Vauxhall 1, Marine 0: FOR the third time in as many games, Terry Fearns won and converted a penalty for the Motormen with his late strike securing a derby success at Rivacre Park on Easter Monday, writes Christopher Beesley.
The victory puts his side on the brink of being mathematically sure of securing a place in the new Conference North, with Runcorn the only team outside the top 13 who can now catch them.
Manager Owen Brown said: 'Terry's a phenomenon, the other players think he's my blue-eyed boy, but he's a bit special.
'The range of goals that he scores is great, headers and volleys both inside and outside the box.
'He's done it consistently for us for three seasons now, but Terry would be the first to admit it's down to the quality behind him and the service he gets.
'This was a hard-fought game but we deserved to win. We kept on going and we were the only side that looked like scoring as Marine didn't show much ambition.'
Whereas Saturday's encounter at Stalybridge was end-to-end stuff because both teams were chasing points for a Conference North place, but on this occasion, the sides seemed to cancel each other out.
Unfortunately, the incident of most note in the first half was a nasty clash of heads between Mike Tomlinson and Marine's Lee Mullin, which forced both players to be substituted and the Vauxhall man taken to hospital for stitches.
The match seemed to be destined for stalemate when Peter Cumiskey curled a shot against Marine keeper Peter Crookes' right-hand post in the 87th minute, but Fearns broke the deadlock moments later.
Vauxhall's top scorer was unnecessarily tripped on the edge of the area by Neil Murphy and rolled the resultant spot-kick to Crookes' right, sending the custodian in the wrong direction for his 36th goal of the season.
Vauxhall: Dittmer, Spellman, McDermott, Robinson, Roberts, Lynch (Macauley 87), Nesbitt, Lawton, Fearns, Tomlinson (Griffiths 37), Cumiskey. Att: 339.
The Motormen play host to Blyth Spartans on Saturday in their final home game of the season.