Macc hopes rest
MACCLESFIELD .............. 2 DARTFORD....................... 0
IN the words of the Moss Rose faithful, Macclesfield’s play-off dream was ‘Saved by Lee Bell’ who opened the scoring in Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Dartford.
But they also had to thank Rhys Taylor for an early penalty save which kept Dartford at bay.
The three points leave the Silkmen in sixth place on 77 points, one point behind Forest Green in fifth, and two behind Eastleigh in fourth.
Superior goal differences for both those sides means a draw at Torquay on Saturday is highly unlikely to be enough for Macc to reach fifth, and even if they do win, they could still finish sixth if Forest Green win and Eastleigh draw.
John Askey made two changes to the starting eleven which went down 3-1 to Forest Green, with George Pilkington and Danny Rowe called up in place of Dan Cowan and Jack Sampson.
Town started the brighter of the two sides, with their first chance on goal coming in the fifth minute.
Bell’s defence splitting pass fell to the left foot of Rowe, whose touch sent the ball goalward but just wide of the keeper’s right hand post.
Dartford then broke up the pitch and despite having options both left and right, midfielder Ebrima Adams shot from range with the ball floating wide of Rhys Taylor’s net.
The Darts were presented with another opportunity to open the scoring on nine minutes when Macc skipper, Paul Turnbull, was adjudged to have fouled Andy Pugh from six yards.
Fortunately for the captain, Rhys Taylor was on hand to produce a fabu- lous double save from penalty taker Elliott Bradbrook. Taylor saved low to his right before a reflex save denied Bradbrook’s second attempt, with the ball going behind for a corner.
The Silkmen quickly regrouped from the scare and took control of the game, playing neat, passing football.
Being deprived of possession clearly frustrated the already relegated Darts and resulted in a clear foul being committed on Barnes-Homer 30 yards from goal.
Paul Turnbull lined up the free kick, aiming low, but his driven effort was cleared away.
Macclesfield did break the deadlock just a minute later following a long throw into the area from the right corner of the pitch.
Grant launched the ball into the area and following an attempted clearance it fell to Lee Bell on the edge of the box.
●● Macclesfield players congratulate Rhys Taylor following his early penalty save
●● Chris Holroyd fends off a challenge
●● Scott Barrow clips a cross into the Dartford area