Vauxhall Motors 0 Harrogate Town 1
A SECOND successive Easter defeat left Motors staring firmly in the face of relegation from the Blue Square North.
The severely-depleted Motormen were without six first team regulars through injury and suspension on Monday as they took on a Yorkshire side looking to consolidate their play-off position.
In an uninspiring first half, Harrogate went close on 12 minutes when Darren Dunning headed just over. Shortly after, Motors followed suit when Joe McMahon nodded on to home debutant Tom Hannigan, but his header went wide.
Craig Robinson and Alan Griffiths kept the scoreline blank with two commanding clearances and, just before the break, Motors threatened again through Peter Heler. The Motors ace drilled a low cross into the area, but Dave Roberts’ shot was blocked.
After the break, visiting Town gained the initiative. It took two smart saves from home keeper Andrew Murphy to keep out headers from Mark Hume before the defender-turned-striker clinched all three points with his third headed attempt at the far post in the 66th minute.
Motors’ miserable Easter was compounded by the sending off of Jonathan Egerton three minutes from time.
Vauxhall: Murphy, Holmes, Williams, Egerton, Griffiths, Robinson, Heler, Brannan, Roberts (Hitchen 65), McMahon, Hannigan. Subs: Macauley, Smith, Rooney.
Workington 1 Vauxhall Motors 0
THE Motormen kicked off their Easter holiday campaign on a losing note on Saturday.
Already without suspended trio Mark Maddox, Tom Field and Paul Taylor, Motors lost Lee Owens prior to kick-off with an injury and suffered further during the game with Lee Dames and Keith Smith adding their names to the Motors’ injury list.
Home keeper Adam Collin was first tested in the third minute as he palmed away a well-struck snap-shot from Peter Heler.
Collin didn’t get anywhere near Heler’s next effort – an absolutely stunning half-volley from 25 yards out – but the ball went just wide of the far post at incredible speed.
On 34 minutes, Ged Brannan was caught in possession by Jonny Wright, but Motors keeper Andrew Murphy came to the fore to deny the home striker.
The only goal of the game arrived three minutes later when Graham Anthony hit a screamer from outside the area into the top corner, giving Murphy no chance.
In the second half, Motors squandered a handful of chances and may yet rue not making the most of them come the end of the season.
Vauxhall: Murphy, Hitchen, Dames (McMahon 60), Griffiths, Egerton, Robinson, Smith (Hannagan 75), Brannan, Heler, Roberts, Holmes. Subs: Macauley, Rooney.
Motors are away to Tamworth this Saturday (3pm).