Vauxhall Motors 2 v 4 Ellesmere Rangers
The Motormen suffered a major breakdown at home to in-form Ellesmere Rangers, who came from 2-0 down at the interval to totally overwhelm Mick McGraa’s side. It was the first home league reverse of the season for Motors, who must have thought they were on the way to another three points at the break.
The visitors, who have enjoyed a superb run of results since early October, began well, forcing the home side on to the back foot with Brendon Price firing just over the bar. Motors weathered that early onslaught and then began to assert themselves on the visitors.
Ryan Cox drew a fine save from Rangers keeper Liam Cains but the latter was left helpless just a short time later, when Joe Brandon side-footed home when in the clear from twelve yards out on 28 minutes to give Motors the lead.
Five minutes later it was 2-0 as Brandon cut in from the left flank and fired into the far corner for a superb strike, his eighth goal of the campaign. And the lead could have grown further before half time, when a fabulous cross field pass found Brandon on the right and he set up Danny Cross, only for the keeper to block his shot from close range.
But any thoughts the Motormen had of an easy second half were completely off the mark as Rangers netted three times inside just seven minutes, with the hosts fallen apart as Rangers reaped havoc down the left flank. Full back Connor Courtney started the comeback five minutes into the restart, cutting in on his right foot to fire a tremendous shot beyond the reach of home custodian Ryan Crump from outside the area.
Three minutes later, the visitors were level as Jack Briscoe profited from a pass from the left hand side of the area to fire home. And just another four minutes elapsed before Rangers took the lead with Motors wilting, and again it stemmed from the left and fell inviting for Briscoe to convert.
Motors threw on both Karl Noon and Michael Burkey but they had little impact and then defender Kyle Scarisbrick became the first Motors player this season to be sin-binned for 10 minutes for dissent, before the visitors effectively wrapped up another fine victory with a fourth on 76 minutes from Price, which was a total calamity for the Motors defence.
And with FC Oswestry coming from behind to win, Motors lead at the top was cut to two points, though McGraa’s side still have two games in hand.
Vauxhall: Crump, Scarisbrick, Drummond, Gardner, Carlin (Mitchell 80), Willingham (Burkey 61), Brandon, Rule, Cox (Noon 61), Cooper , Cross. Subs not used: Holmes, Edgar.