ECCLESHALL 2, VAUXHALL MOTORS 1.
This scoreline could not have seemed possible at the interval, such was the dominance of the visitors from the first whistle, that the hosts did not get anywhere near Kristofer Leigh’s goal. It took the Motormen just ten minutes to open their account, when Ben Holmes’ first corner of the contest was headed back across goal by Tom Mitchell at the far post and steered home by Kieran Hamm from close in.
As the half unfolded, Motors continued to pepper the home goal. Hamm, Haydn Cooper, Holmes and Matty Carlin all went close without adding to that early strike. Nonetheless, such had been their dominance it was seemingly impossible to see how the home side could possibly stage a comeback – but they did.
From the start of the second half, Motors suddenly found the going much harder and the home side sensing a route back, stove forward when they could. And on 58 minutes, they got their unexpected lift with an equaliser, a powerful header from striker Josh Graham from Luke Walsh’s free kick on the right, their first effort on target on the day. If that was a shock, then the second home goal ten minutes later was a real hammer blow to the Motormen.
Again the ball came in from the right, was only partially cleared but fell invitingly for Jordan Benton to drive a superb shot into the bottom left corner. Suddenly, Motors were facing an uphill struggle as their first half supremacy had disappeared. Substitute George Hassall headed one effort over the bar and Carlin drew a superb tip over save from Louis McCarthy in the home goal with a header from another corner but in reality, they never really looked like levelling up the scores.
The defeat represented a really great missed opportunity to close the gap on the leaders to five points and move up to second place in the table but this first reverse on 2019 may go much deeper in the long term.
Vauxhall: Leigh, Scarisbrick (Burkey 77), Drummond, Carlin, Mitchell, Quinn (Hassall 69), Brandon, Heath, Hamm, Holmes (Greenop 55), Cooper. Sub not used: Mason.