THE fixture computer has picked out a cracker for Vauxhall's opening game in Nationwide North by sending the Motormen to Southport on the first day of the season on Saturday, August 14.
The clash will pit former Rivacre Park goal ace Terry Fearns against his former club on what is likely to be his debut for the Sandgrounders.
Prolific marksman Fearns was sent off on his last appearance at Haig Avenue in a case of mistaken identity, which sparked ugly scenes on the touchline with an unsavoury mêlée involving players and coaching staff from both sides.
Ironically,the player who had committed the initial offence and was subsequently banned was midfielder Kevin Lynch, who has also joined Fearns at Southport and could also line up against his former teammates.
Following their trip to Southport, Vauxhall have a further five fixtures in August against former UniBond League opponents who they faced last season (Droylsden, Worksop, Lancaster, Alfreton and Harrogate) - and it's not until September 4 when they visit Redditch United that they come across new opposition.
The league has arranged 'derby' matches for Boxing Day/New Year's Day with the Motormen tackling Runcorn home and away respectively in a double header over the festive period.
The campaign closes on Saturday, April 30, with a trip to one of manager Owen Brown's former clubs, Barrow, who attract regular four-figure crowds and are likely to be one of the best-supported clubs in the new division.
Chairman Alan Bartlam said: 'When the Southportgame wasannounced,Ithought that someone at the Conference must have a good sense of humour.
'It's a big game for us while Terry Fearns and Kevin Lynch have the chance to play against their former team-mates. We played Southport three times last season and always did all right. It's also interesting that the rest of the games in August are all against teams that finished above us.
'The move to this division isn't a sideways step as we'll be up against professionally-run clubs with high profiles and big support bases. It won't be easy competingwithcrowdsof 250sowe'vegot to get more people through the gate, but we've come a long way in a short space of time.'
Meanwhile, with pre-season training now into its second week, Vauxhall have announced the departure of a third senior player this summer with central defender Craig Robinson joining Nationwide North rivals Droylsden.
On Tuesday, July 22, the same evening Vauxhall's first team face an Everton XI at Rivacre Park (7.30), the West Cheshire League side will play Lucas Sports on the outside pitch at 7.00.
The sides will contest the Mark Pearson Trophy, in memory of the player who turned out for both clubs before dying after collapsing while turning out for the Motormen five years ago.