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Macclesfield Town 1 Solihull Moors 3
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18th Apr 17
Macclesfield Town 1 Solihull Moors 3
Smooth as Silk Moors Take All Points

Macclesfield Town 1 Solihull Moors 3 Attendance 1166 (80 away)

 

On Easter Monday Moors travelled for the first time ever to Macclesfield’s Moss Rose Stadium, the unlikeliest place they could expect points in their battle for survival in the National League. Although the “Silkmen” have missed the play off’s this season they sat in 9th place in the league and are through to the FA Trophy Wembley final in May when they take on York City.

Liam McDonald’s injury hit squad was rearranged again with a back four of Simeon Maye, Joel Kettle, Kristian Green and Connor Franklin, whilst the bench included  Andy Brown, and Regan Charles Cooke, (the latter back from suspension) – fire power waiting in the wings! Jack Byrne assumed the Captain's role and lead from the front

Solihull almost took the lead on 30 seconds when Omari Sterling-James ran at the hosts defence before unleashing a 25 yards low drive which would have made the back of the net save for a very alert Craig Ross diving full length to push it round the post.

   

Macclesfield had to wait until the 13th minute for their first attack when Hancox rounded Maye but Kettle was on hand to clear his shot. Striker Holroyd seized on Whitehead’s through ball but cleared the bar before his second attempt on goal at the mid point of the half was wide. Fitzpatrick ‘s shot / cross slewed across the face of the goal but Holroyd  hit it straight to the well placed Nathan Baxter. Thorn hit high after a decent break down the left.

Having weathered the pressure George Carline put Sterling James away as the interval approached but the shot was deflected for a corner. Ashley Sammons found space in the box on 45 minutes but Ross was equal to it.

In added time Macclesfield thought had taken the lead when McCombe headed the ball towards the near side corner of the goal – with all the Moors supporters situated closest to the action, it did seem a worthwhile shout but apparently the assistant referee adjudged that the whole of the ball had not crossed the line before Baxter’s frantic efforts relieved the pressure and play continued. It could have gone the other way but the away faithful just wondered if this was the turn of fortunes their team had been waiting for.

   

0 – 0 at the interval was a fair reflection of the open play from both teams.

No sooner had the second half begun than Solihull were one down; The Silkmen were awarded a free kick on the right side some 25 yards out and as Whitehead curled his shot into the 6 yard box, Holroyd drifted into the area for a classic head in – 1 – 0

Far from heads dropping, Moors found a new rush of energy and confidence. On 54 minutes Sammons inch perfect free kick was met with a bullet header from Jack Byrne which rattled the cross bar with Ross beaten before Pilkington cleared the danger.

 Andy Brown was on for White on 65 minutes and the rampant Moors were so close as Sammons’s rasping shot parried was by Ross but Sterling-James was in an off side position as he raced in to convert. Byrne rattled the bar for the second time as Green’s throw was chipped forward by Carline.

Then on 78 minutes Moors were level; Connor Franklin curled in a peach of a cross and George Carline out jumped his defender as he headed passed Ross. 1 - 1

   

Liam McDonald immediately brought on Regan Charles-Cook in place of the tiring Afolayan as Moors went in search of all three points and with four minutes of normal time left it fell to the charismatic Byrne who in a crowded box rose highest to Sammon’s free kick to head beyond Ross. 1 – 2.

Nortey was on for Sterling-James to bolster the defence but 5 minutes of added time was greeted with moans from the away supporters. However, there was no need for panic as Charles-Cook wrapped up the game in the 93rd minute; Brown opened up the final third as he put the Charlton loanee through – he out paced his defender, looked up at Ross and coolly side footed the ball into the far corner of the net. The players were delighted - the fans delirious!

15 pulsating minutes at the end of this unforgettable match turned Moors recent nightmare into a situation where they are 18th in the league and three points clear of the relegation zone with all teams having two matches remaining. Moors have everything to play for.

Next Saturday Solihull entertain mid table Eastleigh in their final home game this season before travelling to Yorkshire to battle Guiseley in the last match of the campaign - that game, like all National League games on the 29th April will kick off at 12.15pm  

Baxter, Franklin, Kettle, Sammons , Byrne ©, Green, Maye, Afolyan (Charles-Cook), White (Brown), Sterling-James (Nortey); Subs not Used, Coyle, Acton.

 

Supporters Men of the Match tied between George Carline and Jack Byrne

   

  


  Report from John Clothier                              Photos Courtesy from Tom King

 

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