Vauxhall Motors 2 Northwich Victoria 1
MOTORS have been handed another crack at Blue Square Premier opposition after taking the scalp of Northwich Vics in the FA Trophy on Saturday.
Goals from Tom Field and Ged Brannan were enough to see Vauxhall through in a fiery Cheshire derby, and now the Ellesmere Port side will face Nigel Clough’s Burton Albion in round two.
The tie will take place at Rivacre Park on Saturday, January 12.
Motors chairman Alan Bartlam said: “It’s great to get Cloughie’s mob! They’re doing really well and it will be interesting to see how that match pans out.”
The Motormen began brightly against Vics and took just nine minutes to edge in front.
Field, handed the captain’s armband in place of the injured Joe McMahon, won a tussle for the ball on the right before playing a neat one-two with Peter Heler and striking a decent shot goalwards.
Vics keeper Scott Tynan should have had the effort well covered, but he completely fumbled his save and the ball bobbled over his body and across the line.
Four minutes after half time, a revitalised Vics struck the equaliser as Luke Horrocks was left in acres of space down the left. He drew home keeper Andy Murphy off his line before neatly pulling the ball back to former Chester City striker Lee Steele, who comfortably converted from eight yards.
Midway through the second period, both Paul Taylor and Vics substitute Mike Byrne went close in quick succession. First Taylor saw his neat shot on the turn well saved by Tynan, while Byrne saw his effort cannon off the crossbar before the referee’s whistle went for offside as Danny Williams fired home the rebound.
The winning goal came from one of the most experienced players on the pitch – former Tranmere Rovers, Manchester City and Motherwell star Brannan.
A trademark piece of Taylor magic saw him leave his marker for dead, and his inch-perfect cross was headed home by Brannan from eight yards. It was his first goal for Motors.
Vics thought they had levelled just four minutes later when Williams drove home, but the referee disallowed his effort after spotting a handball in the build-up.
Shortly after, Nat Kerr was dismissed for picking up a second yellow card after Williamson put in a bad tackle on Taylor, sparking a melee in which referee Mo Matadar deemed Kerr deserved to be booked. Williamson was also cautioned.
The 10 men of Vics poured forward in an effort to salvage a replay late on and it took a superb save by Murphy low down to his left from an Akins header to ensure Motors went through.
Andy Mutch’s men pocket £4,000 in prize-money for getting through the first round – and a further £5,000 will be theirs if they beat Burton.
Vauxhall go to Hinckley United tomorrow and host Barrow on Boxing Day. Both games kick-off at 3pm.