- Firstly, I would like to say how surprised and disappointed I was that since the onset of the transfer window, there had been NO incoming players to a squad so decimated by injury. I have to be honest, and state that I fully expected Sol (Campbell) to have already lined up at least several players (primarily midfield and up front) to freshen up a very weak and tired looking squad in readiness for yesterday’s game against a Swindon side that have hardly been pulling up trees in recent weeks. Three points could have quite possibly taken us out of the bottom two which would have been such a morale booster in the weeks and months to come. I am sure the industrious and highly competent Mr Trafford is trying very hard on this matter, but I am convinced that an injury update would be so appreciated by the Silkmen faithful in the near future!!
- Maybe it’s got to something to do with teams who have the nickname of the Robins, but Swindon aren’t a club I have ever found to be particularly warm and friendly. Those Silkmen fans who were at the first game of the season will of course remember the complete absence of friendly welcome; the dearth of recognition of our goalscorers and the completely over the top celebrations that ensued when they grabbed victory from the jaws of defeat. Their goalkeeper Vigouroux had come across as an arrogant and abrasive individual in our encounter at the County Ground and his mocking of us at the end of yesterday’s game (where he made it abundantly clear of his belief that we were going down) appeared to provide further representation of my belief that they are a rather crass club, and if we never ever had to play them again it would certainly not break my heart. Having said that I most definitely do not wish them to go up or us to go down!!!
- Now to the game. The first half started very well with us taking the game to the Robins and scoring the opening goal of the game with an excellently taken finish by Tyrone Marsh. We then should have doubled the lead when the hapless Vigouroux’s poor clearance provided Scott Wilson with a very good chance to double our lead but he succeeded in putting the ball wide when in all fairness he should have done better considering his recent rich vein of goal-scoring form!
- Their equaliser would surely have disappointed Sol. Okay yes it appeared to be a harsh decision for their free kick, but Marc Richards, a prolific marksman at this level, could hardly miss as he rose virtually unchallenged to bury the ball in the Silkmen net from no more than six yards, and it was then all square!
- The second half was a pretty dire affair where neither side appeared capable of getting the decisive winning goal and a score draw was a fair result based upon the balance of play. Then as we entered stoppage time, substitute Vincenti earned us a free kick in a very promising position. Michael Rose; arguably Macc’s best player in recent weeks, then served up a shocker of a delivery that was so easily cleared by the Robins defence who broke quickly and Jak McCourt; whose agricultural challenge on Ryan Lloyd had forced Lloydy from the field of play earlier in the game, scored in added on time (again) to send their travelling support into ecstasy. The Robins had thus ultimately achieved a barely deserved double against us with another heartbreaking stoppage time winner!
- I have to admit that I was fuming after yesterday’s defeat. Swindon are NOT a good team and were most definitely there for the taking. The performance was simply nowhere near good enough, and hardly reflected playing every game as if it were a cup final and making the Moss Rose a fortress!! IMHO it was by far the poorest performance since Sol’s arrival, and what makes it even more perplexing / annoying is that we have not already started to strengthen a seriously weakened squad that is clearly knackered following their recent exertions. It is also a squad so stretched in terms of playing resources, that we could only name five (5) substitutes yesterday afternoon.
- My good friend Jon Smart chose the returning Nathan Cameron as Man of the Match and the round of applause that followed the announcement demonstrated that this was a popular choice amongst the Silkmen faithful. Whilst the consistently excellent Cameron was on my shortlist, I personally plumped for young Kieran O’Hara as my Man of the Match as he made several excellent saves yesterday afternoon, had no chance with the goals and I would also suggest has been consistently good in recent weeks.
- Whilst Maycock has improved in recent weeks, he most definitely isn’t the calibre of Danny Whitaker (or Callum Evans for that matter) and so if Michael Rose isn’t performing to his optimum potential then we will struggle. This was the case yesterday as ‘Rosey’ who has been superb in recent weeks wasn’t quite on his ‘A’ game (which is understandable considering he is 36 years young and has had a very business Christmas and New Year schedule) and as a consequence we really struggled in central midfield IMHO.
- We have a very difficult trip to Blundell Park next Saturday to play vastly improved Grimsby Town, and this is followed by a tough test at home against North West rivals Oldham and then another tricky encounter away to Cheltenham Town at the end of the month. Maybe it’s me looking at things from an half empty glass, but having listened to Sol’s interview after yesterday’s game, he didn’t exactly fill me with confidence that we would be actively bringing in replacements in the immediate future. If this is the case, then I genuinely fear that we face the very real risk of being cut adrift without much of a paddle and then ultimately shipwrecked on the island of relegation!
- Those who have read my previous ten points instalments (which no doubt cured any episodes of insomnia!) will recall previous comments by yours truly about the lack of players / management in the McIlroy Suite after the game. This did improve for a short time, aided and abetted by several interviews with players which were well received and attended. However in recent weeks this has sadly dissipated, and today (but for a very brief entry by Nathan Cameron to collect his Man of the Match award) there were NO players, NO manager and NO senior officials such as the Chairman or Chief Executive within the confines of the McIlroy Suite. Food for thought then that I have seen legendary Silkmen icon ‘Sir’ John Askey more often in the McIlroy Suite in recent weeks than any of the players, management or senior hierarchy of Macclesfield Town FC. There is an old saying of ‘you reap what you sow’ and I would earnestly entreaty that a more visible presence of players, management and senior hierarchy amongst the Silkmen faithful would be most beneficial if they are to encourage the wonderful ‘against all odds’ mentality of ALL aspects of the Silkmen ‘family’ which is now absolutely crucial when considering our current plight. I am Silkmen till I die!
Featured Image courtesy of Chelsie Wilson.