Depleted Silkmen hold out
MACCLESFIELD and Southport played out an entertaining draw in the first home game of the 2015/16 season at the Moss Rose.
Southport will have gone home the unhappier of the two sides – Gary Jones missed a penalty for them while Macc went down to ten men when Andy Halls was sent off.
Shwan Jalal produced a fantastic save to deny Jones and earn himself man of the match in a fantastic performance.
It was a slow start to game with neither side able to take a hold of the game as chances came few and far between as the sides kept the ball in the middle.
The first half-chance fell to Tony Diagne in the eighth minute but his shot from outside the box flew over the bar, not troubling Andy Coughlin in the Southport goal.
In the 19th minute, Chris Holroyd picked up the ball after Diagne had switched play before running at the Sandgrounders fullback and teeing up Danny Whitaker, but his shot just went wide of the post.
Controversy struck in the 33rd minute when Neill Byrne bought down Michael Phenix in the area from a corner and the referee pointed to the spot.
However, a fantastic save from new signing Jalal prevented Jones from scoring from the spot and kept the score at 0-0 at the interval.
As the teams came out for the second-half, it was almost a repeat of the first-half when the best chance fell to Diagne in the area but his header went wide in the 58th minute.
Just after the hour mark, Halls was shown his marching orders after receiving a second yellow card for a foul on Louis Almond.
Southport almost made them pay in the 78th minute when a counter attack from Port saw Jones pick up the ball on the edge of the box, but his half-volley rebounded off the post after Jalal looked beaten.
Despite being a man down, Macclesfield pushed during the closing stages as they tried to find a winner, but they couldn’t find one, with both teams having to settle for a point.