Blyth Spartans 0Vauxhall Motors 1

MOTORS moved up to ninth and mathematically secured their Blue Square North status earlier than ever before with a hard-fought win on Saturday.

It was Motors’ eighth game unbeaten, their second longest run without defeat in this remarkable season. A top six finish is now realistic with five games to go, but their good recent form has come too late for a charge for a play-off place in the top five.

The Motormen made a dream start when captain Matty Burke, imperious of late, intercepted a throw-in and played a through ball to Chris Noone.

He fed it first-time to form striker Lee Furlong who rifled the ball into the roof of the net after only 30 seconds.

On 14 minutes Blyth came close to an equaliser when Motors keeper James Coates spilled but Marc Walton fired the rebound well wide.

Blyth came close twice in a minute when Stuart Banks played in Walton, who fired just wide before Coates made a smart save from Walton.

The second half began with Motors substitute Anthony Wright forcing a double save from Blyth keeper Mark Bell before the ball was cleared.

Noone had a penalty shout waved away when he was hauled to the floor in the area late on.

The game was marred by Motors’ first red card of the season, when Wright was shown a second yellow towards the end of the contest.

Vauxhall: Coates, Hannigan, Dames, Marsh-Evans, Griffiths, Egerton, Holden, Burke, Noon (Wright 45), Noone, Furlong. Subs Field, Macauley, Mustafa. Attendance: 519.

Motors take on Fleetwood Town at the Motassist Arena on Saturday (3pm). Children will be admitted free to the game, as well as to Motors’ final home match of the season on Saturday, April 25 against Kings Lynn.