Harrogate Town 2 Vauxhall Motors 0
CARL Macauley took his new-look Motors side to Harrogate full of optimism but his young team returned having learned how difficult their Blue Square North season will be.
The Motormen, skippered by the experienced former Tranmere, Manchester City and Motherwell player Ged Brannan, enjoyed a fair amount of possession in their opening game of the season but lacked that cutting edge in front of goal.
Debutant keeper James Coates, a former Mansfield stopper who last turned out for Moor Green, pulled off a fine early save from Harrogate’s prolific striker Danny Holland.
On 18 minutes another Motorman debutant, James Holden, was unlucky with a sweetly taken free-kick which went just wide of the home keeper’s left-hand post.
Just as Motors had settled down, they were the victims of a harsh penalty decision on 33 minutes, when Lee Dames was adjudged to have brought down Matty Young.
Captain Darren Dunning slotted the penalty past Coates to give Harrogate the lead.
Motors continued to push forward with Matty Burke and Tom Rooney both having decent chances before the interval.
After the break, Motors passed the ball about smoothly but just couldn’t finish.
Pat McFadden put in a good cross on 51 minutes but there was no-one making a run to meet the ball in the box.
Holden and Rooney had further chances for Motors as they grew in confidence but on 75 minutes it was Dunning again who made it 2-0 for Harrogate.
Hesitancy at the back allowed him the space to connect with a cross from Marshall eight yards out.
Having hosted Stafford Rangers at the Motassist Arena last night as the Pioneer went to press, Vauxhall’s play their second home game this Saturday when Redditch come calling (3pm kick-off).
Vauxhall: Coates, Owens, Dames, Brannan, Griffiths, Holmes, Holden, Burke, McFadden, Rooney, Smith.
Subs: Nelson, Wright, Noone, Hannigan, Dickinson.