Scott’s lead­ing the case for the de­fence


DE­FENCES win leagues, or so the the­ory goes. And in John Askey’s cur­rent back­line the men in­volved have quickly evolved into a high­ly­ef­fec­tive unit.

Brain­tree failed to break down Macc’s new-look back four while Wok­ing huffed and puffed but were also frus­trated.

And one of Macc’s sum­mer re­cruits, Scott Bar­row, is in no doubt as to the qual­ity of the size­able team­mates to his right.

“Ob­vi­ously I’ve got two big lads next to me (Ge­orge Pilk­ing­ton and Luke Wa­ter­fall) who are win­ning all their head­ers,” said the left-back, whose re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion fol­low­ing a year-and-a-half on the side­lines is com­ing on in leaps and bounds.

“I think the back four have been bril­liant, es­pe­cially as we’ve not had that long to work to­gether yet, in the three games we’ve had two clean sheets so

We’re un­beaten with two clean sheets, you can’t re­ally ask for any more than that

we’re do­ing well, you can’t ar­gue with that, or with seven points from the first nine.

“We’re still un­beaten with two clean sheets, you can’t re­ally ask for any more.”

For­mer Swansea trainee Bar­row im­pressed John Askey suf­fi­ciently in pre­sea­son for the Macc boss to take a punt on him and now that he’s taken on the num­ber three shirt va­cated by Danny An­drew, there’s a pos­si­bilty that he’ll be look­ing to get for­ward – never at the ex­pense of his defn­sive du­ties though.

“I started off as a left­winger when I was a kid back in my Swansea days,” he added. “I love get­ting for­ward but I also love de­fend­ing. They con­verted me into a left-back, I en­joy it there but when the gaffer wants me to go for­ward a bit more I won’t hes­i­tate, even though my pre­ferred po­si­tion is left-back.

“I think he knows that, when the ball goes for­ward I can’t help my­self, I’m try­ing to go over­lap­ping and help out up there as much as I can.

“My main job is to de­fend first and go for- ward se­condly, I didn’t get to go for­ward a lot against Wok­ing but in games like that you have to think of a clean sheet first.

“Scor­ing goals and at­tack­ing is def­i­nitely sec­ond, the clean sheet is more im­por­tant to me.”

Some­thing else im­por­tant to the 25-year-old, who’s spent most of his ca­reer in the Welsh Leagues but has Con­fer­ence ex­pe­ri­ence with Tam­worth, is game time.

He suf­fered a cru­ci­ate


THERE’S been a change to the Silk­men’s sched­uled visit to Hal­i­fax Town.

Macc had been set to go to the Shay Sta­dium on April 4 (Easter Satur­day) but the kick-off has been brought for­ward 24 hours to 3pm on Good Fri­day (April 3). lig­a­ment in­jury that put him out of ac­tion for 18 months.

And now that he’s back on the pitch Bar­row’s en­thu­si­asm is there for all to see.

It’s more than un­der­stand­able, given that he’s been no more than a frus­trated on­looker for month af­ter ag­o­nis­ing month.

“I’m set­tling in well, I was re­ally happy to sign for Mac­cles­field,” he added.

“It’s been a long time out in­jured for me, about 18 months, so I’m just glad to be back play­ing foot­ball and I’m en­joy­ing it.

“I think I’ve made a good start, I’m feel­ing quite sharp thanks to my physio, he’s kept my sharp­ness up and I feel fit­ter.

“I’ve still got room for im­prove­ment, but as I say, I’ve been out for 18 months so I’m grad­u­ally progress- ing but you always think you can do bet­ter or do more, that’s just me.

“Ev­ery­one’s crit­i­cal in this game but I’m happy that my fit­ness lev­els are good, I’ve played a few 90 min­utes now so it’s all good re­ally.” MAC­CLES­FIELD made it two out of two as they brought home the points from Telford, but how they were made to work for their vic­tory.

In con­trol and two goals up at half-time, they con­ceded with 10 min­utes to go and some­how re­pelled the Bucks’ late ad­vances to escape the Mid­lands with the points.

Adri­ano Moke slid in his first goal for the Silk­men with just three min­utes on the clock. Macc had strug­gled to clear a free kick into the box but when they broke they did so with pace and pre­ci­sion.

With three at­tack­ers on the hunt Danny Whitaker sent Waide Fairhurst clear down the right and his low ball across was ideal for the winger to slide in un­der Jonathan Hedge.

Min­utes later Chris Hol­royd blazed over af­ter Fairhurst’s blocked shot fell for him.

Just af­ter the half-hour mark, Telford drew level in style, as left-back Andy Owens blasted one into the top cor­ner from at least 30 yards.

Telford had barely threat­ened, their waste­ful­ness with pot-shots il­lus­trated by Adam Far­rell, who de­stroyed the let­ter­ing on the top of the away stand.

But al­though the Bucks seemed to be edg­ing nearer, Fairhurst’s alert­ness proved telling, with two goals in six min­utes.

Firstly he turned in Scott Bar­row’s way­ward drive and then re­acted first to grab his sec­ond af­ter cap­tain Paul Turn­bull had seen his low shot par­ried by Hedge.

That two-goal ad­van­tage always looked like it would be enough for Macc and Paul Lewis was de­nied a de­served goal, Hedge some­how turn­ing his header round the post.

The home team’s pres­sure stepped up a notch. But the tor­rents did noth­ing to dampen the Silk­men’s res­o­lute spirit.

Tay­lor made a fine save to deny Owens a sec­ond goal but he was pow­er­less to pre­vent Steve Akrigg from head­ing in the Bucks’ sec­ond with 80 min­utes on the clock.

That sparked a real on­slaught from Telford and Neill Byrne headed wide, Macc’s Luke Wa­ter­fall cleared one off the line and Sean Clancy volleyed a good chance over.

But Macc some­how with­stood the Bucks’ ef­forts to keep their 100 per cent record in­tact.

Matt Rat­cliffe

●● Scott Bar­row is de­lighted to be back play­ing foot­ball af­ter a night­mare in­jury

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