Stockport County’s second half masterclass proved too much for Sir John’s new look side as despite going in at half time with a slender 2 – 1 lead, County scored four times after the break to take the spoils in an entertaining pre-season friendly at Edgeley Park.
Macc began the brighter, and with just three minutes on the clock Jared Hodgkiss launched an inch perfect cross from the right for Tyrone Marsh to sublimely steer his header past Ben Hinchcliffe in the County goal.
The Macc fans were in raptures as The Silkmen began to dominate. Buoyed by the vociferous travelling support which was led by the legend that is Harry Stokes, the visitors looked to double their lead straight away.
Elliott Durrell and Scott Wilson had efforts saved by Hinchcliffe as Macc looked increasingly dangerous coming forward as their fluid style of football had County chasing shadows for the opening ten minutes.
Despite dominating however, Macc could not get that illusive second goal and it was therefore no surprise when Stockport equalised against the run of play just before the quarter hour mark.
Mike Warburton broke free down the left hand side before cutting inside and hammering a low drive just inside Jalal’s far post. Credit where it is due, it was a decent finish, but at the time it was completely undeserved in what was their first real attack of note.
The equaliser catalysed the home side as they started to quicken the pace up with some good flowing moves. Stephenson in particular looked dangerous down the right hand side, although Jalal was not put under too much pressure due to a number of poor finishes from the home side.
Macc stuck to their game plan despite the fact that County seemed to have woke up all of a sudden, and got their rewards on 18 mins when Scott Wilson made it two goals in two games as his 20 yard drive flew in to the corner of the net despite the efforts of Hinchcliffe in the County goal.
With the lead regained, The Silkmen really did turn on the pressure. Almost immediately after, Tyrone Marsh went inches wide with a 25 yard effort which saw Hinchcliffe well beaten.
Just before the half hour mark, Elliott Durrell’s corner from the right hand side was sweetly connected to by Koby Arthur, who was unlucky to see his powerful header fly just over the crossbar.
Marsh went close again for Macc, yet on 36 mins, County probably should have equalised for a second time when following a great run from Stephenson, Jason Oswell saw his header brilliantly tipped over the bar by Jalal. In truth, if he had placed the effort in either of the corners then it would undoubtedly have been a goal, albeit a harsh one and totally against the run of play.
Half chances for Jimmy Ball and Keith Lowe followed, but at the interval Macc deservedly led, as the Silkmen faithful trounced off for their half time snacks encouraged by what they saw.
Half Time : Stockport County 1 v 2 Macclesfield Town.
As with most fixtures at this stage of the season, numerous substitutions were made during the interval and this proved to unsettle The Silkmen a little as a rejuvenated County took the match to the visitors.
Despite some early Macc pressure, the home side equalised for the second time just four minutes after the restart. They were awarded a corner which Macc failed to deal with convincingly and Jason Oswell popped up to hammer the ball past Jalal.
Just seven minutes later County took the lead for the first time in the match when Matty Warburton played a sweet one-two with Oswell on the edge of the penalty area, before firing the ball wide of Jalal and in to the far corner of the net.
Just five minutes later, Stockport made it four when Sam Walker’s corner was powerfully headed home by Jason Oswell for his second of the match.
County then began to dominate as the confidence which Macc had played with during the first half had seemingly evaporated.
Scott Burgess saw his twenty yard effort sail just over the crossbar, but in truth it was the home side who looked most likely to add to their tally.
This duly came on 71 minutes when Matty Warburton completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot. New signing Kieran Kennedy found himself in all sorts of trouble down Macc’s left hand side before pulling back the County striker and giving the Referee no option but to point to the spot.
Warburton duly converted as Macc fought to avoid embarrassment.
Despite the hosts looking dangerous during the closing stages of the match, the scoring was complete as the Silkmen fan’s headed back down the A6 eager to put the afternoon’s football behind them.
Yet it was not all bad news, as the first half performance had given everyone some degree of hope for the coming season and the majority of players who we actually have signed up played well.
Sir John echoed this sentiment after the match by stating that maybe some of the trialists were off the pace somewhat, but ultimately he was pleased with those who have previously signed on the dotted line.
Results don’t matter at this stage of the season and I know that is a cliche, but it really is true. So there is no need to panic just yet as we get prepared for Tuesday’s home game with the Railwaymen of Crewe.
Stockport County: Hinchcliffe, Cowan, Hampson, Winter, Clark, O’Halloran, Ball, Walker, Oswell, Warburton, Stephenson.
Subs: Smalley, Smith, Minihan, Duxbury, Thomas, Brazel, West, Ethes, Whitty.
Macclesfield Town: Jalal, Hodgkiss, Fitzpatrick, Lowe, Pilkington, Baba, Richards, Arthur, Durrell, Wilson, Marsh.
Subs: Gogic, Lloyd, Hancox, Kennedy, Meppen-Walter, Pattie, Burgess, Whitaker, Adeloye.
Attendance: 1120 (183 away).
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