Play-off pur­suit


MAC­CLES­FIELD Town made it three wins out of their last four league games after a com­fort­able vic­tory at North Fer­riby United.

Goals from Ge­orge Pilk­ing­ton and the re­turn­ing Danny White­head saw the Silk­men come out on top at Grange Lane and get back to win­ning ways after a sur­prise de­feat to Guise­ley in their pre­vi­ous match.

It leaves Macc eighth in the National League ta­ble, six points out­side the play-offs with games in hand on most of the teams above them.

North Fer­riby went close in the open­ing stages of the game, with Jake Skel­ton’s header kept out by Mac­cles­field goal­keeper Scott Flin­ders.

It wouldn’t be known at the time, but that chance would turn out to be the clos­est North Fer­riby came to scor­ing dur­ing the en­tire game.

Mitch Hancox al­most made the break­through shortly af­ter­wards when his header rat­tled the cross­bar, be­fore Danny Whi­taker’s re­bounded ef­fort was cleared off the line by Skel­ton.

North Fer­riby then lost de­fen­sive mid­fielder Con­nor Oliver to a ham­string in­jury on 11 min­utes, with his de­par­ture seem­ing to trou­ble the home side.

That was ev­i­dent on 17 min­utes when Macc took the lead through Pilk­ing­ton, who got on the end of a cor­ner from Whi­taker and put the ball in the back of the net to make it 1-0.

That goal gave the Silk­men a con­fi­dence boost and they con­tin­ued to go close as they looked to dou­ble their lead.

Kings­ley James thought he had added to the tally when he was de­nied by Rory Wat­son, but the sec­ond goal did come on 27 min­utes through White­head.

The mid­fielder re­joined Macc on loan from Wi­gan Ath­letic ear­lier in the week, and he made an im­me­di­ate im­pact upon his re­turn after re­ceiv­ing the ball from Chris Hol­royd be­fore fir­ing past Wat­son to make it 2-0.

North Fer­riby had a cou­ple of half-chances dur­ing the clos­ing stages of the first half, with Cur­tis Bate­son fir­ing wide be­fore Reece Thomp­son saw a shot eas­ily saved by Flin­ders.

Mac­cles­field re­mained in the driv­ing seat at the start of the sec­ond half, and will feel ag­grieved that they did not win by a larger mar­gin.

Hol­royd al­most got on the score­sheet for the vis­i­tors when he found space, but his shot smashed against the post.

The Silk­men de­fence were per­form­ing well at the other end, pre­vent­ing North Fer­riby from hav­ing any ma­jor chances.

Mac­cles­field man­ager John Askey turned to his sub­sti­tute’s bench on 75 min­utes, bring­ing on Ol­lie Nor­burn in place of goalscorer White­head.

Macc went close on sev­eral more oc­ca­sions dur­ing the lat­ter stages of the match but they couldn’t find an­other goal against North Fer­riby, mean­ing they had to set­tle for a 2-0 vic­tory.

It was Mac­cles­field’s first game since key player Danny Rowe left the club to join Ip­swich Town, and while man­ager John Askey was glad to get the win, he admits it was a shame to lose Rowe.

“It’s al­ways dis­ap­point­ing when you lose your best play­ers but we’re that type of club so hope­fully it won’t af­fect us too much,” he told the club’s of­fi­cial web­site.

“From the club’s point of view it’s good as well. Ev­ery year we’re pro­duc­ing play­ers so hope­fully that’ll en­cour­age play­ers to come and sign for us but ev­ery year it’s dif­fi­cult to keep hold of play­ers.”

Flin­ders, Halls, Fitz­patrick, Pilk­ing­ton, Byrne, Hancox, White­head (Nor­burn 75’), James, Dud­ley, Whi­taker, Hol­royd. Subs not used: Ross, McCombe, Brown, Perel


Peter Hil­ton Photography

Danny White­head in ac­tion on his re­turn to Mac­cles­field since ar­riv­ing on loan from Wi­gan

Peter Hil­ton Photography

Ge­orge Pilk­ing­ton cel­e­brates his goal

Peter Hil­ton Photography

Danny White­head goes close for Macc dur­ing the game at North Fer­riby

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