Hopes alive af­ter

Macclesfield Express - - SEARCH - VA­NARAMA NA­TIONAL LEAGUE MATTHEW BO­S­TOCK

MAC­CLES­FIELD earned a hard fought point at home against high-fly­ing Wrex­ham to keep their hopes of a play-off spot alive ahead of a cru­cial month of fix­tures.

The Silk­men went into the game on the back of four con­sec­u­tive de­feats whilst Wrex­ham jour­neyed to the Moss Rose sta­dium look­ing for their fourth con­sec­u­tive win.

It was the vis­i­tors who started the bet­ter in the match, with Conor Jen­nings try­ing his luck two min­utes into the game with a right-footed shot from the edge of the area which was com­fort­ably saved by Sh­wan Jalal.

Af­ter a fairly even open­ing 15 min­utes to the game, Wrex­ham’s Kay­den Jack­son got the bet­ter of Ge­orge Pilk­ing­ton when the ball was threaded through, re­sult­ing in the cen­tre-back bring­ing down the for­ward at the edge of the area. Left-back Sean New­ton put the re­sult­ing free kick over the bar.

The home side then pushed for­ward and al­most got the break­through on 21 min­utes when striker Jack Samp­son scuffed his shot at the near post fol­low­ing a low ball into the box from David Fitz­patrick from the left wing.

Fitz­patrick then had an at­tempt of his own a cou­ple of min­utes later when Danny Whi­taker laid the ball back to him at the edge of the box, but his right footed at­tempt soared over the bar.

The best chance of the game fell to Wrex­ham when Jack­son’s pace, which was a threat through­out the match, al­lowed him to latch on to a loose ball over the top of the Mac­cles­field de­fence.

The striker looked a cer- tainty to score as he was one on one with the keeper but his del­i­cate chip over the on­rush­ing Jalal de­flected ag­o­nis­ingly off the post and Jen­nings could only put the fol­low up wide.

Mac­cles­field be­gan to re­gain a foothold in the game af­ter 30 min­utes when re­turn­ing mid­fielder Danny White­head broke through the mid­field af­ter a nice turn to beat a de­fender be­fore shoot­ing wide.

Winger Chris Hol­royd cre­ated an op­por­tu­nity of his own four min­utes later af­ter some good work down the right flank, un­leash­ing a hard drive at goal that Tay­lor could only parry out into the box.

A de­fen­sive mix up in the Wrex­ham back­line al­most re­sulted in a goal when cen­tre-back Blaine Hud­son mis­judged the bounce of the ball and headed it just past his keeper, but for­tu­nately the de­fender’s blushes were saved as the ball was cleared.

Af­ter the half-time break, Silk­men top scorer Kris­tian Den­nis fi­nally pro­duced his first real at­tempt when he cut in­side and lashed a left footed shot which Tay­lor could only palm away.

Wrex­ham thought they had done enough to break the dead­lock when a cor­ner into the box re­sulted in a goal­mouth scram­ble but Mac­cles­field skip­per Paul Turn­bull pro­duced an ac­ro­batic ef­fort to clear the ball off the line.

Af­ter early at­tempts from both sides the se­cond half be­came a mid­field bat­tle with the ma­jor­ity of pos­ses­sion in the cen­tre of the park.

Hol­royd very nearly cap­i­talised on a bounc­ing ball ten min­utes from time as he pro­duced a fine right-footed loop­ing vol­ley which landed on the roof of the net.

As the game went into added time Wrex­ham ap­plied con­stant pres­sure and once again it was Jack­son and his pace who was caus­ing the most prob­lems. The striker was put through on the right flank but Jalal was quick off his line to block the shot in the 93rd minute.

The Silk­men sur­vived the late on­slaught to earn a point and keep their hopes of a late push for the pro­mo­tion places alive.

Macc are in 12th place in the Na­tional League ta­ble af­ter the draw, eight points off the play-offs.

Peter Hil­ton Pho­tog­ra­phy

●● Ac­tion from Mac­cles­field’s goal­less draw against Wrex­ham

Peter Hil­ton Pho­tog­ra­phy

●● Ac­tion from Mac­cles­field’s goal­less draw against Wrex­ham at the week­end

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