Macclesfield Town surrendered their unbeaten home record yesterday, as Woking registered their first away victory of the season in what was a frustrating afternoon at the Moss Rose.
Buoyed by two consecutive victories, the home side started the brighter with Elliott Durrell smashing the ball just wide from twenty five yards after just five minutes.
Two minutes later and Macc laid siege on the Woking goal in search of the opener.
Durrell and David Fitzpatrick both saw teasing crosses desperately cleared by the Woking defence, as their authority was asserted during the early exchanges.
The Silkmen Army behind the Star Lane End liked what they saw, and a barrage of noise ensued as the Silkmen pushed for the breakthrough.
On 18 mins, the deadlock was broken when Tyrone Marsh’s pinpoint cross from the right was met by a powerful Durrell header which flew into the net, leaving Baxter stranded.
Two minutes later and Durrell could well have claimed his second after an intricate one-two with Adam Yates created space, yet his rasping drive flew just wide of the far post.
On 25 minutes it was Durrell who was proving to be the danger man once more, as he nonchalantly laid the ball off to Yates whose cross along the six yard line agonisingly evaded the onrushing Tyrone Marsh at the back post.
Two minutes later and calamity was to strike, in spite of Macc’s unquestionable dominance.
Quite simply, it was the most horrendous goal you will ever see as Jason Banton’s shot took a wicked deflection which seemed to be heading straight in to the arms of Shawn Jalal.
However, the ball slipped through the Iraqi’s grasp and trickled in to the net to hand The Cards an undeserved equaliser.
A minute later matters could well have got worse for the home side when Kane Ferdinand broke free, before his low drive was spectacularly turned around the near post by Jalal.
Just after the half hour point, Gime Toure danced through the Woking defence before smashing his attempt at Baxter’s near post which he just about managed to parry to safety.
With Macc’s dominance restored, Elliott Durrell then spotted ‘keeper Baxter off his line before exquisitely launching an audacious fifty yard attempt which flew agonisingly wide.
Two minutes later and the impressive David Fitzpatrick danced through the Woking defence, before his teasing cross was headed fractions wide by Tyrone Marsh at the back post.
Disaster was then to strike once more, when Joe Ward broke free down the left hand side, before smashing the ball across the face of goal and into the far corner to send the visitors into the ascendency.
Right on the stroke of half time, carnage ensued within the Woking penalty area as Macc fought to restore parity before the interval.
The ball eventually broke to Danny Whitaker who hit the target from six yards out and only a heroic last gasp block from Nathan Ralph prevented the equaliser.
Macc started the second half just as they end the first, on the front foot and looking to break down an increasingly rigid Woking defence.
Three minutes after the restart Gime Toure laid the ball off for Tyrone Marsh on the edge of the area, before he burst through the defence and took the ball around ‘keeper Baxter.
It would take a world class tackle from Richard Orlu to deny him restoring parity, yet Macc continued to press.
Despite a Charlie Carter header going just wide for the visitors, Macc enjoyed almost unrivalled dominance with Durrell, Toure and Whitaker in particular looking menacing.
On 54 minutes Whitaker picked up the ball in the middle of the pitch before surging forward and smashing the ball onto Baxter’s near post, as the visitors continued to ride their luck.
As we moved towards the hour mark, Woking seemed to grow in confidence and this was exemplified by Effiong’s powerful run past two Macc defenders before hammering the ball straight at Jalal from close range.
On 65 minutes Tyrone Marsh broke free and played a sublime one-two with Whitaker before unleashing a ferocious shot towards goal. Only a world class save by Baxter prevented the home side drawing level, as The Cards continued to ride their luck.
As time wore on, Macc seemed to understandably force the issue as efforts from Marsh, Lowe and Durrell flew high and wide of the visitor’s goal.
When it seemed that Woking were content with playing the ball into the corners, they hit us with a final nail in our coffin as Effiong smashed past Jalal from close range.
The striker then disgracefully mocked the Star Lane End, to the extent where the National League surely have to consider a retrospective ban as the Referee was clearly thinking about what he would be having for his tea rather than booking the player.
It is not been bitter – it is just factual. The lad had scored a decent goal, and his side were running out with maximum points, but to react the way he did was for me an utter disgrace and a slur on the good name of Woking Football Club.
The match then petered out and as the Referee signalled the end of the contest,we all knew that a backlash needs to be seen at Solihull next week.
Macc played well, they dominated in fact but you win no prizes for possession.
We will play much worse than yesterday and win games.
We now need to draw a line under it and move on to Solihull, full of the confidence which characterised the build up to this weekend’s game.