Whit hits win­ner to cheer new year

Macclesfield Express - - MOTORS -

VA­NARAMA CON­FER­ENCE GRIMSBY TOWN ........... 1 MACC TOWN .................. 2

DANNY Whi­taker kicked off the new year with Mac­cles­field mer­rily on a high, net­ting a late win­ner to down Grimsby Town.

The mid­fielder struck in the dy­ing min­utes to add to Denny Johnstone’s firsthalf goal and avenge the Silk­men’s Box­ing Day de­feat.

Johnstone had cap­i­talised on his open­ing on the half-hour and although Macc were pegged back be­fore the break Whi­taker’s late goal for his home­town team gave them a vic­tory that takes them past man­ager John Askey’s 50-point tar­get – with 17 games still to play.

Although George Pilk­ing­ton almost edged the vis­i­tors in front 19 min­utes in, his goal­bound header came off the still-out­stretched arm of goal­keeper James McKe­own, who’d mis­judged his punch from a Paul Turn­bull free-kick.

At the other end Daniel Parslow failed to hit the tar­get when he was un­marked in the box and Jon-Paul Pittman also wasted a great chance, steer­ing the ball wide after his strike part­ner Lenell John-Lewis had picked him out from the by­line.

And mo­ments after that miss Macc did find a goal. Peren­nial as­sis­ter Waide Fairhurst once again had a hand in it, as his ball across was palmed by McKe­own to the feet of Johnstone. He made no mis­take, crash­ing in from eight yards for his sec­ond Silk­men goal.

How­ever, the lead lasted just seven min­utes as the Mariners cashed in on a slip from Turn­bull. The Macc cap­tain – who missed Sun­day’s de­feat at Bris­tol Rovers through ill­ness – lost his foot­ing as he tried to clear his lines, and the ball fell for Pitt- man, who drilled it beyond Rhys Tay­lor and into the bot­tom cor­ner of the goal.

The up­turn in wind and rain after the break saw a down­turn in the freeflow­ing foot­ball and fewer open­ings. The game looked to be head­ing for what would per­haps have been a fair share of the spoils but with four min­utes of nor­mal time left, Whi­taker pounced.

Adri­ano Moke fired a low ball across goal and once again McKe­own gave the vis­i­tors a help­ing hand, send­ing it to Whi­taker, who’d left his marker in his wake and he fin­ished neatly from a tight an­gle.

Turn­bull almost sealed the win with a third inside four min­utes of in­jury­time but although McKe­own stretched high enough to snatch his chipped ef­fort out of the air Macc saw out the win for a wel­come first three points of 2015.

Tay­lor, Halls, Grant, Pilk­ing­ton, Bar­row, Moke, Turn­bull, Whi­taker, Gna­houa (Rowe 71), Fairhurst (Barnes-Homer 79), Johnstone (Hain­ing 89).

MACC: SUBS NOT USED: GRIMSBY:

Brana­gan, Cowan. McKe­own, Big­not, Pear­son, Parslow, Thomas, Mack­reth, Brown, Clay (McLaugh­lin 87), Arnold, Pittman (Han­nah 67), John-Lewis ( Wat­son 76).

Dis­ley, Walker.

SUBS NOT USED:

Peter Hil­ton Pho­tog­ra­phy

●● Denny Johnstone (above, right) cel­e­brates with Paul Turn­bull and Adri­ano Moke after his open­ing goal but it was left to Danny Whi­taker (be­low) to score a late win­ner at Grimsby

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