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
●● Waide Fairhurst’s goal in the second half gave the travelling fans hope
●● John Askey’s side fell agonisingly short in the end