AFC Macc seal tro­phy dou­ble

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AFC Mac­cles­field beat Stock­port Georgians on Fri­day night to se­cure vic­tory in the club’s first ever cup fi­nal and com­plete their quest for a league and cup dou­ble.

The fix­ture saw Mac­cles­field’s big­gest at­ten­dance of the sea­son with more than 150 spec­ta­tors get­ting be­hind the teams.

With both sides up for the game from the start, it was Mac­cles­field started the bright­est and were one up af­ter only seven min­utes. Jack Banis­ter found cap­tain Greg Mathers in­side the Georgians penalty area and he got his shot away quickly to leave the op­po­si­tion goal­keeper with no chance.

Mac­cles­field con­tin­ued to press with Banis­ter caus­ing Georgians’ full- back all sort of prob­lems, but un­for­tu­nately, they couldn’t find a se­cond goal.

With 30 min­utes on the clock, the scores were lev­elled. A long ball from the back caught the Mac­cles­field de­fence back track­ing and goal­keeper Dom Chell came off his line to gather the ball but was deemed to have made con­tact with the Georgians for­ward and a penalty was awarded which was duly con­verted.

With half time loom­ing, Mac­cles­field were forced into a change when a reck­less chal­lenge by the op­po­si­tion winger saw Alex Jack­son leave the field with a badly twisted an­kle. He was re­placed by Nathan Jack­son.

Af­ter the break, both teams knew that the next goal could be vi­tal but nei­ther could break the dead­lock. Mac­cles­field’s Chris Hol­land and Pat Walker stood stead­fast at the back and nul­li­fied any op­por­tu­ni­ties the op­po­si­tion cre­ated.

In the 65th minute, Mathers was brought down on the edge of the penalty area and a free kick was awarded. Mather stepped up to the ball and curled it into the top cor­ner of the Georgians net to make it 2-1.

Mac­cles­field started to dom­i­nate, know­ing that a third goal was re­quired to give them the cush­ion they needed.

It ar­rived when an out­ra­geous pass from mid­fielder Jonny Ca­vanagh found Banis­ter on the left side of mid­field and he skipped past his marker and thun­dered the ball into the back of the net. Af­ter fur­ther pres- sure and some lovely foot­ball from Mac­cles­field, It was 4-1. Again, Mathers was the provider, slip­ping the ball into sub­sti­tute Jack­son’s path and he lost his man be­fore slot­ting the ball un­der the goal­keeper.

With five min­utes left on the clock, Mathers grabbed his hat-trick with another sub­lime fin­ish to make it 5-1.

Stock­port Georgians, against the run of play, grabbed an in­jury time con­so­la­tion goal to make the fi­nal score 5-2.

Over­all, a great per­for­mance from the Mac­cles­field team to bring home the cup to sit along­side the Cheshire League 2 Cham­pi­onship tro­phy. Sam Wil­liamson was given the man of the match award for his out­stand­ing per­for­mance in cen­tre mid­field.

With a semi-fi­nal in the JA Wal­ton Chal­lenge Cup still in their sights, the sea­son for AFC Mac­cles­field is not over and more sil­ver­ware – and a tre­ble – is a pos­si­bil­ity. MAC­CLES­FIELD Town ended the Vanarama Na­tional League sea­son with a draw at The Shay Sta­dium against Hal­i­fax Town.

The re­sult meant the Silk­men fin­ished in 10th po­si­tion over­all and con­demned their op­po­nents to rel­e­ga­tion to the Na­tional League North.

Hal­fiax needed all three points to stay in the league and af­ter Scott McManus gave the hosts the lead they looked on course, but a Danny Rowe equaliser left the Shay­men a point shy of safety.

The draw was thor­oughly de­served for the Silk­men, who on another day would have ended the sea­son with all three.

It was the Silk­men who be­gan the bet­ter of the two teams, af­ter a quick start saw two con­sec­u­tive cor­ners in the open­ing min­utes, which re­sulted in Jack Samp­son com­ing close with a header, but it went wide of the goal.

The hosts then had the first clear cut chance of the game in the fifth minute as Shaquille McDon­ald broke free, but Ritchie Brana­gan was quick off his line to make the save.

De­spite this chance, Macc con­tin­ued to push for an opener and top scorer Kris­tian Den­nis, into the side in place of Reece Sty­che, al­most pro­vided a goal when he latched onto Danny Rowe’s ball, but he fired over the bar.

Rowe was caus­ing prob­lems for the Shay­men de­fence through­out the first half, and a curled ef­fort from out­side the box went wide in the 30th minute.

Next up was Samp­son, who again was caus­ing trou­ble in the area and a ball into the box by skip­per Paul Turn­bull al­most saw the num­ber ten on the end of the cross, but on the stretch he couldn’t get the con­nec­tion it re­quired.

As the news fil­tered through else­where of the re­sults in the fight for rel­e­ga­tion, it seemed to spur Hal­i­fax on and they carved out another chance and it was McDon­ald again, but his ef­fort was well blocked

●● Sam Wil­liamson col­lects his man of the match award af­ter the Stock­port FA Se­nior Cup Fi­nal

●● AFC Macc play­ers cel­e­brate their vic­tory in the Stock­port FA Se­nior Cup fi­nal

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