AFC held on heavy pitch at Gol­bourne

Macclesfield Express - - TRAVEL -

CHESHIRE FOOT­BALL LEAGUE ONE GOL­BOURNE SPTS ..........2 AFC MAC­CLES­FIELD ......2

AFC Mac­cles­field were held to a draw at Satur­day af­ter earn­ing a share of the spoils against Gol­bourne Sports.

Sur­pris­ingly, af­ter the re­cent bad weather, the game was given the go ahead but the pitch wasn’t at its best.

It was clear from the kick off that it wasn’t go­ing to suit AFC Mac­cles­field’s pass­ing style.

It was Gol­bourne who took the early lead on 15 min­utes af­ter Jack Hunter got caught in pos­ses­sion on the edge of the box, with the Gol­bourne striker tak­ing full ad­van­tage and mak­ing it 1-0.

Mac­cles­field threat­ened on a num­ber of oc­ca­sions but they couldn’t break down the packed Gol­bourne de­fence.

It was a scrappy first half and the teams went in at half-time with the score re­main­ing 1-0 to the hosts.

It was a sim­i­lar story at the start of sec­ond half, but in the 56th minute, a long ball found Jack Banis­ter who smashed the ball into the roof of the net to level the scores.

Mac­cles­field were now get­ting to grips with the pitch and in the 64th minute, they made it 2-1.

Jack Hunter was brought down in the box and Banis­ter grabbed his sec­ond by con­vert­ing the spot kick.

Mac­cles­field looked com­fort­able but in the 88th minute, against the run of play, the game was all square when the Gol­bourne striker grabbed his sec­ond of the game.

The drama wasn’t over as in the 90th minute, Hunter was again brought down in the box, giv­ing the vis­i­tors a last gasp penalty.

Banis­ter was on for his hat-trick, but the goal­keeper pulled off a stun­ning save to en­sure the match fin­ished 2-2.

While the first team may have been held to a draw, AFC Mac­cles­field Re­serves were vic­to­ri­ous af­ter a 3-1 win at Styal Re­serves in the semi-fi­nal of the Cheshire Foot­ball League Re­serves Cup.

Al­though Styal were field­ing a num­ber of first team play­ers, Mac­cles­field took charge and with their quick pass­ing and move­ment gained suc­cess on the wings from the ex­cel­lent di­rect run­ning of Jack Nay­lor.

The early pres­sure paid off.

Nay­lor beat the Styal left back with a great turn and struck the ball at goal, hit­ting the post.

For­tu­nately, Macc striker Matty Hor­ton re­acted first and placed the ball into the back of the net.

Within min­utes it was 2-0 af­ter an­other great pass to Nay­lor al­lowed him time to thread the ball through for Nathan Jack­son, who calmly placed the ball into the back of the net.

The re­serves con­tin­ued to put pres­sure on the Styal de­fence, but were un­able to take their chances.

Styal be­gan to get into the game know­ing an­other Mac­cles­field goal would make it game over. As Styal started to get hold of the ball, Macc be­gan to com­mit un­nec­es­sary fouls.

It was from one of these fouls, which re­sulted in a goal for Styal.

They de­liv­ered a dan­ger­ous cross from the free kick and their striker was quick­est to re­act to put the ball into the back of the Mac­cles­field net.

Just be­fore half time, Styal should have equalised.

Their striker took the ball past the Macc goal­keeper but was stopped by Trevor Firth who pro­duced a match win­ning tackle.

The sec­ond half started with both teams hav­ing their share of the ball, but Styal were be­com­ing frus­trated due to the great de­fen­sive per­for­mances of cen­tre halves Trevor Firth and Jamie Collins, while full back Michael Now­ell kept the Styal star winger quiet through­out the match.

Mac­cles­field be­gan to take ad­van­tage of Styal’s frus­tra­tions at not be­ing able to cre­ate any clear chances and be­gan to cre­ate chances of their own.

With 20 min­utes re­main­ing, Bradley Grif­fin ran at the Styal de­fence and re­leased a pass to Lee Quin­lan who got to the ball be­fore the on­com­ing Styal goal­keeper and slot­ted the ball in to the net to make it 3-1 and earn his side the win and a place in the fi­nal.

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