Abbey Hulton United 2 v 5 Vauxhall Motors
Mick McGraa’s squad moved seven points clear of the chasing pack in the NWCL on Tuesday night, thanks to their midfielders led by Joe Heath, as Motors netted four times during the second half against their Potteries rivals.
Yet again, Vauxhall found themselves trailing during the latter stages of the first half, despite having started brightly. Just moments after Michael Burkey drove narrowly across goal with one shot, a barrage of on-target efforts were thwarted until Heath struck a second drive into the bottom corner of the net to give the visitors a deserved early lead after 11 minutes.
But Motors, without captain Tom Mitchell, a late withdrawal from the starting line up, suddenly found themselves behind. A great header from Josh Graham drew the sides level on 24 minutes. Then we witnessed the most amazing turnaround just three minutes later.
Heath attempted to bulldoze his way through the home defence only to be brought down inside the box. Up stepped Burkey only for 17-year-old keeper Morgan Wooliscroft to save his penalty going to his left. He immediately released Keeylin Thomas up front and he coolly lobbed the ball over stranded keeper Ryan Crump for a stunning second home goal.
The Motormen took stock at the interval and came out determined to overturn the home advantage. It took them just five minutes to level up the scores, when following a long throw in, the ball fell invitingly for Glenn Rule to fire home from fourteen yards. Seven minutes later, the visitors were back in front, as Heath headed home via an upright at the far post from Ben Holmes’ free kick on the right.
On 74 minutes, the game was effectively won, when Haydn Cooper lashed home from fully 22 yards to make it 4-2, with all the Motors goals coming from midfielders. Shortly before the end, Vauxhall were awarded their second penalty of the night only this time striker Kieran Hamm made no mistake from the spot kick to complete the scoring, though Hulton twice went close either side of this in a late home rally, only to be denied by two fine saves from Crump.
Vauxhall: Crump, Gardner, Drummond, Carlin,Cross, Heath, Holmes, Rule, Cox (Hamm 46), Cooper (Willingham 75) , Burkey (Mason 81). Subs not used: Mitchell, Brandon.