Mathers on the mark yet again for AFC

Macclesfield Express - - SEARCH -

AFC Mac­cles­field played their fi­nal group game of the J A Wal­ton Chal­lenge Cup last Satur­day when they came up against a strong Eger­ton team.

Mac­cles­field started brightly and their first chance at goal came to top scorer Greg Mathers who let fly from an acute an­gle, only to be de­nied by a great save from the Eger­ton keeper.

Eger­ton found their feet and forced the Mac­cles­field keeper into ac­tion with an ef­fort that saw Dom Chell tip the ball over the bar.

Just be­fore half time, Jack Banis­ter danced his way past two Eger­ton play­ers and had his sights on goal, but be­fore he could get his shot away, an Eger­ton mid­fielder tack­led high and made no at­tempt to get the ball.

With Banis­ter re­ceiv­ing treat­ment, the ref­eree bran­dished a straight red card to the Eger­ton player.

With Eger­ton pinned back, Mac­cles­field started to dom­i­nate and on the stroke of half-time Harry Wheet­man closed down the Eger­ton cen­tre back. With no other op­tion, the Eger­ton man played the ball back to the keeper; Mathers an­tic­i­pated the de­ci­sion and su­perbly made it 1-0 and moved his per­sonal tally to 39 for the sea­son.

With Mac­cles­field con­tin­u­ing to press, a huge de­ci­sion from the ref­eree changed the pat­tern of the game. Mac­cles­field’s de­fender Pat Walker was shown a straight red. There was no doubt that Walker won the ball but the ref­eree deemed there to be ex­ces­sive force and pulled the red card from the back pocket.

De­fend­ing a lead and now down to 10, man­ager Ed Haslam shuf­fled the pack.

Mac­cles­field sat back and in­vited pres­sure but the de­fence could not be beaten and Mac­cles­field ran the clock out to grab the win.

This re­sult leaves AFC Mac­cles­field in the qual­i­fi­ca­tion places but await other re­sults to de­ter­mine qual­i­fi­ca­tion to the knock­out stages.

Next game: AFC Mac­cles­field V Lino­type CHN in the Stock­port & D F A Se­nior Cup Semi Fi­nal at the Stock­port Sports Vil­lage, kick off 3pm. All sup­port­ers wel­come - free ad­mis­sion.

●● Greg Mathers

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