MACCLESFIELD TOWN (1) 2 ALTRINCHAM (0) 1
played on Tuesday, 10 February, 2015, at 7.45pm
Altrincham were unfortunate not to take anything from this game after a spirited second-half showing saw them lay siege to the Silkmen's goal. But the damage had been done before that when Alty fell two goals adrift. An unmarked Barnes-Homer headed home a left-wing cross in the 29th minute to give the hosts a deserved interval lead. Although Alty brought on Perry at the break and started the second half on the front foot, they fell further behind after 49 minutes when Whitaker found Moke unmarked on the right and he drove a low shot past Coburn into the net.
But, after that, it was largely one-way traffic twoards the Macclesfield goal and Alty made it 2-1 in the 63rd minute when Perry scored, following a freekick. And when Perry put the ball in the net again, in the 83rd minute from a Densmore freekick, it took the intervention of an assistant referee to rule the goal out. Despite late pressure on them, Macclesfield just about held out to take the three points.
- 29 mins: Matthew BARNES-HOMER (Macclesfield Town 1 ALTRINCHAM 0)
- 49 mins: Adraino MOKE (Macclesfield Town 2 ALTRINCHAM 0)
- 63 mins: Kyle PERRY (Macclesfield Town 2 ALTRINCHAM 1)
REFEREE: Mr Ross Joyce (Cleveland)
ATTENDANCE: 1,962 - 338 from Alty
Altrincham were without Peter Cavanagh, who has missed recent games with an Achilles problem, and Nicky Clee, who suffered a knee injury in the game against Aldershot Town, last Saturday. So, James Lawrie came into the squad and reserves' striker Joel Swift came onto the bench. With this game, Stuart Coburn became Altrincham's record holder for starting matches, with 673 to his account for the Club.
Macc made several changes, with the goal-threat of both Holroyd and Fairhurst being on the bench.
MACCLESFIELD TOWN (Blue and white): 1. Rhys Taylor, 28. Alex Grant, 5. George Pilkington, 3. Scott Barrow, 18. Lee Bell, 8. Paul Lewis, 29. Matthew Barnes-Homer, 11. Adriano Moke, 12. Dan Cowan, 23. Danny Whitaker, 34. Danny Rowe, Subs: 10. Waide Fairhurst, 20. Ritchie Branagan, 9. Chris Holroyd, 14. James Thorne, 7. Malachi Lavelle-Moore
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white stripes, black shorts,red socks) : 1. Stuart Coburn, 2. Shaun Densmore (capt), 5. Gianluca Havern, 16. Tom Marshall, 3. Adam Griffin, 4. Jake Moult, 8. Simon Richman, 18. Shaun Williams, 19. Ryan Crowther, 10. Damian Reeves, 7. James Lawrie. Subs: 6. Scott Leather, 9. Steven Gillespie, 14. Kyle Perry, 17.Dave Parton, 20. Joel Swift.
This was the first league meeting of these sides at Macclesfield since the 1996/97 season, when Alty suffered their first relegation from the Conference whilst Macclesfield moved upwards into the Football League.
A sizeable Alty following was behind the open-end's goal.
Mike Garnett provides our historical record against Macclesfield Town
- Home: P110-W52-D27-L31-F232-A172
- Away: PW97-W29-D26-L42-F141-A188
- Neutral: P8-W5-D0-L3-F16-A15
- All: P215-W86-D53-L76-F389-A375
On a cold but dry evening, with some remaining piles of unmelted snow heaped behind the stands, Macc kicked off towards the away end on a pitch which was in good condition for the time of year. From the start the atmosphere was lively, with both sets of fans vocal in their support. The first half chance for Macc came from the left but the low cross induced only an air-shot from Moke in the box (3 mins).
Keeper Taylor, who had a slightly nervy evening, now sliced a back pass from Pilkington into touch before Richman blocked a Rowe shot at source (6 mins). It was a fairly even start as, next, Densmore got forward and then Richman was halted on the edge of Macc's box.
Gradually the hosts began to get the upper hand. They looked most dangerous attacking up the left and, from a cross from that area, a 25-yarder by Bell flew just wide (9 mins). Now, a Macc shot deflected to Coburn as the home side set the attacking agenda. Crowther now won a couple of throws.
When Barrow was played into the box, his shot forced a great block by Coburn for a corner (14 mins). Nevertheless, there was some nice passing from Alty before a Crowther shot was blocked at source. After this, Moke beat Moult but lofted his shot badly over from 19 yards.
Following an Alty freekick, 45 yards out, Griffin overhit a ball into the box. Macc looked the more threatening as Rowe got past Havern to feed Barnes Homer. However, Densmore covered well at the cost of a corner. Both sides were playing with one main striker but for Alty, Reeves was working hard but getting little service. It was not one-way traffic by any means and now Marshall, who played well, fed Richman who in turn located Lawrie but his underpowered shot went wide from 23 yards.
But just as Alty were having a decent spell, a cross from the left by Barrow located an unmarked Barnes-Homer and his downward header from the centre of the box made it 1-0 (29 mins). Soon after this, a Whitaker shot was deflected over his own bar by Havern's head, for a corner, which Whitaker wasted badly. Alty were now penned back as, first, Griffin blocked Moke illegally before Richman halted Barrow inside Alty's box. Macc's attacks were coming predominantly up the left wing.
Alty now got forward but Lawrie's shot was blocked by a defender. Another Griffin foul on Moke was punished only by a freekick. Although Alty had yet to seriously threaten the Macc goal, they now quietened the previously loud home crowd with some decent possession. When Rowe was given offside and then booted the ball into the crowd, Mr. Joyce again showed leniency (42 mins).
Alty rallied a bit as a Williams shot was blocked after Lawrie had done well and then a freekick was won as Densmore was tripped. Half time arrived with Macclesfield meriting their lead and Altrincham having barely troubled the home goalkeeper.
|Half-Time: MACCLESFIELD TOWN 1 ALTRINCHAM 0|
For the second half Perry came on up front for midfielder Williams and almost immediately the big striker was pulled up for a "foot-up" offence. But Alty started the half well with a Moult shot followed by a Densmore cross, which gained a corner. Then, a Griffin "up and under" was badly missed by keeper Taylor but Reeves was unable to turn in the half chance (48 mins). From so nearly equalizing, Alty were caught on the counter attack. As three Macc men got forward, the one on the right, Moke, was left unguarded. Whitaker fed the ball, right, to the Portuguese winger, whose low shot went across Coburn into the net to make it 2-0 though the keeper did get a hand to it (49 mins).
After a few uneventful minutes, Lawrie shot well over the bar from 25 yards (54 mins) and a Perry header looped more narrowly over the bar from a Crowther cross. Alty were now taking the game to Macclesfield as Perry battled well and allowed Lawrie a shot but he sliced this nearer to the corner flag than the goal (56 mins).
Just before the hour, Lawrie got in an excellent cross but it was just too high for Perry. Next, from a Densmore freekick, the keeper tipped over a Lawrie effort for a corner. The corner was deflected under Perry's feet and was cleared as Alty continued to threaten. When Lawrie was upended, there was a booking for Barrow (62 mins). From Densmore's freekick a sequence of headers in the box ended with Perry heading home to make it 2-1 (63 mins).
The goal was due reward for Alty's pressing and, next, Crowther won a corner from which Marshall headed wide. Goalkeeper Taylor was already timewasting and Mr. Joyce made clear that he had noticed this. After a Rowe cross had been cleared by Marshall, Macc won a corner off Densmore which came to nothing.
As cynical a foul as you could see came as Bell tripped Reeves from behind as the striker got away from him 40 yards from goal; Bell got a deserved booking (68 mins). Following the freekick Perry won a header but Crowther could not quite turn it goalwards. Barrow was now spoken to for timewasting as Macclesfield looked rattled by Altrincham's pressure. Against their much vaunted defence, Perry had made a difference; but, under pressure, his shot now ran easily to the keeper. But Alty kept attacking as Moult got forward and forced a diving save (71 mins).
Another fine nod-on from Perry meant that Taylor had to rush out to kick clear of Reeves. The Macc keeper now sliced clear a back pass before the hardworking Reeves chased down a defender and forced an error, which led to an Alty freekick just outside the box. However, Densmore put the freekick into the wall. Afterwards a Marshall nod just evaded Perry in the box before Gillespie replaced Crowther and Holroyd came on for Macc for Rowe (78 mins).
The pressure continued as Pilkington fouled Reeves but Perry was then penalised as he won the ball in the box. It was now Pilkington's turn to slice clear before Holroyd manhandled Griffin to concede a freekick 35 yards out from Macc's goal (82 mins). Perry headed home Densmore's freekick but Mr. Joyce was induced to talk to the linesman who had raised his flag and the equalizer was chalked off, apparently for offside (83 mins).
Griffin's luck ran out as he was booked for a foul near half way, which Macc wasted with a poor freekick. With time ticking away Taylor got in the way of a close range volley from Densmore after an initial Lawrie shot (88 mins). As four minutes of added time were announced, a Perry shot was blocked before a Griffin foul relieved the pressure on Macclesfield.
Havern now pushed forward and won a corner from Coburn's punt, after which a Richman shot was deflected for a goalkick as Macc hung on. Alty's next probe was halted by a huge kick upfield, where the hosts had no players. But Altrincham were unable to get the equalizer that their second half showing had certainly deserved. As one Macc supporter said on exiting the ground, "It was like the Alamo".
Against the league's third meanest defence, Altrincham had done superbly but had given themselves too much to do by conceding twice through defensive lapses in the first fifty minutes. The tough games continue as fifth-placed FGR visit Alty on Saturday, before a trip to third-placed Bristol Rovers and, then, the visit of league leaders Barnet.
|Full-Time: MACCLESFIELD TOWN 2 ALTRINCHAM 1|