Mixed feelings at a point gained
SOME days you just have to be happy with your lot. That was certainly the case for Macclesfield when they dropped their first points of 2015 at Southport.
Macc were pegged back after Danny Whitaker’s second-half opener, and though they couldn’t take all three, Barnet’s defeat at Wrexham narrowed the gap at the summit, which is increasingly congested.
The draw was the Silkmen’s first since taking a point at Welling in midNovember.
To add to the mixed emotions, they made up some ground on leaders Barnet but Bristol Rovers’ win at Grimsby saw the Pirates leapfrog Macc into third.
Macc had the better of the first half but couldn’t make the breakthrough, although it was the relegation-battling hosts that came closest to a goal.
Richard Brodie thudded a shot against the post and back into the grateful arms of Rhys Taylor.
But all the other action took place in the Southport half, and there were chances for the ever-lively Danny Rowe, one of which was just over from a tight angle, the other hit straight at Danny Lloyd-Weston.
Matthew Barnes-Homer and Paul Lewis also had openings but neither could capitalise in the first period, which ended goal- less. The sides trooped in, both feeling hard done by as they’d seen penalty appeals waved away, Brodie going down in the Macc box and Adriano Moke being forced to settle for an unfavourablypositioned free-kick.
The chances, as scarce as they’d been in the first half, dried up once they’d turned around.
Macc couldn’t come up with the breakthrough they’d threatened and there was precious little yellow peril to cope with.
The closest either side could come to breaking the deadlock was Alex Grant’s header, who should really have hit the target from Rowe’s corner.
But the Silkmen’s skipper for the day Whitaker struck midway through the half, turning in a cross from Barnes-Homer.
It wasn’t the cleanest contact Wilmslow’s finest will ever make but he got enough on the ball to bundle it over the line.
Macc’s lead lasted less than 10 minutes though, as Southport’s star man Brodie capitalised on lessthan auspicious defending. With the ball still bobbling around the box and the defence Brodie managed to hook it over his shoulder and beyond Taylor.
The chances started to come Macc’s way but they’ll rue not making the most of them, particularly when Barnes-Homer was thwarted in a one-on-one with Lloyd-Weston and substitute Waide Fairhurst crashed his chance against the bar, the ball rebounding off a defender and back to the keeper.
But although there was huffing and puffing from both parties, and with another of Brodie’s spotkick shouts – this time for handball against Alex Grant – waved away, neither side could stretch to a winner and it ended 1-1.
●● Danny Whitaker scored to give Macc a second-half advantage but they couldn’t capitalise at Southport