AFC prove they’re up to the test
CHESHIRE FOOTBALL LEAGUE TWO MERSEY VALLEY .......... 2 AFC MACCLESFIELD ... 3
AFC Macclesfield passed their toughest league test of the season so-far against Mersey Valley FC on Saturday.
Mersey Valley almost opened the scoring on 20 minutes when a quick counter attack and left Macclesfield in trouble. A lack of communication resulted in goalkeeper Jordan Hitchin having to come off his line and make a last-ditch tackle.
Hitchin seemingly won the ball but the referee didn’t agree and pointed to the spot. Mersey Valley converted the penalty.
Within five minutes, Macclesfield were on level terms. A 30-yard strike from Sam Williamson resulted in a great save from the Mersey Valley keeper, but like every good striker, Macclesfield’s captain Greg Mathers was on hand to follow up the rebound.
Macclesfield continued to create chances with Mathers being denied a rare headed goal by a superb save.
Manager Ed Haslam was forced into a change at half-time when ever present Chris Allen was taken off with an ankle injury, Adam Ledgar his replacement.
Two minutes into the second half and disaster struck for Macc when substitute Ledgar went into a 50/50 tackle and came out clutching his shoulder. Ledgar was later taken to hospital to discover he had broken his collar bone.
That meant Macclesfield were forced into another change and a change in formation with Jonny Cavanagh coming into the fray.
After that disruptive start to the second half, Mathers got the ball on the left, touched it past Mersey Valley’s right-back and thumped the ball with his weaker right foot into the top corner to make it 2-1 to Macclesfield.
With 20 minutes left Mersey Valley came on the attack again.
Right-back Chris Megarrell was forced to make a tackle inside the box, but unlike the first penalty award, there could be no debate. Mersey Valley converted the penalty and made it 2-2.
The home side started to put pressure on Macclesfield’s back four.
A cross came in from the left and was flying over Mersey Valley’s centre-forward but instead of letting the ball go out, he tried to bring it down with his hand.
He had been cautioned earlier in the game and the referee had no choice to but to show a red card.
With the extra man, Macclesfield began to dominate once again, and with 12 minutes to go the winner came.
A stunning passing move resulted in Jack Banister finding Jonny Cavanagh in the box to slot the ball home.