Vauxhall Motors 1 Wrexham 2
MOTORS were able to take plenty of positives from their latest pre-season outing.
Despite falling to defeat against Wrexham at Rivacre Park on Saturday, the hosts turned in a bright display and looked the better side in the first half.
It was exactly the response boss Carl Macauley had been looking for after seeing his side lose 4-0 away to Welsh Premier League side Gap Connah’s Quay last Tuesday.
The Motormen were much improved against the Dragons.
The first half belonged to the hosts. On five minutes, Tom Rutter chased a seemingly lost cause to keep the ball from rolling out of play. He then fed the ball to strike partner Simon Thelwell, whose volley flew over the crossbar.
Blue Square Premier outfit Wrexham created a couple of half chances from set pieces, but nothing which caused Zac Jones any trouble in the Vauxhall goal.
After bossing the midfield, Michael Burns’ free-kick from the right on 32 minutes evaded everyone in the centre of the goalmouth and found captain Tom Hannigan at the back post, but his effort slammed into the side-netting.
Three minutes later, Rutter turned his marker well before firing a shot from distance just over the bar. But he found the target on 41 minutes to give Motors the lead.
After springing the Wrexham offside trap, he took the ball towards goalkeeper Joslain Mayebi and lobbed a curling shot into the top corner of the net.
The Dragons flew out of the traps at the star of the second half and quickly levelled through Neil Ashton, who slotted home a penalty after Tom Hannigan’s handball.
For Vauxhall, substitute Craig Mahon spent the second half tearing up the left flank. His pace and quick feet were giving the Wrexham defence all sorts of problems, but he was unable to carve out a second goal for his side.
The game was settled in the Dragons’ favour on 75 minutes. Jay Colbeck played in a corner from the left and Mark Creighton rose high to nod the ball past Jones.
Vauxhall: Jones, Fearnehough, Noone, Henry, Hannigan, Roberts, Nicholas, Egerton, Burns, Rutter, Thelwell. Subs: Mahon, Dames, Thomas, Aujla, Spotswood.
Motors have named Tom Hannigan as captain for the forthcoming season in place of Paul Jones. Manager Carl Macauley said: “It’s been a pleasure being Tom’s manager over the last five years and each season he just gets better and better.”
Vauxhall host Tranmere Rovers at Rivacre Park this Friday (7pm). They were due to take on Burscough last night in a game played after the Pioneer had gone to press.