AFC avert come­back bid by ri­vals

Macclesfield Express - - TRAVEL -


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.

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