Northern Premier League


Motors suffer late blow as points are shared against Leek

By Ethan Hoijord

Photo by Paul Bartlett

Vauxhall Motors were dealt a cruel late blow in a three-all draw at home to Leek Town on Halloween night.

The Motormen were on top for great periods of the game at a freezing cold VanEupen Arena. However, after getting themselves back in the lead midway through the second half, Daniel Trickett-Smith netted for the visitors in the nineties dying moments.

New manager Danny Holmes won his first game on Saturday afternoon against promotion chasing Clitheroe and his side were close to picking up another much needed three points against another high flying team.

Central midfielder Haydn Cooper saw himself back in the starting eleven for the first time since August, making his fight and grit in the centre evident. Forward George Nugent made his first start of the season.

It was an even start to the tie as both sides tried to edge themselves in front.

Motors defender Ben Dufton-Kelly, who had recently passed a fitness test after having an issue with his knee, got injured when aiming to clear the ball away from his box.

He came off for Tom Mitchell, the resulting shot from the movement being sent wide.

Great play at the other end by midfielder Ben Holmes saw him find the net on the 10th minute mark.

He produced a brilliant turn on the left hand side to get past his man before firing past former Motors keeper Matthew Corran into the far bottom corner.

The visitors, aiming to find the equaliser, were also pressing through their left. However, they found little luck despite many crosses being sent in with both Adam Hughes and Bobbie Beaumont defending well.

Great shouts for a Vauxhall penalty were turned away by the referee with goalscorer Holmes seemingly being tripped up just inside the box halfway through the opening 45.

Showing his enthusiasm, creative midfielder Jordan Deer clattered into his former teammate Corran as he looked to clear the ball away, it was there to be fought for but a punishing yellow card was the result.

Leek’s pressure payed off on the 39th minute as they got themselves back into the game with a strike from Rob Stevenson and they would very quickly fire themselves into the lead when a run from the right by Daniel Trickett-Smith saw him cut inside before firing past keeper Ally Hughes into his far corner.

However, Danny Holmes’ men were unwilling to be in a losing position going into the break. A great corner was sent in from the left and Danny’s cousin Holmes met the delivery at the back post, ensuring it crossed the line to net his second of the night.

There was a slow start to the second half as the hosts were sending some good crosses into the box. However, Striker Connor Harwood couldn’t quite connect with the ball when it came his way.

Two changes were made in quick succession midway into the half as Cooper and Deer were replaced by Joe Brandon and Lewis Buckley.

A Phenomenal save by keeper Ally Hughes kept the game level as he tipped the ball onto the post from an excellent shot from outside the area.

Straight up the other end, a great cross from the left was sent in to substitute striker Lewis Buckley who scuffed his effort wide.

Defender Adam Hughes put Vauxhall into the lead, firing the ball into the net at the back post after a good corner was sent in.

The Motormen were defending well as full-back Ethan Gouldbourne continued to dominate the hosts left hand side, frustrating those who dared to take him on.

However, a cruel leveller in the dying moments by Trickett-Smith, on the visitors left, saw both teams take a point come the final whistle.

Vauxhall are back in action on Saturday afternoon as they play hosts to Mossley at The VanEupen Arena.

All support for The Motormen is greatly appreciated thus we look forward to seeing you there.