THERE was no festive cheer for the Motormen on Saturday as the closest thing to any Yuletide spirit was the Christmas pudding of a pitch at the Butcher's Arms ground.
Vauxhall struggled to show the form that had propelled them into the lofty heights of third in the table as they were bogged down on the sticky surface.
Manager Alvin McDonald said: 'We deserved something out of the game but sometimes our weaknesses are other team's strengths on a pitch like that.
Defensively we have got to improve, we haven't kept a clean sheet in the league all season.'
The Tameside hosts should have taken the lead after just five minutes when Matt Haddrell pulled down Robert Pell in the area.
But Chris Holmes saved Mark Bradshaw's spot-kick with a good low dive to his left, and seven minutes later the Motormen were ahead through Nicky Young.
Playing a one-two with Terry Fearns, Young cleverly weaved his way past two defenders and home keeper Paul Philips before poking home into the empty net.
The Bloods levelled proceedings on the half-hour mark as Vauxhall failed to clear David Kerr's lofted ball into the box.
Centre-half James Glendenning pounced on Danny Warner's knock-down and fired home into the top right-hand corner of Holmes' goal.
Both sides had their chances to take the lead before the interval and Droylsden's Darren Wright shot wide from close range, while Fearns hit the crossbar with a bicycle kick.
But Pell fired the home side ahead on 62 minutes with a powerful low drive from David Kerr's flick-on, which was deflected into the net despite Holmes getting a hand to it.
The Motormen's misery continued six minutes later when the ball was directed into the net off Glendenning's back, from Pell's throw-in, with Holmes left stranded.
On-loan Paul Aldridge's well-struck low effort from 25 yards, with nine minutes remaining, gave Vauxhall hope, but they were unable to grab a point despite a spirited finish.
Vauxhall: Holmes, Rigby (Spellman 74), McDermott, Brazier, Haddrell, Aldridge, Nesbitt, Lawton, Fearns, Young, Wright.