Macc out of luck

Macclesfield Express - - SEARCH - JONATHAN EL­LIS

Jonathan El­lis

EMI­RATES FA CUP FIRST ROUND PORTSMOUTH ................. 2 MAC­CLES­FIELD .............. 1

MAC­CLES­FIELD Town came up short in the FA Cup first round af­ter suf­fer­ing a de­feat at League Two side Portsmouth.

Adam McGurk’s brace se­cured Pom­pey a tie in the sec­ond round, de­spite a re­silient ef­fort by the vis­i­tors.

His goals in­side the open­ing cou­ple of min­utes and just be­fore the in­ter­val were enough to hold off John Askey’s Mac­cles­field who were un­lucky to not earn at least a re­play.

Kris­tian Den­nis’ strike gave the trav­el­ling sup­port some hope af­ter a mis­judged throw in by Enda Stevens, but that wasn’t enough to see the Silk­men pick up a draw.

Portsmouth started the game well and McGurk made the break­through on three min­utes when he latched onto a through ball and slot­ted past Sh­wan Jalal com­fort­ably.

The Silk­men’s first chance came eight min­utes in af­ter a short spell of pos­ses­sion, with Paul Turn­bull see­ing his driven ef­fort well saved by Brian Mur­phy.

Macc con­tin­ued to push though and their hard work was re­warded when they drew level on 15 min­utes.

Enda Stevens’ at­tempt to throw to Mur­phy was quickly closed down by Den­nis, with the Portsmouth goal­keeper smash­ing the clear­ance against the striker, mean­ing it re­bounded into the top cor­ner to make it 1-1.

As Mac­cles­field looked to take the ad­van­tage in the game, Chris Hol­royd found Danny White­head in space, but his lon­granged ef­fort saw Mur­phy re­deem him­self as he pulled off a bril­liant save.

Gareth Evans came close to giv­ing the hosts a 2-1 lead when he tried his luck af­ter cre­at­ing room for him­self in the area, with his ef­fort cleared off the line by David Fitz­patrick.

Chal­lenges were start­ing to fly in as the half pro­gressed and Pom­pey re­ceived the first yel­low card of the game af­ter a very late chal­lenge by Kyle Ben­nett on Hol­royd.

It looked like the two teams would head into the in­ter­val all square but McGurk dou­bled the lead for the home side in first half stop­page time.

Stevens played a driven cross in­side the area and the ball found its way to McGurk, who smashed home to make it 2-1 to Portsmouth at the break.

Danny Whi­taker al­most brought Macc back into the game just min­utes into the sec­ond half as a cleared cor­ner fell to him out­side the area, but his Bcurl­ing ef­fort was par­ried over the bar by Mur­phy.

Mo­ments later Den­nis had a glar­ing op­por­tu­nity to bring the Silk­men level again as a de­flected clear­ance fell kindly to him. Un­for­tu­nately his halfvol­ley from just in­side the box flew over Mur­phy’s goal, with the home side con­tin­u­ing to live a charmed life.

Jack Samp­son and Paul Lewis re­placed White­head and Turn­bull as Mac­cles­field piled on the pres­sure. Samp­son al­most made an im­me­di­ate im­pact af­ter a deep cross by Fitz­patrick was headed into the side net­ting by the sub­sti­tute.

As the game drew to a close, Pom­pey sub­sti­tute Marc McNulty came close to adding a third, how­ever his header from sev­en­yards out flew straight over Jalal’s net.

In the last minute of the game the Silk­men had a glar­ing op­por­tu­nity to make it 2-2 when the ball fell kindly to Whi­taker just in­side the area but his ef­fort went the wrong side of the cross­bar.

It meant Portsmouth man­aged to hold on, con- demn­ing Mac­cles­field to de­feat and knock­ing them out of the cup.

MAC­CLES­FIELD TEAM:

Jalal, Halls, Pilk­ing­ton (Byrne 45’), Di­agne, Fitz­patrick, Whi­taker, White­head (Lewis 75’), Turn­bull (Samp­son 74’), Hol­royd, Rowe, Den­nis Subs not used: Brana­gan, Cowan, Meikle, Church­man

PHPHOTOGRAPHY

●● David Fitz­patrick looks de­jected af­ter Pom­pey’s first

PHPHOTOGRAPHY

●● David Fitz­patrick keeps close tabs on Gareth Evans

PHPHOTOGRAPHY

●● Macc play­ers cel­e­brate Kris­tian Den­nis’ goal at Frat­ton Park on Satur­day

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