Silk­men on way

Macclesfield Express - - TRAVEL - RACHAEL WARHAM

BUILDBASE FA TRO­PHY SEMI-FI­NAL 2ND LEG TRAN­MERE ROVERS ..... 0 MAC­CLES­FIELD .............. 1

MAC­CLES­FIELD Town are Wem­b­ley bound af­ter pro­duc­ing a his­toric vic­tory for the club, beat­ing Tran­mere Rovers 1-0 at Pren­ton Park in the Buildbase FA Tro­phy on Satur­day.

The silk­men were la­belled “war­riors” by as­sis­tant man­ager Steve Wat­son af­ter an Ol­lie Nor­burn won­der strike on 68 min­utes flew into the back of the net to send Mac­cles­field Town into rap­tures and the club to the na­tional sta­dium.

With so much at stake for both sides who have had lit­tle to cel­e­brate in re­cent years it was al­ways go­ing to be a tight and tense af­fair, es­pe­cially with the score level 1-1 af­ter the first leg.

And so it proved in an open­ing 45 min­utes where both sides were re­duced to shoot­ing from a dis­tance un­able to cre­ate any real clear cut chances.

Tran­mere had started the match the brighter of the two teams and pep­pered the Mac­cles­field goal with a num­ber of long range ef­forts but none of these caused any prob­lems for John Askey’s de­fence.

Rhys Browne was the first to test Rovers’ back­line in the 16th minute when his lively play saw him send a 25- yard strike wide of the goal.

Shortly be­fore half-time Scott Flin­ders was called into ac­tion in the Mac­cles­field net.

Tran­mere’s James Nor­wood shot a pow­er­ful ef­fort towards goal which was saved by the Macc stop­per at the near post af­ter Adam Mekki had re­leased him.

And Flin­ders was Nor­wood’s equal again in first half stop­page time when an­other Mekki / Nor­wood com­bi­na­tion lead to the Pren­ton Park at­tacker curl­ing a 20-yard strike which was tipped over by the Silk­men’s num­ber one.

The sec­ond-half saw Macc take com­mand of the game both in de­fence and in at­tack.

Har­ris pro­vided a last­ditch tackle for the merseysiders which stopped a shoot­ing op­por­tu­nity for Mac­cles­field.

Then on the hour mark, Ol­lie Nor­burn was mil­lime­tres away from putting Macc ahead, when his shot in the box hit the bar af­ter the ball came to him in the penalty area fol­low­ing a counter-at­tack.

In the 68th minute the Silk­men got the re­wards their play de­served. And it was Nor­burn, scorer of Macc’s only goal in the first leg, who found him­self in with the goal scor­ing op­por­tu­nity.

The for­ward man took down a long ball, beat his marker and this time made no mis­take, thump­ing across the goal into the back of the net, break­ing the hearts of the Rovers faith­ful.

Mo­men­tum was now well and truly with the Cheshire side, Askey’s men looked likely to add to their goal but Chris Hol­royd was de­nied by Tran­mere’s keeper and Pilk­ing­ton had his thun­der­ous headed ef­fort kept out by the post once more.

With dreams of a Wem­b­ley fi­nal now a hair’sbreadth away, it be­came a

‘Fi­nan­cially we shouldn’t be able to com­pete with Tran­mere but we find a way to do it’

mat­ter of hold­ing onto what they had and Mac­cles­field did so with aplomb.

Askey de­ployed a de­fen­sive sub­sti­tute and in truth the re­sult never looked in any doubt.

Conor Mol­loy

Luke Sum­mer­field strides towards goal

Peter Hil­ton Photography

Mac­cles­field play­ers cel­e­brate reach­ing the FA Tro­phy fi­nal

David Tol­l­i­day

Mac­cles­field Town sup­port­ers cel­e­brate their vic­tory against Tran­mere Rovers in the FA Tro­phy

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