North West Counties Football League Division One South

Vauxhall Motors 3

Ellesmere Rangers 2

Ellesmere Rangers suffered a blow in their late surge for survival in the First Division South after narrowly losing away at second-placed Vauxhall Motors.

A valiant display by Rangers saw them go ahead early on as they went toe-to-toe with one of the league’s best sides.

After conceding two goals before the break, Rangers pulled a goal back in the second half to make it 2-2, before a late penalty for Vauxhall proved to be a huge blow for the north Shropshire men.

Adam Davies was the man to send Rangers on their way after just six minutes when he blocked Vauxhall keeper Kris Leigh’s kick and followed the ball into the net.

The first goal forced Vauxhall to attack more as they searched for an equaliser, but goalkeeper Richard Cowderoy in the Rangers net was equal to the hosts’ early efforts.

A strike from the edge of the area by Joe Brandon after 15 minutes was well-saved by Cowderoy before another save 10 minutes later from a Matty Carlin header.

The referee gave Vauxhall the chance to draw level from the spot by awarding the first penalty of the afternoon.

Karl Noon stepped up for the home side and fired into the net to make it 1-1.

Rangers looked to be heading into the break at 1-1, but with two minutes of the half remaining, Ben Holmes hit a free-kick from the edge of the area into the top corner to give his side the lead.

Neither side created too many chances early in the half, with Rangers hoping to keep their survival hopes alive and turn the game on its head.

It was not until the 75th minute that the next goal came, and it was William Wells who found the net with an all-important equaliser.

However, the referee had another big decision to make just two minutes later, and awarded Vauxhall their second penalty of the afternoon - Noon stepped up and slotted home to restore the hosts’ lead.

Despite their efforts, Rangers were unable to find the net a third time and Vauxhall claimed the three points.

Relegation looks almost certain for Rangers, who next face New Mills on Saturday, April 27 in their final home game of the season.