Northern Premier League


Motors get three points on final home game

By Ethan Hoijord

Vauxhall Motors cruised to a 3-1 victory in their final home game of the season, against Newcastle Town on Saturday afternoon.

Striker Connor Rankin netted the hosts in front in the game’s opening minutes as The Motormen scored all of their goals inside the first half.

The forward doubled his side’s lead from the penalty spot before defender Ben Dufton-Kelly netted a header just before the break.

However, as Nathan Barry netted in the game’s dying moments Vauxhall were left with a sense of frustration as their wait for a first clean sheet since November continues on.

The Motormen made a brilliant start to the game as striker Connor Rankin, who had raced past the defence, looped his header over keeper Joe Slinn’s head, meeting Adam Hughes’ cross.

The tie was relatively balanced at times, in terms of attacking momentum, but Vauxhall maintained their strong defensive resolve to keep out Newcastle’s pacey frontline.

Rankin netted his brace from the penalty spot as Danny Holmes’ side doubled their lead.

Ben Holmes had put on display his tricky skills before being chopped down inside the box and Rankin made no mistake from twelve yards out, despite the keeper diving in the right direction.

Newcastle Town forward Ben Kershaw forced Motors shot-stopper Jack Atkinson into making a fantastic save as he curled the ball powerfully towards goal from just outside the area.

Motors defender Ethan Gouldbourne ensured that his side would go into the break with a clean sheet as he made two equisisite tackles to stop Ewan Catt inside the box.

Defender Ben Dufton-Kelly made it three with a header at the back post before the whistle blew, rising high at the back post from a corner.

There were fewer chances created in the second half. However, Newcastle forward Ewan Catt was presented with a fantastic opportunity to halve his side’s deficit in the 51st minute as he struck his one-on-one effort straight at Atkinson.

Motors forward Joe Brandon, who had replaced midfielder Jordan Wynne on the hour mark, was close to extending Vauxhall’s lead as he sent a cross in which was deflected and nearly sent in to the bottom corner but for a great stop by Joe Slinn.

Rankin was also close to making it four as he struck the ball into the back of the net. However, the assistant referee had his flag raised for offside.

As Newcastle searched for a late goal, number nine Nathan Barry raced through and struck a superb finish into the top corner from the left hand side of the box.

Vauxhall Motors, who have cemented their spot in the Northern Premier League Division One West for the 2024-25 campaign, finish their season off with a trip to Hanley Town next weekend. Newcastle Town travel to Chasetown.

Vauxhall Motors FC, managed by Danny Holmes: Jack Atkinson, Ethan Gouldbourne, Adam Hughes (85’), BDK, Toby Jones, Ben Holmes, George Nugent, Jordan Wynne (63’), Connor Rankin, Will Mountfield (58’), Jordan Deer. SUBS: Kevin Ellison (58’), Bobby Beaumont, Jay Harvey, Joe Brandon (63’), Lewis Sinnott (85’). ‬

‪Newcastle Town FC, managed by Neil Baker: Slinn, Derbyshire, Ritchie, Sherratt, Smith, Stubbs (46’), Kershaw, Graham (40’), Barry, Catt (66’), Van Der Laan. SUBS: Jordan (46’), Lewis, Nolan (40’’), Avery (66’), Jones. ‬