Macclesfield Town bounced back from Saturday’s defeat at the hands of Stockport County in the best possible style, as they convincingly saw off League Two side Crewe Alexandra this evening.
Throughout the match the Silkmen looked lively and full of energy, especially one or two of the trialists who were on show, and must surely have done enough to warrant a deal with the club.
Macc started the brighter as the Railwaymen struggled to get out of their half in the early exchanges.
Yet it was the visitors who had the first real chance after 5 minutes, as Cooper swung in a dangerous corner from the left, which Nolan headed over from point blank range.
Our visitors slowly grew in to the game after they had weathered the initial Silkmen storm and looked began to look dangerous – especially down the flanks where their rapid wingers caused the Macc defence no end of problems.
Mitch Hancox then smashed a 30 yard drive straight at Ben Garrett in the Alex goal and would go just as close a minute later, when his rasping 25 yard free kick fizzed just wide of the far post.
Crewe then started to dominate possession as they knocked the ball about with great confidence and speed. The Silkmen defence had to be at their best to keep them out, and after Saturday’s less than convincing performance, it was good to see Kieran Kennedy having an absolute stormer in the heart of the backline.
Just after the half hour mark, a mix up in the Alex defence presented Tyrone Marsh with an opportunity to open the scoring, from an acute angle he unselfishly tried to pull the ball back to a teammate, yet a desperate last-gasp tackle thwarted him as the ball was hoofed to safety.
Two minutes later the visitors fought back. Charlie Kirk launched a great run down the left hand side before laying the ball off to George Cooper who could only smash the ball well over Jalal’s crossbar, despite being only six yards out.
Five minutes before the interval, Macc came under threat down the left hand side again when Cooper charged past Kennedy and picked out Charlie Kirk, who saw his header sail over the bar.
As the half drew to it’s conclusion, the visitors really did up the pressure on the Silkmen goal. Wave after wave of attacks were thwarted without any real clear cut chances being given away.
It was actually the hosts who should have broken the deadlock with three minutes left on the clock. Danny Whitaker broke free in the centre of the park before laying the ball off to Mr Trialist on the left wing. He cut inside and then smashed a thunderbolt of a drive at goal. Alex ‘keeper Garratt watched the ball as it dipped under the crossbar, before flipping himself back and acrobatically tipping the ball over.
The second half began much in the same vein as the first had ended, with Crewe dominating possession but Macc looking the more likely to score.
Five minutes into the half, Elliott Durrell hit a 20 yard free kick agonisingly over Garratt’s upright.
Mr Trialist (number one) continued to impress, much to the delight of the home crowd who were clearly encouraged by what the saw.
On 54 minutes, Elliott Durrell laid the ball off to Noe Baba who smashed his effort straight at Garratt, yet Macc were starting to turn the screw.
Seven minutes later, Mr Trialist (number 2) broke free down the left hand side, before cutting inside and laying the ball off to Ryan Lloyd, whose twenty yard effort was desperately tipped around the post by the Crewe ‘keeper.
On 65 mins, Macc got their just rewards when Mr Trialist (number three) was brought down in the box and the Referee had no option but to give the penalty. Up stepped Danny Whitaker who sent the ‘keeper the wrong way to give Macc the lead.
Two minutes later, Macc could count themselves very lucky not to concede an equaliser, as Cooper broke free down the left and his cross was headed just over by Raynes from all of six yards out.
Fourteen minutes from time, Macc had doubled their lead when a long ball upfield was latched on to by trialist number three, whose deft header thwarted the advancing Garratt and in to an empty net.
On 86 minutes, trialist number three broke free down the left hand side, before cutting inside and hammering a low shot goal bound which was desperately cleared off the line by Raynes with the Alex ‘keeper well beaten.
With two minutes to go, trialist number two smashed a 25 yard shot towards goal which Garratt did well to parry away to safety.
Yet there was one last twist in the tale during injury time, when Keith Lowe’s powerful cross from the right was turned in by the impressive Ryan Lloyd.
Overall a great night for the Silkmen in their penultimate pre-season friendly and one which gives much encouragement for the season ahead.
Now on to Blackpool!