Hopes alive after
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.
●● Action from Macclesfield’s goalless draw against Wrexham
●● Action from Macclesfield’s goalless draw against Wrexham at the weekend