Gloucester City 1Vauxhall Motors 0
MOTORS lost valuable ground on the teams around them on Saturday with a heartbreaking defeat at Gloucester.
The two teams above Motors, Gloucester and Hyde, both have five games in hand over Carl Macauley’s side.
Mancunians Hyde lead Motors by four points and after their victory on Saturday, Gloucester are three points ahead.
It all adds up to the toughest challenge of Macauley’s managerial career and if Motors survive now, it truly will be the great escape.
In what Macauley identified as a must-win game at the Corinium in Cirencester, both Motors and the Tigers struggled to cope with the hard, bouncy pitch and a picky referee.
On one of Motors’ rare attacks Tranmere Rovers loanee Josh Macauley stretched to get on the end of a Lee Dames pass only to see his toe-poked effort trickle wide of keeper Mike Green’s upright.
The home side went ahead on 22 minutes when the Motormen failed to clear their lines, allowing Tigers’ striker Mike Symons the chance to cleverly side foot the ball inside James Coates’ left hand post, which he gladly took.
Chris Noone should have done better when Karl Noon’s quickly taken throw-in put him through for an equaliser, but he fired high and wide.
The second half proved to be a scrappy affair with the home side having most of the possession but both sides failed to test the keepers, although Brian Moogan’s well struck free kick whistled just wide with 15 minutes left and Tom Grice almost snatched an injury time leveller only for his shot to creep agonisingly wide.
The result leaves the Motormen in a perilous position, although they may still find salvation in the financial troubles of other Blue Square North clubs.
Points deductions or worse could throw the Motormen a lifeline come the end of the season.
Vauxhall: Coates, Lane, Dames, Winters, Hannigan, Egerton (Owens 70), Macauley, Noone (Moogan 50), Noon (Furlong 46), Wilson, Grice. Subs: Wright, Mustafa.
Motors played last night at Northwich Vics, after the Pioneer went to press, but have no game on Saturday.