FORMER Motormen manager Alvin McDonald made a dramatic first return to Rivacre Park last night as he grabbed his first win as Linnets boss to come from behind and knock his old side out of the Carthium League Cup.
McDonald, Vauxhall's most successful manager, was taken on at the Halton Stadium only two weeks ago, having been out of the game for 10 months following his sacking by Northwich Victoria in December, and was delighted with how his new team performed to end his former employers' eight-match unbeaten run.
He said: 'Vauxhall are in a false position as, while I was out of work, I got to watch a lot of matches at this level and they're as good as any side I've seen in this league. Their season is up and running now, so we showed great character to come here and get the result.'
Just four days after steering his side to their best performance of the campaign to knock North-wich out of the FA Cup, McDonald's successor at Rivacre Park, Owen Brown, was left ruing the home side's display.
He said: 'I'm very disappointed. It seemed to be a case of 'After the Lord Mayor's Show', but players will have to focus on the games ahead and anyone who is looking over their shoulders and thinking about the Bury match will find themselves out of the side. We've got to perform over 90 minutes, they can't just turn it on or off when they like. Runcorn were the worst team we've played all season but they still beat us.'
The evening actually started in fine fashion for the hosts as they took the lead just three minutes in with a wonderfully-fashioned goal.
Peter Cumiskey stroked the ball into the net to complete a slick three-man move after receiving possession from Karl O'Donnell's back-heel via Robbie Lawton's searching pass from the right.
The visitors restored parity five minutes into the second half as two more former Motormen combined to haunt their old club, with Nicky Young unlocking the home defence before squaring to Lee Kissock, who tapped in at the back post.
A lengthy stoppage followed as referee Mr Conway of Preston was forced to leave the field with a knee injury. Then with his job on the pitch done, Young followed, substituted so he could go to work the night shift at his regular employers.
Replacement Martin Molyneux, also a Vauxhall old boy, netted the winner with his first touch, sliding in to beat Dittmer from Matty McGinn's left-wing cross.
Vauxhall: Dittmer, Woodyatt, McDermott (Mike Duffy 83), O'Brien (Griffiths 65), Spellman (Glendenning 46), Brazier, Nesbitt, Lawton, O'Donnell, Olsen, Cumiskey. Attendance: 177.
Vauxhall's former player and West Cheshire League manager Dave Bowyer has died at the age of 52.
Vauxhall Reserves centre-back Andy McMullen has been forced to retire through injury.