Stalybridge Celtic 3, Vauxhall 4: THE Motormen leap frogged their Tameside hosts in the table with victory in a Bower Fold thriller on Saturday as the sides clashed for the second time in four days.
Manager Owen Brown said: 'I'm sure the club will be where they want to be come the end of the season. We've got a good bunch of lads now and you just have to look at the players who aren't even getting in the team, plus we'll add to that in the summer.
'This was a big game for both clubs and we showed character, resilience and effort. Every time Stalybridge looked like coming back, we hit them again. The players showed how much they wanted it.'
A Terry Fearns cracker fired the visitors ahead on 12 minutes as his powerful first-time strike from Robbie Lawton's right-wing cross flew past home debutant Dave McCarthy in the Stalybridge goal after Mark Roberts had headed down a long throw from Mike Tomlinson.
Andy Hayward slotted a low effort from the edge of the area past Dittmer to level proceedings on 44 minutes, but Vauxhall restored their lead a minute into first-half stoppage time as Roberts slotted home from close range.
Hayward restored parity for a second time 10 minutes after the restart, blasting in from 20 yards after an indirect free kick was tapped to him, but again the Motormen's response was swift.
Less than two minutes later, Vauxhall drove forward through Fearns, who was brought down in the area by Terry Bowker, and the striker netted the resultant spot kick himself, shooting to McCarthy's right and sending the keeper the wrong way.
Motormen skipper Lawton sent both the away dugout and supporters into raptures on 65 minutes as he extended his side's advantage, slipping the ball past McCarthy when one-on-one after being played through by Steve Porter.
Stalybridge rallied for a third time, pulling a goal back 10 minutes from the end as overlapping right back Dave German blasted home from inside the box, after Phil Gastwood had nodded down substitute Colin Potts' right-wing cross. But Vauxhall held out to take the points from this crucial clash.
Vauxhall: Dittmer, Spellman, McDermott, Robinson, Roberts, Porter, Nesbitt, Lawton, Fearns (Parry 90), Tomlinson, Cumiskey (Lynch 78). Att: 529.
Vauxhall and Stalybridge drew 1-1 at Rivacre Park on Tuesday of last week. Chris Denham put the visitors ahead on five minutes but Terry Fearns levelled from penalty spot just before half-time after being brought down.