Motors take NPL Scalp in County Cup

Stalybridge Celtic 0 v 1 Vauxhall Motors

 An almost perfect performance saw Mick McGraa’s side pull off the shock of the season at Bower Fold on Tuesday, the home of BetVictor NPL club Stalybridge Celtic as the Motormen breezed into the last eight of the Cheshire Senior Cup with their 15th straight away success!

 In a very cagey first half, it was surprising to see Celtic struggle to put their visiting minnows from the NWCL under pressure. Indeed it took them all of 20 minutes to register a shot on target when first Darius Osei had a shot saved quickly followed by Neil Kengni, who saw his strike tipped over the bar by Motors keeper Ryan Crump.

The visitors rarely troubled the home defence during the opening half despite the efforts of the majestic Glenn Rule in the middle of the park but that all changed after the break. Suddenly Motors were putting Celtic under some pressure. Rule went close with an angled free kick and Celtic saw two efforts ruled out for offside, as the game opened out.

The early introduction of wide players Michael Burkey and Joe Brandon for Motors turned the tie Vauxhall’s way. They tormented the home defence and deservedly got their reward in the 70th minute when Burkey was tripped inside the box by Jack O’Leary resulting in a penalty. Karl Noon duly converted from twelve yards, firing into the bottom left corner beyond Alex Fojticek in the home goal.

Both Noon and Brandon went close to adding to that score whilst Celtic struggled to make a fight of it. It was a superb result for the Motormen, defeating a club three rungs further up the pyramid and showed exactly what this squad is capable of. They now have a home tie against Hyde United in the quarter-finals next month, which should have proved to be a huge incentive for the hosts – but they fell way short as Motors duly ran out time to complete a stunning victory.

Vauxhall: Crump, Mason, Heath, Gardner, Mitchell, Cooper, Holmes, Rule, Noon (Carlin 90+3), Cox (Brandon 54), Cross (Burkey 55) Subs not used: Scarisbrick & Drummond