Macclesfield Town concluded their pre-season programme at the Moss Rose yesterday, where Mark Cullen’s brace was enough to give Blackpool victory in a fairly dire match at the Moss Rose.
The match started fairly evenly with both sides having some good possession, yet chances appeared to be at a premium.
After 7 minutes, former Silkman Colin Daniel broke free down the left, and his innocuous looking cross was headed across goal by Ryan Lloyd and it took an awesome stop from Jalal to prevent the onrushing Blackpool striker from opening the scoring.
Tyrone Marsh then had a couple of chances to break the deadlock – the first of which saw his 20 yard drive scream over Allsop’s cross bar in the Blackpool goal, whilst the second saw him connect with Durrell’s pin-point cross, only to head over from ten yards out.
Macc began to dominate possession but in truth the game became a rather cagey stalemate for the rest of the half.
Seven minutes in to the second half, Elliott Durrell again made space down the right hand side, this time smashing a low drive along the six yard line which just needed a touch to break the deadlock – unfortunately nobody was there to apply it.
The visitors then opened the scoring on 59 minutes when Mark Cullen was not picked up from a corner, and he easily headed the ball past Jalal.
Courtney Richards and Callum Cooke then saw their efforts sail over, before a desperate last-gasp block prevented Gime Toure’s goal bound effort from flying in to the top corner of the goal.
Just as Macc were beginning to assert their authority on the game once more, Blackpool doubled their lead. Jalal did well to stop a 25 yard drive to his right, but could only parry the ball in to the path of Cullen, who had an easy tap in to put the Tangerines 2 – 0 up.
With 20 mins left on the clock, Macc’s substitute ‘keeper made a fabulous save to prevent Blackpool’s third when he acrobatically managed to tip a ferocious 30 yard drive over the bar to safety.
Scott Wilson then had a couple of chances to pull Macc back in to the game, and with ten minutes left Kobi Arthur nearly broke the crossbar when his curling effort seemed destined for the top corner with the ‘keeper well beaten.
Six minutes from time, Blackpool took Colin Daniel off with no replacement and saw out the final exchanges with ten men.
Yet, despite some good possession, Macc could not make their numerical advantage and The Tangerines left the Moss victorious.
In truth, the game was a rather mundane affair, and Blackpool did not really deserve their 2 -0 victory as both sides looked a little apprehensive – which is understandable with the big season kick-off only a week away.
I am not sure that Sir John would have learnt that much from the game, however once again, Macc have competed well with a higher division team and this can only be a good thing as we now turn our attention to Wrexham.
Silkmen: Jalal, Hodgkiss, Fitzpatrick, Baba, Pilkington, Durrell, Lloyd, Burgess, Whitaker, Marsh, Lowe.
Subs: Wilson, Hancox, Toure, Kennedy, Richards, Trialist.
Blackpool: Allsop, Mellor, Tilt, Robertson, Daniel, Longstaff, Turton, Osayi-Samuel, Clayton, Cooke, Cullen.
Subs: Gnanduillet, Williams, Taylor, Anderton, Hartley, Delfouneso, Philiskirk, Matt.