Silk­men’s dream

Macclesfield Express - - SEARCH - VA­NARAMA CON­FER­ENCE SHEL­DAN KEAY

MACCLESFIELD Town’s hopes of fin­ish­ing in the Con­fer­ence play-offs were dashed af­ter they were held to a draw at Torquay United.

The Silk­men couldn’t pick up the victory they needed at Plain­moor, mean­ing they fin­ished just one point out­side the cov­eted top five.

Louis Briscoe had put the hosts ahead at half­time, but an equaliser from Waide Fairhust af­ter 71 min­utes gave Macc hope.

They pushed dur­ing the fi­nal mo­ments but couldn’t find an­other goal, with the match fin­ish­ing 1-1.

De­spite fall­ing short, it is still a mas­sive im­prove­ment on Macc’s 2013/14 sea­son though where they fin­ished in 15th place.

Macclesfield started the match brightly against Torquay as they looked for the vi­tal win, and they nearly took the lead early on through Chris Hol­royd.

Paul Turn­bull was next to threaten for the Silk­men, fir­ing a long-range ef­fort just inches wide of Daniel Laver­combe’s goal.

Torquay started to get a grip on the match from that point on­wards, with Ben Harding con­trol­ling the play in the mid­dle of the pitch.

His inch-per­fect pass to Kadell Daniel al­lowed the on-loan Charl­ton winger to send a danger­ous cross into the box, but Macc goal­keeper Rhys Tay­lor was equal to it. The game was prov­ing to be an end- to-end af­fair as Macclesfield soon went close again through Daniel Rowe on two oc­ca­sions.

First he smashed a shot over the bar, be­fore he was then de­nied by Laver­combe who got down well to keep out the mid­fielder’s goal-bound ef­fort.

Those missed op­por­tu­ni­ties from Rowe proved to be costly as Torquay then took the lead just mo­ments later.

Ash­ley Yeo­man’s blocked shot fell into the path of Briscoe, who smashed a low shot into the bot­tom cor­ner to score his tenth goal of the cam­paign and make it 1-0 af­ter 24 min­utes.

The hosts then had the chance to dou­ble their just af­ter the half hour mark when Daniel stole the ball from Andy Halls and raced to­wards goal, but Tay­lor was out quick to stop the move.

Daniel and Tay­lor were get­ting well ac­quainted with one an­other as the Torquay man had an­other op­por­tu­nity a few min­utes later, with the Macc stop­per mak­ing a great save to keep out a free-kick.

Macclesfield were lucky to only trail 1-0 as the match ap­proached half­time but they re­com­posed them­selves and nearly found an equaliser just be­fore the in­ter­val.

Thierry Audel nar­rowly missed the tar­get with a header af­ter get­ting on the end of Scott Barrow’s en­tic­ing cross.

The Silk­men came out of the blocks fly­ing in the sec­ond half, forc­ing the Torquay de­fence to make sev­eral last ditch chal­lenges to cut out at­tacks.

Those in­ter­cep­tions al­lowed the home side to turn de­fence into attack and Tay­lor was again re­quired to keep out a 25-yard strike from Daniel.

Askey then brought on Matthew Barnes-Homer in place of Rowe and the sub­sti­tute nearly had an

Simon Pendrigh

●● Waide Fairhurst’s goal in the sec­ond half gave the trav­el­ling fans hope

●● John Askey’s side fell ag­o­nis­ingly short in the end

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