Macc leap into top spot

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ON a freez­ing af­ter­noon with snow fore­cast, the SSV 4G play­ing sur­face came into its own as no other Cheshire League fix­tures es­caped the weather.

An­other gen­uine six-poin­ter, this was AFC Mac­cles­field’s big­gest game of the sea­son to date against pro­mo­tion ri­vals War­ring­ton Town Re­serves – and they came out on top.

The teams played out a thrilling 4-4 draw at War­ring­ton ear­lier in the sea­son and this game was des­tined to be no dif­fer­ent with a top spot in League 2 the prize.

From the kick off, both teams played some good foot­ball but both squan­dered early chances.

It was mid-way through the first half when the dead­lock was bro­ken.

Mac­cles­field broke out from de­fence in num­bers, and af­ter the War­ring­ton keeper pulled off some fine saves, it broke to Jonny Ca­vanagh and on his se­cond at­tempt; he found the bot­tom cor­ner to make it 1-0.

AFC Mac­cles­field sat back and in­vited pres­sure which led to a golden op­por­tu­nity for War­ring­ton to get back on terms. Their front man went one on one with Mac­cles­field’s goal­keeper Dom Chell but he made him­self big and the ball could only find the post and the game re­mained at 1-0.

Both keep­ers were on their game and the score re­mained 1-0 to Mac­cles­field at the half time break.

With snow now com­ing down, Mac­cles­field were quick out of the blocks at the restart but un­for­tu­nately couldn’t in­crease their lead.

On the hour, War­ring­ton’s lead­ing goal scorer made it 1-1 with an un­stop­pable ef­fort from out­side the area.

Al­most im­me­di­ately, Mac­cles­field went back in front. With Ca­vanagh now turn­ing sup­plier, Jack Banis­ter beat two de­fend­ers to lay the ball on to Ca­vanagh who crossed the ball to find skip­per Greg Mathers who headed the ball home. A great re­sponse to War­ring­ton’s equaliser!

Mid­way through the se­cond half, Chell was called into ac­tion again and su­perbly kept Mac­cles­field in front and on the break, Mac­cles­field made it 3-1. Af­ter a de­fen­sive block, the ball broke kindly for mid­fielder Chris Allen, who con­trolled the ball and he made it two goals in two games.

Mac­cles­field again were called into de­fen­sive ac­tion with Chris Hol­land and Chris Cop­pen­hall tak­ing con­trol.

With ten min­utes to go, War­ring­ton got them­selves back into the game with a well worked free kick to make it 3-2. It was go­ing to be a nervy last few min­utes for Mac­cles­field.

Sam Wil­liamson, called into de­fen­sive duty for this game, made sure there was no way through.

As the game went into in­jury time, War­ring­ton was awarded an in­di­rect free kick in­side the box af­ter Chell was deemed to have kept hold of the ball too long. It was a harsh de­ci­sion and nail bit­ing mo­ments fol­lowed for Mac­cles­field and their sup­port­ers.

Pat Walker was the hero this time, putting his face on the line to stop the ef­fort. The fi­nal whis­tle went and Mac­cles­field came out de­served win­ners. An­other fine per­for­mance from the Mac­cles­field team.

●● The AFC Mac­cles­field squad in their newly spon­sored team kits

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