Macc’s point is Taylor-made
MACCLESFIELD dropped their first points of the season at Woking, but the point they took from a goalless draw will be hugely welcome.
The Cards have invested heavily in their squad this summer and afforeded themselves the luxury of starting former Macc midfielder Keiran Murtagh on the bench.
Meanwhile, injury to Chris Holroyd and issues with David Gonzalez’ visa meant John Askey’s squad was once again a substitute light.
TheSilkmen were forced to defend for their lives for the most part but held out for a decent draw at the Kingfield Stadium.
Waide Fairhurst perhaps didn’t have his eye in when he failed to capitalise on Macc’s early opening via an errant ball from their hosts, just four minutes in.
Cards midfielder John Goddard’s awful backpass sent Fairhurst in on goal, but keeper Aaron Howe was off his line sharply and got his angles right to deny the striker. It was to prove the visitors’ prime chance on a day when defences were on top.
But Goddard did prove threatening at the other end and looked for all the world like opening the scoring a minute after his error.
The winger let fly from 25 yards with a fine strike but Rhys Taylor managed to stretch just far enough to get a vital hand on the ball and push it onto the bar. That sparked a spate of Woking openings with Taylor T by far the busiest of he keepers.
He made an equally vital but very different save to deny Scott Rendell at point-blank range, after John Nutter’s deflected shot fell kindly for the Woking forward.
Shots from Arthur Gnahoua andDanny Whitaker aside, the rest of the first half belonged to the hosts and Taylor was once again called upon whenNutter’s free kick into the danger area looked to be sailing inside the upright.
There was more for Macc and manager John Askey to endure in the second half, as Woking continued to turn the screw.
Josh Payne crashed one into the side netting and Taylor somehow prevented Rendell from heading in a wonderful Payne cross.
The Macc keeper continued to frustrate Woking, not least Rendell, who couldn’t find a way through when a corner fell at his feet 10 yards from goal and Joey Jones blasted over the rebound.
Not even a blow to the head, from Woking sub Guiseppe Sole, didn’t put him off his game, on one of those ‘none shall pass’ days for him. Askey revealed the latter stages were seen out in something of a daze for his stopper but the former forward almost bordered on the unsympathetic, accepting that Sole was entitled to put a toe in.
“I’ve always said that we’re lucky to have Rhys,” said Askey. “He’s as good a keeper as you’re going to get in this division, so for us to get him is fantastic.
“He got a bad bang in the second half and he doesn’t really know where he is at the moment
“It was one of those that, as a forward, you know you’re going to hurt him, you hope for challenges like that – you know you won’t get hurt, you’re likely to hurt the keeper and he might not fancy it next time, it’s part of the game isn’t it?
“Hopefully Rhys can give a little bit back out when he’s coming out for crosses but he is a topclass keeper.”
At the other end the visitors couldn’t really trou- ble Taylor’s opposite number Howe in the second half.
Adriano Moke couldn’t add to his goal in midweek as he fired just wide and Fairhurst’s lofty finish couldn’t match up to the standard he showed in spinning off his man to create the space.
With Taylor imperious and the fledgling partnership of Luke Waterfall and George Pilkington once again rock-solid Macc repelled the Cards’ advances as the threats were seen off and eventually petered out.
●● Macc keeper Rhys Taylor was in inspired form at Woking