THE Motormen picked up a much-needed first point under new manager Owen Brown in a scrappy derby at the Halton Stadium on Saturday.
And despite being without suspended central defender Craig Robinson, the Motormen looked far more solid at the back than in recent games, in which new recruit Matthew Higgins from Macclesfield Town had a very competent game in goal in his first match for the club.
Vauxhall took the lead on 40 minutes when Wayne McDermott played a great ball in behind the defence down the left channel, which striker Terry Fearns latched on to before cutting in along the byline and passing inside to Peter Cumiskey, who saw his initial shot blocked at close range but just managed to steer the loose ball home.
The Motormen were keeping the home side at bay but the loss of skipper Kevin Lynch through injury on 72 minutes was a big blow and, within seconds of his departure, Runcorn levelled with an own goal from a corner when the ball struck defender Chris Whelan.
It was then very much backs to the wall for the away side and it was with some relief when the final whistle arrived.
And Vauxhall boss Owen Brown was pleased to pick up a point in a hard-fought game.
He said: 'I thought both sides cancelled each other out. We were a lot better organised and more solid defensively, but we never performed or showed the ability we have. However, we are pleased to get a point.
'We lost our captain, who was dominating the game. As soon as he limped off, we conceded an own goal. The ball just hit Chris and went in - he didn't know a thing about it.'
But an optimistic Owen added: 'If the team battles and shows the tenacity they showed today, I'm sure there are better times ahead.
'We have thanked the lads for their application this week and they have worked very hard, which is good news. We are all working towards the same cause.'
Vauxhall: Higgins, Ward, McDermott, Griffiths, Whelan, Lynch (Rigby 72), Nesbitt, Lawton, Fearns, Young, Cumiskey. Subs: Norman, McIIroy.