Robins steal it right at the end

Macclesfield Express - - MOTORS - VA­NARAMA CON­FER­ENCE

SOME matches just don’t live up their their billing, and the Al­trin­cham ver­sus Mac­cles­field clash was a prime ex­am­ple.

Not that Alty will care one jot. Their last-minute win­ner got them only their third win of the sea­son and sent a dis­ap­point­ing Macc side home emp­ty­handed.

Macc per­haps de­served a point, but that per­haps points to the Robins’ short­com­ings. Sadly for those who’d turned out at Moss Lane the evening’s one real slice of qual­ity made all the dif­fer­ence.

De­feat can be hard to ac­cept if those con­cerned can feel hard-done-by.

How­ever, it was the man­ner in which the Silk­men fell that so dis­ap­pointed those 665 crammed in the away end at the Robins’ nest.

Moss Lane is spon­sored by a lo­cal scrap metal mer­chant th­ese days, but the fare served up was scrappy in the ex­treme.

After a fast and fu­ri­ous first 10 min­utes the first derby be­tween the two in 17 years fiz­zled out with the only mean­ing­ful ac­tion com­ing in the last minute.

James Lawrie was Alty’s match-win­ner as time ticked away, loop­ing a stun­ning goal beyond Rhys Tay­lor’s grasp mo­ments from the end.

The re­turn of the fix­ture, the first since 1997, started off at some­thing ap­proach­ing a fran­tic pace but once Chris Hol­royd and Adri­ano Moke had fired wide for Macc, and Alty blew a chance from an eight-yard in­di­rect free kick the game de­gen­er­ated.

Hol­royd was also waste­ful when he hur­tled onto a loose ball but the best chance of the first pe­riod came to the Robins’ Damian Reeves, who blasted over from 10 yards after Sean Wil­liams nod­ded down for him.

Arthur Gna­houa twice went close for the vis­i­tors late in the half but he was thwarted in the first in­stance by Alty keeper Stu­art Coburn and skied his sec­ond fin­ish when his con­trol let him down and he was forced to im­pro­vise his fin­ish, which cleared the bar.

An end-to-end blood­and-guts clas­sic this was not and the sec­ond pe­riod didn’t even have the rel­a­tive high­lights of way­ward shots to re­deem it, and although the at­mos­phere at Moss Lane was spir­ited, nei­ther set of sup­port­ers was given much to shout about.

George Pilk­ing­ton stooped to head Waide Fairhurst’s cor­ner over Co­brun’s goal and Fairhurst him­self found Coburn an ob­sta­cle too far when he pi­coted and fired from Gna­houa’s pass.

But gen­uine, heart­stop­ping ex­cite­ment – the type that lo­cal ri­val­ries thrive upon – was nowhere to be seen.

That was un­til a minute from the end, when Lawrie popped up with his su­perb vol­ley, let­ting the ball run across his body and, on the turn, loop­ing a shot into the top cor­ner.

A flare and a pitch in­vader – nei­ther of which were es­pe­cially we­locme – only de­layed the in­evitable and Macc were made to suf­fer a sec­ond straight de­feat. LUKE Wa­ter­fall’s loan spell has been ex­tended for a third month.

The Scun­thorpe cen­tre­back (right) has been a key player for John Askey’s men but will have to re­turn to Glan­ford Park at the end of Oc­to­ber.

SUBS NOT

United, Ac­cring­ton Stan­ley and Mill­wall de­fender Tom Ben­der to his squad.

Andy Lam­bert

●● Scott Bar­row and Si­mon Rich­man (above) stretch for a high ball and Andy Halls clears the flare from the pitch

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