AFC avert comeback bid by rivals
CHESHIRE FOOTBALL LEAGUE ONE AFC MACCLESFIELD .. 2 PILKINGTON ................. 1
AFTER qualifying for the quarter final of the Cheshire Cup last week, AFC Macclesfield returned to league action on Saturday with a hard-fought narrow win against Pilkington FC from St Helens.
Macclesfield started well, dictating play and controlling the game, but they couldn’t find a way through to score.
Despite all of Macclesfield’s dominance, it was Pilkington who had the first real chance, as a misplaced back found the Pilkington front man who went one on one against new goalkeeper signing Nick Ward.
Luckily for Macc, Ward made two outstanding saves to keep the game at 0-0. With 30 minutes on the clock, the deadlock was finally broken by the home side.
A well worked team goal saw Jonny Cavanagh play skipper Greg Mathers in, who let fire from just inside the box to find the bottom corner and make it 1-0 to Macclesfield.
That goal appeared to give Macc a boost and they soon found another gear and were much the better side going into the break.
Pilkington shuffled their pack to try and cope with Macclesfield’s dominance, but within five minutes it was 2-0.
Greg Mathers was again involved as he hit a shot from outside the box, only to be denied by the crossbar but Tom Bowey was on hand to convert the rebound to make it two goals in two games for him and double his side’s lead.
Macclesfield started to invite pressure but their defence stayed strong and sniffed out any potential danger.
With 15 minutes to go, manager Ed Haslam introduced new signing Oli Hayes into the action to make his AFC Macclesfield debut and Jay Burgess returned after an ankle injury, which has kept him out for three games.
With five minutes remaining, Pilkington grabbed a goal back with a stunning long distance effort which found the top corner of the Macclesfield goal.
There was a nervy last few minutes for Macclesfield but they stayed strong and took all three points.
Jack Banister impressed during the game, just a few days after his call up to the Cheshire League Inter League Team.