AFC in fi­nal as No­mads sent pack­ing

Macclesfield Express - - SPORT -

AFC Macclesfield es­caped the bad weather on Satur­day to come up against the cur­rent Cheshire League cham­pi­ons, Lino­type Chea­dle Heath No­mads, in the semi-fi­nal of the Stock­port Se­nior Cup.

It was the third time the two teams had met in the last four years with Lino­type win­ning the two pre­vi­ous en­coun­ters.

The game started slow with both teams eas­ing their way into the game.

The game burst into life when Macclesfield’s Jack Ban­is­ter side stepped his way through two of the op­po­si­tion play­ers, only to be brought down on the edge of the box; Jonny Ca­vanagh stepped up to take the free kick but his ef­fort skimmed off the top of the cross­bar.

Lino­type started to get a foot into the game but they couldn’t find a way through with the Macclesfield de­fence re­main­ing fo­cused and or­gan­ised, soak­ing up any­thing Lino­type could throw at them.

With 44 min­utes on the clock, Scott Wright broke out with the ball from de­fence and played in Jack Ban­is­ter who brought the ball un­der con­trol and skipped his way into the op­po­si­tion penalty box.

The Lino­type full­back had no an­swer to his wizardry and he was brought down. With no hes­i­ta­tion, the ref­eree pointed to the spot.

Skip­per Greg Mathers stepped up to the mark and smashed the ball into the back of the net to make it 1-0.

Af­ter the break, Macclesfield came out of the blocks quickly know­ing a sec­ond goal was vi­tal, but it was Lino­type who had the first chance but Macclesfield’s keeper Dom Chell, was equal to it.

A quick re­lease by the keeper found Greg Mathers who went one on one with the on rush­ing Lino­type goal­keeper and Mathers del­i­cately chipped the ball into the back of the net to make it 2-0.

In­evitably, Macclesfield sat back to de­fend their lead and their de­fence stood firm with Mike Byrne and Chris Hol­land at the fore­front of the de­fen­sive du­ties.

Man­ager Ed Haslam was forced into two changes.

Ash Flood, who with Sam Wil­liamson, had con­trolled the mid­field, picked up a knock and James Wheeler, who’s on go­ing groin prob­lem proved too painful to con­tinue, were re­placed by Chris Cop­pen­hall and Harry Wheet­man.

With 15 min­utes left on the clock, Lino­type got them­selves back into the game when they were awarded a penalty af­ter a chal­lenge by Pat Walker.

Lino­type con­verted the penalty and also the goal they needed to mount a late chal­lenge to try and take the game into ex­tra-time.

Al­most from the restart, Jonny Ca­vanagh went through on goal and with one Lino­type de­fender to beat, he was brought down in­side the box, with what looked like a cer­tain penalty.

The ref­eree didn’t agree and he booked Ca­vanagh for div­ing!

With only a few min­utes left on the clock, Lino­type had a huge op­por­tu­nity to level the game.

The op­po­si­tion striker man­aged to weave his way into the box and with the goal gap­ing, Scott Wright made an un­be­liev­able last ditch tackle to keep the game at 2-1.

The ref­eree added six min­utes of in­jury time and af­ter a nervy last few min­utes, Macclesfield made it into their first ever cup fi­nal.

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