Pegged back in
MACCLESFIELD Town scraped a 2-2 draw with a Dulwich Hamlet side who sit two leagues below them, in the FA Trophy quarter-final.
Two excellent early goals from recent loan signing Luke Summerfield put Macclesfield in cruise control- only for The Silkmen to be pegged back late on as Dulwich forced a replay.
A scrappy goal from a corner from Quade Taylor and then a beautifully curled effort by Ashley Carew with only three minutes to spare put Dulwich into the semi-final draw alongside Town, at least until Tuesday.
Macclesfield fielded a strong team making just one change to the side that beat Eastleigh 1-0 in the National League last Tuesday as Danny Whitaker replaced Connor Jennings up top.
The Silkmen started extremely quickly against a side who had only lost four games since October and sit ninth in the Ryman Isthmian League.
It took just nine minutes for Luke Summerfield to open the scoring with a 30-yard free-kick.
Despite the brilliant effort from Summerfield the wind-assisted goal that flew past the helpless Dulwich keeper Preston Edwards was somewhat fortuitous.
It wasn’t much longer before Macc looked to have already sealed the tie with just 20 minutes gone.
Summerfield took full advantage of a poor clearance from goalkeeper Edwards to lob the ball into the net from 35-yards this time- two goals worthy of winning any quarter-final tie.
You’d have expected The Silkmen to kick-on and kill the game off against the lower league side but the two goals seemed to spur Dulwich Hamlet on and they were back in the game just five minutes later.
A corner from the left was floated in, tempting Town goalkeeper Scott Flinders to come and punch the ball away.
However, his weak effort meant the ball dropped perfectly for defender Quade Taylor to thump home his first goal for The Hamlet through a crowd of bodies.
Dulwich grew into the game massively and Macc were lucky to go into halftime still in front as Flinders atoned for his error as he saved three Hamlet efforts before the break.
Dulwich came out fighting in the second half and dominated Town for large parts of it.
However, Town forward Chris Holroyd thought he’d grabbed a third against the run of play, only for the linesman to raise his flag for offside after he deflected Danny Whitaker’s shot into the net.
Chances for the home side from Gavin Tomlin and Matt Drage came and went as they hit the side netting and Scott Flinders’ post, respectively.
Unfortunately for Macclesfield, they just couldn’t hold on to the lead as Dulwich’s pressure finally paid off.
An unnecessarily rushed clearance from Macc fell at the feet of Ibra Sekajja who slid the ball into the edge of the area.
A perfectly weighted lay-off from Erskine meant that Ashley Carew didn’t even have to break stride as he opened his body and curled a magnificent shot around Scott Flinders’ righthand post.
Flinders had to make a brilliant save as a 40-yard effort almost caught him off guard in injury-time. Luckily he got back just in time to save The Silkmen from embarrassment.
As it stood, they had another crack at securing a place in the semi-finals on Tuesday evening at the Moss Rose as the Express went to print.
Flinders; Evans (Halls, 51), Pilkington, Byrne, Fitzpatrick; Hancox; Browne, James, Summerfield, Whitaker; Holroyd. Unused Subs:McCombe, Ross, Norburn, Thorne
Rhys Browne takes on the challenge
Chris Holroyd’s effort goes over the bar
Macclesfield players celebrate the first goal against Dulwich Hamlet