Askey pleased by Bees sting
MACCLESFIELD inflicted a first away defeat on league leaders Barnet, thanks to Scott Barrow and Chris Holroyd.
After a stalemate in the first 45 minutes the game exploded into life with Barrow’s scintillating long-range goal, a lead improved by Chris Holroyd’s finish on 65 minutes.
Neither side had taken advantage of the few openings that came their way in the first half, which saw the unmarked Sam Hoskins loft over from 12 yards for Barnet and Macc’s Waide Fairhurst denied by a terrific onehanded block at close range by Bees’ keeper Graham Stack.
Paul Lewis, who hit Macc’s first goal in Satur- day’s draw with Forest Green, tried his luck with an acrobatic effort from the edge of the area but Stack was again well placed to make a far less taxing stop.
Shortly before half-time John Akinde had the ball in Rhys Taylor’s goal but was flagged offside, a judgement that will have relieved Lewis and Will Haining, who’d contrived to gift possession to Curtis Weston.
But Barrow (left) scored a wonderful goal – his first for Macc – on 50 minutes. Moments after he’d narrowly cleared the bar from distance the left-back leapt on the chance to try again when Paul Turn- bull’s free kick was cleared to him, and struck unerringly into the top corner from 30 yards.
It got even better for Macc when local lad Holroyd doubled the lead. He mistimed his header from Fairhurst’s free-kick into the box but the ball skidded off his back and into the goal, with Stack wrongfooted.
Akinde finally scored a legal goal to give Barnet hope with 13 minutes to go, rising to head in at a corner. That sparked a frenzied assault on Rhys Taylor’s goal by the Bees but Macc survived to keep up their fine home record. JOHN Askey was in no doubt that the win over Barnet was a very good night for Macclesfield.
The Silkmen welcomed the Conference pacesetters to the Moss Rose – where Macc have yet to taste defeat this term – but sent them away emptyhanded after inflicting a first away loss of the season on the Bees.
A goalless first half was followed by Scott Barrow thumping a stunner to put Macc ahead five minutes into the second period.
And Chris Holroyd turned in Waide Fairhurst’s free kick to extend the lead. John Akinde pulled one back late on, sparking a desperate assault on Rhys Taylor’s goal by Barnet but Askey’s men held out. And the boss is certain the confidence gained from seeing off the table-toppers is every bit as important as the three points gained.
“I’m delighted, to say the least. It’s really pleasing and if we can beat the top-of-the-league team then that’ll give them confidence and the belief that we can beat anybody, but like I keep saying, if we can beat anybody then anybody can also beat us,” said Askey, never one to get too carried away by one result.
“We’ll enjoy this win but move on straight away. Everybody’s gone away tonight really pleased, it’s been a very good night.
“I’d imagine Altrincham and Chester will be wondering how they beat us after this result, teams are going to be coming here to face us, a team that’s not been beaten here, and they’ll be wary of us.”
Macc’s miserly defence was at it again and, although they couldn’t hold out for a seventh clean sheet, Luke Waterfall and George Pilkington were dominant in the centre of defence and the fullbacks found their own way of catching the manager’s eye. Behind them goalkeeper Taylor showed no ill-effects from his error at the weekend and was back to his brilliant best.
Askey’s also full of praise for the night’s goalscorers, who he says deserve a slice of personal glory for their toils, and also singled out youth product Dan Cowan, who filled in admirably for the suspended Andy Halls at right-back.
“You don’t see many better goals than Scott’s, if he has scored a better one I’d like to see it,” continued Askey, who’ll surely have had fewer prouder days in his 100-plus games as manager. “He tries doing that in training but most of them end up the other side of the goal! He’d lined himself up for that a few minutes earlier but that first one wasn’t close, was it?
“I was really pleased for Chris too, he’s worked really hard playing out of position. It’s as needs must, he puts a shift in every game and it was great to see him score, as it was Scott. It’s good to see them get the rewards for how they’ve been playing.
“I was really pleased for Rhys to bounce back so well after Saturday. He’s showed great character and he made one or two really good saves.
“But if I had to name somebody tonight it would be Dan Cowan. He’s not played much this season and I thought he showed a lot of composure, he defended well and he’s only 18.
“I’m so pleased for him to do so well.”
●● George Pilkington in the thick of the action against Barnet at the Moss Rose
●● Scott Barrow celebrates his stunning strike