Vauxhall 0, Stafford Rangers 0: STRONG winds at Rivacre Park totally ruined Saturday's match as, through no real fault of the players involved, this proved to be an encounter totally devoid of entertainment, writes Christopher Beesley.
Only a week earlier I'd grumbled how a blank date on the fixture calendar had forced me, like many Motormen regulars, to spend a winter Saturday afternoon wandering like a lost soul through a busy shopping centre.
But watching this suddenly made the thought of pounding the pave-ments in the rain seem quite desirable.
To be fair to Vauxhall, they coped with the conditions much better than their visitors, who could barely muster a shot on target.
Manager Owen Brown said: 'Stafford are a dogged side and considering the conditions, we penned them back well. We continue our good run and we could have edged it as we posed a threat with a few decent crosses.'
With the wind blowing towards the Golf Course End, the Motor-men did all the attacking in the first half and the recalled Alan Griffiths went closest to breaking the deadlock with a couple of long range efforts, the first from a free-kick.
At half-time it had become clear that the game might have been in danger of being abandoned because of a power cut affecting both the floodlights and changing room areas.
While that might have proved to be a blessing, the match was able to finish as the light held out sufficiently after the break.
A lofted left-wing cross from James Olsen almost worked an opening for the Motormen but Anthony Wright just failed to make contact with his head.
The only time Tim Dittmer was called into action in the home goal all afternoon was when an inswinging effort from the left delivered by Richard Beale forced him to tip over the bar with the sun in his eyes.
Seven minutes from the end, three Vauxhall players tried to grab a winner as Stafford struggled to clear substitute Wayne McDermott's left-wing corner-kick but Robbie Lawton, Steve McNulty and James Parry were all denied in a scramble.
Vauxhall: Dittmer, Woodyatt, Spellman, Griffiths (McDermott 76), McNulty, Brazier, D Wright, Lawton, A Wright, Olsen, Noone (Parry 60). nPeter Cumiskey is expected to be out for at least another two weeks as he has ligament damage.