Match Report – Nantwich Town 0-3 Macclesfield Town

Silky Play from Macclesfield Town is enough to see off Dabbers

by Ryan Batty

Nantwich Town 0 – 3 Macclesfield Town
K. James (59’), E. O’Connor (71’, 89’)

A brace from Macclesfield Town trialist Emmet O’Connor and a goal from ex-Halifax man Kingsley James was enough to defeat Nantwich this afternoon, as Phil Parkinson’s men showed plenty of fight and ability, yet lacked the edge in the final third.

The first fifteen minutes were largely uneventful, with Macclesfield being the better side. The first chance came on the sixteenth minute, as Macclesfield striker PA Souley would have been through on goal, if it weren’t for a lovely commanding save from Dabbers ‘keeper Dave Parton. However, the Silkmen weren’t staying on their feet, as they had conceded five free-kicks before the clock hit twenty minutes.

Seventeen minutes in, Chris Holroyd took a low-cut shot, which Parton was able to turn round to the post, before it bounced back and Parton, after a small juggle of the ball, was able to keep the ball.

Matt Bell went down in the twenty-second minute, after an injury sustained earlier in pre-season looked to have been aggravated, and only after a two-minute stoppage in play was he brought off for Matt Bailey, who went into central-defence, with versatile Curtis Jones playing in midfield.

Nantwich were living life dangerously at the back, as a ball over to goalkeeper Dave Parton was cleared weakly, almost leading to a breakthrough from The Silkmen, before it was cleared out of bounds.

The first chance of the game came nine minutes before the half-time whistle, as Sean Cooke was able to play in Josh Gordon, who went one-on-one with the Macclesfield stopper Craig Ross, before Ross came off his line and was able to win the ball from Gordon’s feet.

After a failed attack from Macclesfield, The Dabbers were able to counter, and Jonny Kapend was played onto the right by striker Theo Stair, as a cross-cum-shot from Kapend almost scored the first of the day.

Oliver Norburn went down four minutes from the interval, and was replaced by Kingsley James. Dabbers fans will remember James for his outstanding performance for FC Halifax in the two-legged FA Trophy Semi-Final against Nantwich.

At half-time, it was Macclesfield who were the better side, as they had the majority of the first-half chances. However, it was still goalless at the break.

A ball from Curtis Jones almost replicated the error made from Tuesday’s game against Crewe Alexandra, as Dave Parton struggled to keep the ball in his hands. The Dabbers looked lively however after the break and played some threatening attacking movements forward.

The first chance for The Dabbers in the second half saw Sean Cooke play in Theo Stair, whose ambitious effort flew high over the bar, which kept the game scoreless.

However, Macclesfield could counter following the goal kick, as a low cross over to PA Souley saw the Gambian take a chance, which was saved by Parton and went past the post for a Silkmen corner.

As the corner played back into the middle, Kingsley James went to tackle Cooke, who went to ground, before James unintentionally kicked Cooke in the ribs. The referee gave The Men in Green a free-kick, but it went straight into Branagan’s arms. The ball slipped, before it was scrambled away.

Macclesfield broke through on the fifty-ninth minute as Kingsley James received the ball on the edge of the area, and took a fantastic low-cut shot on the edge of the area, which fired into the back of Dave Parton’s goal to make it one-nil to the National League side. What a way to introduce yourself!

A quiet fifteen minutes passed without any real highlights, before out of the blue, Emmet O’Connor chips Nantwich replacement goalkeeper Bradley Moorhead from the edge of the Nantwich box to double the visitor’s lead. A wonderful goal from the Macclesfield trialist, which should be enough to get him a contract at Moss Rose for the upcoming campaign.

Nantwich made some good attacking movements forward, the best of which came when Theo Stair was played through by an unnamed Trialist, but his shot just scraped the edge of the post.

PA Souley looked to add another goal onto the tally for The Silkmen, before Ben Harrison brought him down which what would have been a straight red card in any league game, and his second bad challenge in as many games confirmed a bad week for the defender.

And just when we thought the game was all over, that man Emmet O’Connor latched onto a Jack Sampson cross aimed at the far post from the left hand side, and scored his second of the day by taking the ball around Moorhead, and was simply able to pass the ball into the net. A second for O’Connor and a third for Macclesfield, which put the game beyond doubt. 

Nantwich: D. Parton (B. Moorhead), A. White, I. Tourey, B. Harrison, C. Jones, M. Bell (M. Bailey), J. Kapend (R.Jackson), S. Hall (C) (S. Dodd), T. Stair, S. Cooke (C. Jones), J. Gordon (Trialist)
Subs: C. Jones, B. Moorhead, M. Bailey, S. Dodd, R. Jackson, Trialist

Macclesfield: C. Ross (R. Branagan), D. Cowan, N. Byrne, M. Faulkner, D. Fitzpatrick (G. Pilkington), O. Norburn (K. James) , A. Halls (D. Whittaker), C. Sutherland (J. Simpson), E. O’Connor, C. Holroyd (Mackreth), P. Souley
Subs: G. Pilkington, J. McCombe, R. Branagan, J. Simpson, D. Whittaker, B. Jenkins, K. James

Attendance: 198

We would like to take this moment to thank the RedShift Radio team that stepped in admirably to cover the game on short notice. Thanks go to Ryan for contributing this excellent match report and to the team for their social media updates and live match commentary. It is much appreciated.

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