Eccleshall lost their fourth league game of the season as they fell to a 3-1 defeat to Vauxhall Motors on their first visit to the Syncreon Arena, moving them up to 4th in the table whilst Eccleshall dropped a place to 12th.
The home side had much the better of the first half and could have been four up at half time, the fact that it was only two was the only positive that Eccleshall could take from a poor first half showing. The Motormen’s Damase Kiwanda and Daniel Cross in particular, caused the Eagles a number of problems.
Vauxhall took the lead on twelve minutes, a ball down the right being squared into the area for the unmarked Kevin Exell to slot home past Owen Wyatt. Moments later, Vauxhall netted again with a Cross header but it was disallowed for offside. Eccleshall went further behind when Callum Thomas misjudged his sliding tackle on the half hour and Cross netted from the penalty spot.
Liam Baker-Haynes, who had felt ill during the half, had to be replaced by Conor Gittins five minutes before the break.
HT: Vauxhall Motors 2 Eccleshall 0
Manager Nick Farrington replaced Thomas with Izaac Walsh at half time as Callum Feeney moved back to partner Harvey Collins.
Within two minutes of the restart, Eccleshall were back in the game. From a Shay Finney corner, Collins was fouled in the box and referee Simon Robinson pointed to the spot. Finney stepped up to slot the penalty past Motors keeper Matthew Lavelle to give the Eagles an early boost.
However, just before the hour mark, Eccleshall were reduced to ten men as skipper Collins was sent off for what the referee adjudged to be a dangerous challenge. To be fair to the home dugout, even they disagreed with the decision, in fact the man that matters most was the only one in the ground that considered the challenge (where Collins did take the ball first ) to be a straight red. From the free kick, Luke Edwards curled his effort over the wall and beat Eagles ‘keeper Wyatt from twenty yards.
Louis Downs replaced goal scorer Finney as manager Farrington went to three at the back, with Gittins and Lewis Dunn joining Feeney, who had taken over the armband.
To Eccleshall’s credit they never gave up, but the home side were just too strong on the day and fully deserving of the three points.
FT: Vauxhall Motors 3 Eccleshall 1
Skipper Collins will now serve a one game ban and in more bad news Louis Downs, who had missed Tuesday’s win at St Martins with an ankle problem did further damage in making a last-ditch tackle. Downs, last season’s top scorer, is likely to be out for a number of weeks with a badly bruised ankle.
Eagles: Wyatt, Baker-Haynes (Gittins), Dunn, Feeney, Collins, Thomas (Walsh), Finney (Downs), Wakefield, Ahmadi, Carr, Needham.
Unused subs: Bennion, Lewis.
Referee: Mr. Simon Robinson