Macc im­press in

Macclesfield Express - - TRAVEL - MOLLY HUD­SON

MAC­CLES­FIELD Town’s first pre­sea­son friendly ended in a 2-0 de­feat at the hands of our Cham­pi­onship op­po­si­tion af­ter a spir­ited dis­play, that cre­ated an even con­test at the Moss Rose.

Sec­ond half goals from Bradley Johnson and Ma­son Bennett broke the dead­lock, but sev­eral Mac­cles­field play­ers im­pressed their de­buts.

There was some early pres­sure from the Cham­pi­onship side who fielded a strong first half line-up. In the 10th minute Cur­tis Davies hit the post with a pow­er­ful header from a cor­ner, won af­ter a great save from Alex Gogic de­nied Dar­ren Bent.

Nick Black­man looked lively for the away side, but af­ter with­stand­ing the pres­sure the Silk­men grew in con­fi­dence with a strike from Scott Burgess only de­nied by a block on the edge of the area.

Derby looked dan­ger­ous via the ae­rial route, with the pres­ence of Bent and Davies and Mac­cles­field’s tri­al­list ‘keeper Alex Gogic dealt with the pres­sure well, a con­fi­dent pres­ence in the box.

Newly-signed El­liott Dur­rell was par­tic­u­larly im­pres­sive for the hosts, forc­ing Mitchell into a cou­ple of fine saves to­wards the end of the first half. De­spite the gulf in league po­si­tions and per­ceived qual­ity, the teams went into the dress­ing rooms with the score at 0-0.

As is the pro­to­col with pre-sea­son fix­tures both teams made sev­eral changes at half-time, with the vis­i­tors chang­ing the en­tire team apart from Jamie Han­son, giv­ing the fans a chance to see the likes of Scott Car­son and Ikechi Anya take to the Moss Rose pitch.

The lat­ter pro­vided a dif­fer­ent type of test for The Silk­men, with in­tri­cate runs and a low cen­tre on of grav­ity leav­ing him hard to bring down.

Anya’s foot­work let to an early sec­ond half free kick for the vis­i­tors but the home side’s de­fence was solid once again to clear away from the area.

Derby piled on the pres­sure in the sec­ond half, but Mac­cles­field con­tin­ued to look dan­ger­ous on the break, and sub­sti­tute Court­ney Mep­pen-Wal­ter tried his luck from long range against Ex-Eng­land in­ter­na­tional Car­son.

Even­tu­ally the Cham­pi­onship side broke through af­ter a Bradley Johnson free kick was blocked by the wall, he col­lected and fired home in the 72nd minute.

The goal gave Derby that added con­fi­dence boost, and birth­day boy Ma­son Bennett - turn­ing 21 to­day, headed home to dou­ble the vis­i­tors lead ten min­utes af­ter the opener.

As­sis­tant boss Steve Wat­son was pleased with the way Macc ap­plied them­selves against a strong Cham­pi­onship side.

“Ob­vi­ously you want to win ev­ery game but we were play­ing against a full strength, top end Cham­pi­onship team and I thought for large spells we did very, very well,” he said.

“I thought we caused them prob­lems, in the first half we had as many chances as they did, there were some very good first per­for­mances and in pre­sea­son you are look­ing for lads to im­prove your squad and some of the lads did them­selves a lot of favours to­day.”

Steve went on to dis­cuss

‘You are look­ing for lads to im­prove your squad and some did them­selves a lot of favours’

some of the play­ers mak­ing their de­buts in front of the home faith­ful at the Moss Rose on Satur­day af­ter­noon.

He said: “I thought we looked very bright, Scott Burgess looked very good in mid­field, Court­ney held the bot­tom of the field as we wanted him to do…El­liott Dur­rell, Scott Wil­son,

Gareth Co­p­ley

Scott Car­son fea­tured in goal for a strong Derby County side

Robert Parry-Jones

El­liott Dur­rell im­pressed for Macc

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