Sir John’s new look Silkmen side put up a spirited display against Championship side Derby County this afternoon, yet it was The Rams who emerged victorious at a rain drenched Moss Rose.
Macc started brightly and could have taken the lead after just two minutes when Scott Burgess found space just outside the area but could only fire his low drive straight at Rams ‘keeper Mitchell.
In the sixth minute, supporters united in memory of Sunderland fan Bradley Lowery who sadly passed away recently from neuroblastoma. Applause ringed around all sides of the ground, as did the chant “One Bradley Lowery” in what was a very humbling and symbolic gesture which proved that “Cancer has no Colours”
The Championship side began to apply pressure on the Macc goal and ‘keeper Alex Gogic made some fine saves to preserve the stalemate.
On 12 minutes, former Silkmen striker Nick Blackman broke free but saw his 25 yard effort curl just wide with Gogic well beaten.
On the quarter hour mark, Macc began to fight back and Kobi Arthur was unlucky to see his stinging drive parried away by Mitchell in the Derby goal.
Macc proved that they were more than a match for their illustrious opponents and put together some encouraging spells of possession despite struggling to find an end product.
Elliott Durrell and Courtney Richards in particular looked a class apart, yet it was Kobi Arthur who undoubtedly proved to be Macc’s biggest threat with a confident and assured performance in the middle of the park.
On 37 minutes, Blackman found space down the left flank and his cross was acrobatically met by former Preston hitman David Nugent, yet Gogic once again produced an incredible save – this time with his feet.
Burgess had another attempt to break the deadlock on 42 minutes but fired his 20 yard effort well over the Derby goal.
Half Time: Silkmen 0 v 0 Derby County
The second half saw the Championship side make eleven changes, yet it was the visitors who took the game by the scruff of the neck and forced the play.
Six minutes in to the second half, Ollson flew down the left wing and fired a low cross across the six yard area which Chris Martin fortunately scuffed just wide with the goal at his mercy.
As the half wore on, the game became more stretched as both sides went for a morale boosting victory. For long spells Derby were confined to counter-attacks as the home side began to dominate possession.
Yet the deadlock was broken on 72 minutes when Bradley Johnson latched on to his previously blocked free-kick before steering cooly past the Silkmen ‘keeper.
The Rams began to dominate and just two minutes later Macc defender Kieron Kennedy had to lay his body on the line to block Mason Bennett’s goal bound shot.
Yet, birthday boy Bennett celebrated his 21st in style on 83 minutes when he headed home from close range after a well worked move down the right hand side.
Two minutes later, trial list Jack Storer went up for an innocuous looking header in the centre of the park and proceeded to lose his rag with his Derby compatriot. After a minute or two of handbags at dawn, Storer was asked to leave the pitch by the Referee and was replaced by Elliott Durell who came on for his second run out of the match.
As he walked off, Storer took off the hallowed blue shirt and threw it on the ground as Sir John tried to calm him down.
It was a disgraceful act from someone who had a fairly average match at best – time will tell if that will seal his fate in terms of a contract offer.
The visitors almost added a third right on the stroke of half-time when Wiemann curled a shot agonisingly wide of the far upright but as the Referee signalled for proceedings to end, both sets of fans could be happy with their side’s performance.
The Rams fans we spoke to after the match were very complimentary towards our new look side and facilities at the Moss – I think they expected a field with swings and slides to be honest.
Yet we were incredibly lucky to bump in to one family who follow The Rams, despite living in Macc. Jodie, Charlie and Ashley Price came to follow their beloved side and made the mistake of coming in to the bar after the game where the Camp Commander himself, Andy Worth set about trying to change their allegiances.
I think that he did a good job to be honest and we look forward to seeing them at the Moss very soon – but hopefully next time you will see a home win!
Overall, a decent workout for Macc with Kobi Arthur undoubtedly being the stand out player. Results mean nothing at this stage of the season, but if today is anything to go off then there should be some very exciting times ahead!
Macclesfield Town (Starting XI): Alex Gogic, Jared Hodgkiss, David Fitzpatrick, Keith Lowe, Scott Wilson, Elliott Durrell, Ryan Lloyd, Fraser Kerr, Koby Arthur, Scott Burgess, Courtney Richards
Second Half Substitutions: Tyler Little, Courtney Meppen-Walter, Jimmy Phillips, Andrew Dawber, Mitch Hancox, Kieren Kennedy, Tyrone Marsh, Jack Storer, Richard Brodie, Ejiro Okosieme, Scott Fenwick
Derby County (Starting XI): Jonathan Mitchell, Craig Forsyth, Craig Bryson, Johnny Russell, Darren Bent, Andre Wisdom, Jacob Butterfield, Nick Blackman, Jamie Hanson, David Nugent, Curtis Davies
Second Half Side: Scott Carson, Ikechi Anya, Chris Martin, Chris Baird, Bradley Johnson, Alex Pearce, Andreas Wiemann, Mason Bennett, Jamie Hanson, Marcus Olsson, Timi Elsnick