Macclesfield Town will be hoping to bounce back from Saturday’s heavy defeat at Stockport County when they entertain Crewe Alexandra tomorrow evening.
In the penultimate pre-season friendly, Sir John will carry on whittling down the numbers with the start of the season now less than two weeks away.
After the County friendly, John said that he had been impressed with those players who had previously committed to the club, but some of the trialists who appeared during the second half at Edgeley Park need to up their game if they are to be offered a deal with the club.
Despite the heavy scoreline last Saturday, the overall signs have been encouraging over the last few weeks, as Sir John rebuilds his side following the summer exodus experienced after the FA Trophy Final last May.
A narrow defeat by Championship side Derby County was followed up by a morale boosting victory against League One side Bury last Tuesday prior to the Stockport defeat. Even then, the side played well enough in the first half to merit the lead, and in truth could well have put the game to bed well before the half time whistle such was their dominance in the first period.
Askey now has just two games left to cast his eye over the remaining players which he wants to bring in to the Moss Rose and in addition to this, it is thought that those who will be commanding a first team place when the season kicks off will be given more time on the pitch as they continue to build their fitness up.
Pre season matches regularly give no indication of how the next nine months are going to unfold, mainly due to the fact that players appear for the club who the chances are, you will never see again. This notion was exemplified perfectly last Saturday, and although everybody wants to emerge from a local derby victorious, sometimes more is learnt through individual performances rather than the scoreline.
Having said that, we are now fast approaching make or break time for those who need to prove that they are worth a contract at the club, and as such tomorrow’s game against our Cheshire neighbours should be an entertaining one with what is expected to be a more settled side than that of previous weeks.
Crewe have made a number of signings during the summer, with former Oldham Athletic and Derby County striker Chris Porter arguably topping the bill.
Forward Jordan Bowery (Leyton Orient), defenders Michael Raynes (Carlisle) and Eddie Nolan (Blackpool) have also made the move to Gresty Road over the last few weeks, as has 21 year old midfielder Brad Walker who signed from Hartlepool United.
Our visitors are currently unbeaten during their pre-season programme which started off back on July 11th when they scored seven times against local side, Kidsgrove Athletic.
This was followed up with a 3 – 1 win away at our bogey side Buxton, before a goalless draw with Macc’s National League rivals, Barrow.
A much changed starting XI then drew away at Alsager Town, before a much more experienced side came away from Gigg Lane with a one all draw against League One side Bury.
The Alex had taken the lead during the opening exchanges thanks to a great header from Brad Walker, but were pegged back with just five minutes left on the clock by a Jermaine Beckford strike.
Speaking to the Crewe Official Site following the match, Manager David Artell stated –
There were more certainly some real positives from today and it was much improved from Barrow that’s for sure. Although results are not important in pre-season, we should have won with the chances we had. We dominated the first half and should have been more than the one goal we did score.
We need to be more ruthless on that score and we should have been more than one goal up entering the last stages of the game. It was disappointing to concede with five minutes left but Beckford has been around and it was a great ball in. He managed to get a touch on it a bit like Brad did for us in the first half.
I was pleased with the way we performed and we defended well. We had the better of the chances and we just tired in the last 10/15 minutes but that fitness will come. We are getting there and we will get there.”
David Artell. Crewe Alexandra Manager
With both sides aiming to put their finishing touches to their squads ahead of the big kick-off on August 5th, it should be a entertaining evening of football down at the Moss Rose tomorrow night.
The admission prices for the match are as follows –
Over 65 / Under 25: £5
Under 12s: Free
If you can’t make it to the match, then there will be live match updates on the site from around 19:00 tomorrow with full team news and all the action as and when it happens.
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