Cham­pi­ons into Cup fi­nal again

Macclesfield Express - - TRAVEL - BOB HASLAM


af­ter ex­tra time AFC Mac­cles­field over­came a very strong Poyn­ton team from the Cheshire League Premier Di­vi­sion to win their Stock­port DFA Se­nior Cup Semi Fi­nal and make it to their sec­ond suc­ces­sive fi­nal.

Macc reached the fi­nal last sea­son, winning the cup in April, and will now hope to do it again this year.

Mac­cles­field man­ager Ed Haslam was de­lighted with the win, and has urged his team to try and repli­cate what they achieved in 2016.

He said: All the Mac­cles­field play­ers were mag­nif­i­cent and de­served their sec­ond con­sec­u­tive ap­pear­ance in the fi­nal. We’re look­ing for­ward to try­ing to re­peat last year’s suc­cess.”

The game be­tween Mac­cles­field and Poyn­ton was the first time the two teams had met in any com­pe­ti­tion, but it was prob­a­bly Macc’s best per­for­mance of the sea­son and the 1-0 score line didn’t tell the full story of the game.

Mac­cles­field dom­i­nated the game in the first half and if it wasn’t for the ex­cel­lent Si­mon Ni­col in the Poyn­ton goal, they would have gone in at half time, with an ad­van­tage. The Poyn­ton at­tack couldn’t pen­e­trate the Macc de­fence with cen­tral de­fend­ers Jack Dis­ney and man of the match Chris Cop­pen­hall, putting in out­stand­ing per­for­mances.

Mid­field­ers Jack Hunter and Jonny Ca­vanagh con­trolled the mid­dle of the pitch and up front Jack Ban­nis­ter tor­mented the Poyn­ton de­fence time and again, but couldn’t get any­thing to show for his ef­forts.

Matt Wil­liams made his de­but for Mac­cles­field up front along­side Chris Smith, who came back to the team af­ter a long lay­off.

The sec­ond half was a lit­tle more even, with both teams work­ing hard for that vi­tal first goal but it was Mac­cles­field who were cre­at­ing more chances and look­ing the more likely to make a break­through.

Poyn­ton’s Ni­col was far the busier of the two goal­keep­ers, con­tin­u­ing where he left off in the first half, deny­ing Mac­cles­field an ad­van­tage.

In the fi­nal minute of the 90, Jay Burgess thought he’d won it for Mac­cles­field, but once again, the Poyn­ton goal­keeper pulled off an­other stun­ning save to force the match into 30 min­utes of ex­tra time.

Ex­tra time proved again to be a sim­i­lar story with both Macc and Poyn­ton press­ing for that vi­tal goal.

With 10 min­utes of ex­tra time gone, an­other Mac­cles­field at­tack proved the turn­ing point of the game.

It was a goal­mouth scram­ble and af­ter a cou­ple at­tempts at the Poyn­ton goal, it was fi­nally put into the back of the Poyn­ton net by Chris Smith for a de­served lead.

In the clos­ing min­utes of the sec­ond half of ex­tra time, an op­por­tu­nity came for a sec­ond goal for Mac­cles­field when a penalty was awarded for a foul on Jack Nay­lor in the Poyn­ton penalty area, but an­other great save by Ni­col de­nied Jack Dis­ney a goal and Mac­cles­field their sec­ond.

It didn’t mat­ter in the end, as Mac­cles­field man­aged to hold on to pick up the de­served win and set up a show­down in the fi­nal with ei­ther Chea­dle Town Re­serves or Spur­ley Hey.

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