Silkmen show steel to break the Iron’s will
VANARAMA CONFERENCE MACC TOWN .................. 1 BRAINTREE TOWN....... 0
CHRIS Holroyd ensured Macclesfield got their first opening-day win in a decade, netting the only goal against Braintree.
Boss John Askey could only name four substitutes for the curtain-raiser but they proved their mettle to break the Iron.
Braintree put their late arrival – due to horrendous queues on the M6 – behind them to make the early running.
The home team had their own problems to contend with though, with registration issues preventing Malachi LavelleMoore and David Gonzalez-Diaz from making their competitive debuts.
And despite their tardiness Braintree made the early running. Thankfully the Silkmen’s untried pairing of George Pilkington and Luke Waterfall excelled.
But when Macc first threatened, they did a whole lot more, with Holroyd getting his and the Silkmen’s account up and running on 15 minutes.
Paul Turnbull’s dipping, curling free kick to the back post was turned back across the face of goal by George Pilkington, giving Holroyd the simplest of finishes from a yard.
The visitors seemed to lose their way after that and, although Macc were comfortable there was little by way of genuine goalscoring chances at the other end, a Waide Fairhurst shot, dragged wide of the near post, aside.
The Iron did come within a whisker of levelling just before the break, with set-pieces – that nowfamiliar bone of contention with Askey – creating panic in the Macc box.
Firstly Matt Paine’s header was turned behind by a blue-clad pack, and when the second corner was bouncing around the area, Remy Clerima looked to have found the net with his snap-shot. But Rhys Taylor reacted well to get a strong palm to it and Scott Barrow hacked away to safety.
The second half brought more of the same, with some nervous moments for the Silkmen to withstand, not least Dan Sparkes’ blast from a free kick on the edge of the box, and Jordan Cox coming agonisingly close to turning in a cross from former Macc forward Michael Bakare.
And referee Ryan Johnson should have given Macc the chance to seal victory from the penalty spot when Holroyd was felled by Clerima but, perhaps influenced by the need to dismiss Clerima he decided that Holroyd had fouled him seconds earlier.
It made no difference. Macc were good value for a win that gave the campaign a brilliant boost.
●● Paul Lewis and Chris Holroyd celebrate after the Macc lad netted against Braintree to get the Silkmen’s season off to a winning start