Macclesfield Town 1 Solihull Moors 3 Attendance 1166 (80 away)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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!
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.
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,
Supporters Men of the Match tied
between George Carline and Jack Byrne
Report from John Clothier Photos Courtesy from Tom King