VAUXHALL MOTORS were narrowly defeated 2-1 in their first home friendly of the summer by Blue Square Premier side Wrexham.
A first-half strike by Tom Rutter for Motors was cancelled out after the break by a Neil Ashton penalty before a Mark Creighton header sealed victory for the visitors.
Despite playing against strong opposition, who included summer signing Brett Ormerod in their starting line-up, the Motormen more than held their own in the opening 45 minutes.
The first period belonged to the hosts. On five minutes, 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 bar.
After bossing the midfield, Michael Burns’s 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.
He evaded the Wrexham offside trap and took the ball towards the out-rushing goalkeeper Joslain Mayebi. Calmly, he took the ball back a couple of yards before unleashing a curling lobbed shot which went over the keeper and a backtracking defender on the line to find the top corner of the net.
Wrexham flew out of the traps after the interval and it wasn’t long before they were back on level terms.
On 48 minutes, Danny Wright burst into the penalty area. The ball was cut out by Hannigan but he was adjudged to have done so with his hand and so a penalty was awarded.
Neil Ashton stepped up and slotted the ball home.
Ormerod almost gave the visitors the lead on 53 minutes but his snap-shot from 12 yards was palmed out by keeper Zac Jones.
On 59 minutes, Lee Dames broke clear down the left flank. He found Thelwell, who turned his marker before rifling a powerful shot which was headed for the top corner before Mayebi’s intervention turned it around the post.
The game was settled in the Dragons’ favour on 75 minutes. Jay Colbeck played in a corner from the left and Creighton rose highest to nod the ball past Jones.
It was a good workout for both sides, played in a fine spirit. Despite a defeat, there were many positives to take from the game as the Motormen look to build towards the new season.