Vauxhall Motors 0 Gainsborough Trinity 3
CAPITULATION in a crazy 11-minute spell proved to be Motors’ undoing on Saturday as their relegation plight worsened.
After an impressive 1-0 win over Boston United last Tuesday, Vauxhall boss Macauley was looking for his side to kick on and string a couple of results together.
Instead, he saw Trinity complete their first ever league double over the Motormen.
Motors had their fair share of chances, but failed to capitalise. After Vauxhall skipper Craig Robinson superbly blocked Matt Austin’s shot, Tom Field at the other end dragged a great opportunity wide.
Wes Parker then went close with a glancing header from a free kick for the visitors, before Motors’ Russell Hitchen headed wide.
The visitors’ purple patch kicked off in the 34th minute when Lewis McMahon played the ball out to the unmarked Ryan Mallon, whose shot beat home keeper Andrew Murphy on his near post.
Three minutes later, Chris Hall doubled the Blues’ lead with a drilled effort from just outside the area, having cut back on to his right foot following a cross-field run.
Then, after the referee missed a clear foul on Alan Griffiths by Trinity’s James Dudgeon at a corner, Mallon hooked home a third just before the break.
Ged Brannan came on at half-time to replace John Egerton and immediately began pulling the strings in midfield until Motors’ disciplinary problems resurfaced.
Although Russell Hitchin’s tackle probably warranted only a booking, he was shown a straight red to leave the hosts a man down just a week after they had two players sent off at Alfreton.
Hitchin’s red card galvanised Motors and their performance improved. If Adam Sollitt in the Gainsborough goal hadn’t pulled off two memorable saves, the final score would have been quite different.
The first came after substitute Dave Roberts was brought down just outside the box and Brannan’s fiercely struck free kick took a deflection off the wall, only to be stopped from going in by Sollitt’s feet in mid-air.
Next he denied a right-foot curler from Paul Taylor that looked bound for the top corner.
Boss Macauley said: “It is a difficult position we are in, down at the bottom of the Blue Square North, but everyone at the club wants to play in this division next season.
“We have been here before and survived, so bring it on.”
Vauxhall: Murphy, Owens, Egerton (Brannan 46), Griffiths, Holmes, Robinson, Smith (Roberts 53), Field, Heler, Hitchen, Taylor. Subs: Reed, Rooney.
The Motormen now need to pick themselves up for a crucial Easter double-header, which they face without the suspended Field and Taylor.
On Saturday, they travel north to face Workington before returning to Rivacre Park on Easter Monday for the visit of promotion-chasing Harrogate Town, both games kicking off at 3pm.