Victory Swann song on the Northolme
Gainsborough Trinity gave outgoing chairman Peter Swann a parting gift, with three points in his final home game in charge.
The Blues beat Vauxhall Motors 2-1 on the Northolme, after dominating the game for long periods.
Goals either side of the interval from Simon Russell and Darryn Stamp were enough to keep the points in Lincolnshire.
The visitors might have taken the lead as early as the second minute when, following a Karl Noon free-kick and a scuffed shot from Craig Mahon, Tom Hannigan, in acres of space and with the goal at his mercy, blasted high over the crossbar from only three yards.
Trinity soon settled into their stride, as Jamie Yates tested Motors’ keeper Zac Jones with a header, and shortly afterwards Stamp shot narrowly wide.
The home side eventually opened their account in the 34th minute when, following some neat play by Terry Hawkridge, Jones completely misjudged the bounce of the ball near the edge of his area and was left stranded.
Stamp’s looping effort, almost as if in slow motion, looked as if it was about to enter an unguarded net, but Simon Russell pounced and fired home from two yards just to make sure.
On the stroke of half-time Trinity had the ball in the net again, but Stamp’s diving header from a Yates cross was ruled offside.
Trinity deservedly found themselves two goals up five minutes into the second half.
Josh Wilde surged down the left flank and crossed for the unmarked Stamp to volley home from close range, giving Jones no chance.
Stamp was only fractionally wide with an opportunist overhead kick three minutes later.
The only booking of the game came in the 60th minute, with Noon being cautioned for a high tackle.
Paul Connor was brought on to replace the hard-working Stamp after 64 minutes, and he might have added a third goal almost immediately, shooting wide after receiving a pin-point cross from Dom Roma.
It was largely one-way traffic, and Craig Nelthorpe saw a powerful shot blocked after 76 minutes.
Trinity substitute Lynton Karkach then appeared to be wrestled to the ground by Hannigan a yard inside the Vauxhall area, but the referee was unmoved, and no penalty was given.
Several good chances came Trinity’s way during an incredible seven minutes of added time.
First, Conal Platt played a short pass through the middle to Connor, in a clear position, but the tall striker fired wide from close range.
Seconds later a screamer of a shot by Roma from 40 yards was only inches wide.
Connor was then unable to profit from a good one-on-one opportunity against the keeper when it seemed unthinkable that he would not score, and straight after that Roma forced Jones into a fine save, turning a well-struck shot around the post for a corner.
With only seconds remaining,and completely against the run of play, Vauxhall scored a consolation goal through their pacy substitute Obi Anoruo – one wonders why he had not been included in their line-up from the start.
On reflection, this was a good and very welcome win for Trinity against a side which has often caused them a lot of problems at home – indeed, Vauxhall had two wins, four draws and had lost only twice on their eight previous Conference North visits to the Northolme.
By their own standards the Motormen have enjoyed a fine season this time around, but they seemed to be nowhere near their best in this match, offering little in attack and frequently looking shaky in defence.
Before the game, presentations were made to Roma (Fans’ Player of the Year), Josh Wilde (Fans’ “Extra Effort” award) and Darryn Stamp (Manager’s Player of the Year).
Since this was the last home match of what has been a successful and enjoyable season, the entire Trinity squad remained on the pitch to acknowledge their supporters’ warm appreciation after the final whistle.
The curtain comes down on Trinity’s 2012/13 Blue Square North campaign with away visits to Oxford City this Tuesday and Corby Town next Saturday.
Trinity: Budtz; Roma, Wilde; Waterfall, Young, J Williams; Russell, Nelthorpe, Yates (Karkach 75),Stamp (Connor 64), Hawkridge (Platt 86). nused subs: Jones, White.
Motors: Jones; Kocsis, Wainwright; Hannigan, Nicholas, Moss (Martindale 80); Mahon, Noon, Rutter (Anoruo 53), Stott, Noon. Unused subs: Barnes, Wright, Ellison.
Referee: Guy Stretton (Leicestershire). Assistants: D. Bourne, J. Thornhill.