three when Vauxhalls scored two quick-fire goals, ensuring that it would be them that earned all three points this weekend. Dufton-Kelly got his brace when a corner came in low and was met by Leo Riley who played a great pass to his teammate. Kieran Knapper got the third, a superb finish with the ball firing into the top right corner.

There would be a couple of substitutions made following these strikes, Joe Melling replacing Jack Anderton who went off with a slight knock for Town. Ethan Gouldbourne replaced Simon Thelwell for Motors due to injury concerns. Mick McGraa told us in his Post-Match Interview that it may be a groin injury, but we are awaiting a full examination.

However, the goals would continue to come when Longridge hit back on the 42nd minute. Unfortunately for them, they wouldn’t be able to extend their comeback before conceding as Ben Holmes netted for the leaders in additional time of the first half.

The interval came with McGraa’s side 4-1 up, Charlie Alston and Ben Fletcher would replace Moses Yoak and Brad Wicks for the visitors as they aimed to get back into the game.

However, it would be Motors that looked more likely to score next through Knapper as a long run through his opponents defence saw his effort cleared off the line.

In truth, there would be little action in the second half as the game was far out of reach for Longridge. Jack Kelly and Harvey Sample would make an appearance as they replaced Knapper and Michael Burkey with twenty minutes remaining.

A solid all-round performance from the Motormen, with Ben Dufton-Kelly being awarded the Man of the Match from the fixture.

Vauxhall Motors are next in action when they face Runcorn Town  on 26th March at The VanEupen Arena. The win against Longridge Town placed them 8th in the NWCFL Premier Division.

Mick McGraa was ‘delighted with the performance’, and said his side ‘were class throughout the game’. He was also impressed with the individual performances of Ben Dufton-Kelly, who scored a brace, and Jordan Deer, who grabbed 2 assists. “Ben (Dufton-Kelly) and Jordan Deer were brought in for players for the future, looking ahead to next season. They’ve both got massive potential in non-league, obviously Ben a solid centre half, and Jordan a great playmaker. But the job they’ve done since we brought them in has been fantastic. We can see on a Tuesday and Thursday evenings at training that they’re improving every week, and that shows on the pitch with their superb performances of late’.

Just two league games remain for McGraa’s side, including next weekend against Runcorn Town and away to Litherland Remyca on the final day. In between that, though, comes an all-important Cheshire Senior Cup tie against Runcorn Linnets at home, before the Macron Cup commences on the 9th of April, as we visit West Didsbury and Chorlton. The winner of that tie will host Cammell Laird 1907 in Round Two. Looking forward, McGraa said, “Obviously, we want to finish as high up in the league as possible. But the main focus now has to be the Cheshire Senior Cup, our biggest chance of winning silverware this season. But it won’t be easy, especially against a strong Runcorn Linnets side. And then after that semi-final, and after the league season comes to an end, then we worry about the Macron Cup and how far we progress in that competition”.

Vauxhall Motors team, managed by Mick McGraa:

Ciaran O’Loughlin, Ethan Gouldbourne, Greg Drummond, Ben Dufton-Kelly, Tom Mitchell ©️, Leo Riley, Kieran Knapper, Jordan Deer, Craig Cairns, Ben Holmes, Michael Burkey.

Subs: Jack Kelly, Harvey Sample, Simon Thelwell, Sean Moscrop.

Longridge Town, managed by Lee Ashcroft:

Daniel Roccia, Moses Yoak, Daniel Wilkinson, Bradley Wicks, Matthew Flynn ©️, William Riding, Scott Harries, Jack Anderton, Connor Martin, Paul Turner, Daniel Forbes.

Subs: Benjamin Fletcher, Andrew Leggett, Charlie Alston, Joe Melling, Maine Walder.