Ilkeston Town 2Vauxhall Motors 1
DESPITE an early goal by new boy Obi Anoruo, Motors began the Blue Square North season with an away defeat.
With Lee Dames suspended, manager Carl Macauley brought in ex-Motorman Rob Marsh-Evans on a month-long loan deal from Southport, starting him alongside summer signings Anoruo, keeper Scott Tynan, Andy Taylor and Paul Brown, marking his third spell at the club.
The Motormen were the brighter of the two sides at New Manor on the opening day of the season, taking the lead on 19 minutes when Brown’s shot rebounded off the post, leaving Anoruo an easy finish from six yards out.
Their lead vanished seven minutes later, when Scott Tynan was well beaten by Amari Morgan-Smith, after incisive play on the right by Lawrie Wilson.
The situation only got worse for Vauxhall as Wilson again turned provider, but this time for Gary Ricketts, who ghosted into the visitors’ box, before powering in a header to give Ilkeston the lead.
Tom Hannigan was forced from the field, having sustained facial injury early in the second half, but the Motormen had three decent chances to level the scores; Brown’s shot was well saved late in the second half, substitute Anthony Wright headed over from close range in the 87th minute, then right at the death Captain Josh Wilson’s rasping shot was parried away by Ilkeston’s keeper Dan Lowson.
The Motormen played AFC Telford last night, a match played after the Pioneer went to press. Vauxhall will play their next game against Worcester City at Rivacre Park this Saturday (kick-off 3pm).
Vauxhall Motors: Tynan, Noone, Marsh-Evans, Taylor, Hannigan (Egerton 73), Moogan, Brown, Smith, Anoruo (Wright 62) , Wilson, Grice. Subs not used: Macauley, Mboa.