Vauxhall 2, Frickley Athletic 1: THE Motormen came from a goal behind at Rivacre Park on Saturday to clinch an important victory which keeps them on course for a place in the new Conference Two North next season, writes Christopher Beesley.
Although Vauxhall's dis-play was efficient rather than spectacular against a struggling side, the win lifted them to 11th place in the table and extended their un-beaten run to eight games.
Manager Owen Brown said: 'It wasn't a sparkling performance but we showed a great deal of character and battled away against a team that play a spoiling game.
'Both teams desperately wanted the points for different reasons and it's all about results at this time in the season.'
The home side should have gone in front early on but Terry Fearns missed a hat-trick of chances that he would usually bury.
The UniBond League's top scorer headed over from a lofted from by Robbie Lawton, blazed the ball over from Peter Cumiskey's square pass and was denied by a fine reaction save from Marc Shackleton when he did get a header on target.
It looked like the Motormen would be left to rue those wasted opportunities 33 minutes in when Frickley took their lead with their first shot at goal.
Wayne Benn's curling 25-yard free kick from the left-hand side deceived Tim Dittmer in the wind and curled over the home keep-er's head.
Rivacre Park was eerily empty for the start of the second half as most spectators chose to watch the delayed Grand National in the bar rather than Brown's thoroughbreds.
Fortunately, everyone was just about back in their places to witness Vauxhall's equaliser as defender Mike Tomlinson found himself in an advanced position and bulldozed his way through the visitors' defence before picking out Cumiskey, who cut inside from the right and curled the ball around Shack-leton.
The Motormen secured the points on 69 minutes thanks to another centre back getting forward to good effect.
On-loan Mark Roberts was on hand at the back post to tap the ball into the empty net from Fearns' drive across goal after Shackleton had saved Carl Nesbitt's initial effort.
Vauxhall: Dittmer, Spell-man, McDermott, Robinson, Roberts, Porter (Lynch 72), Nesbitt, Lawton, Fearns (Parry 89), Tomlinson (Macauley 85), Cumiskey. Att: 196.