Silkmen on way
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.
Luke Summerfield strides towards goal
Macclesfield players celebrate reaching the FA Trophy final
Macclesfield Town supporters celebrate their victory against Tranmere Rovers in the FA Trophy