James Hall

The Moors extended their undefeated run to three games at league leaders Macclesfield Town, earning a point in a scoreless draw. 

Mark Yates’ side had appeared to be struggling to resist the Macclesfield attack for the first fifteen minutes, with the ball spending the majority of the period firmly in the away end. Tyrone Marsh moved the ball along the left flank, going close to scoring several times before a hashed shot, seemingly destined for the net was cleared off the line by Liam Daly.

It was a moment’s respite that allowed Moors to launch an attack of their own. Max O’Leary’s long throw found the boot of Oladapo Afolayan, who forced a corner from the home keeper with a neat shot from the inside right. It led to a sloppy clearance falling squarely to Darren Carter, whose deflected volley started a scramble for the ball, ending with a firmly struck clearance out of the Silkmen’s penalty area.

In the minutes to follow, the Moors attack would rumble into life once more, leading to a testing shot from Hylton demanding a good response from the home defence.

Moors seemed to be dominating the game, forcing scrappy midfield battles.

The pressure from the away attack subsided somewhat when Thomas was carded for a reckless jump at the home keeper, a straightforward decision that received few complaints. Indeed the referee’s job in the first 35 minutes was straightforward, at its most demanding when Afolayan was taken down yards outside the area. The same could not be said when the half began to draw to a close. A penalty claim against Reckord went begging, sparking a quick reaction from Macclesfield, leaving the home side with several chances in the dying minutes. A good double save from O’Learly would ultimately deny Elliott Durrell twice, sending the teams in scoreless.

The second half started with a bang, with Moors feeling the brunt of a penalty decision being denied when Murombedzi was brought down in the area. The following Moors attack proved fruitless however, Thomas fired out of the ground, striking a car, much to the chagrin of its owner.

Fantastic defending followed, Durrell was denied thrice more by the Moors defence, Max O’Leary impressing once more between the sticks. It was a habit that would continue through the rest of a cagey second half, a consistency frustratingly unmatched by the Macclesfield tannoy system.

Ultimately, the second half would pick up where the first left off, with straightforward calls attracting little opposition from the Moss Rose faithful. Possession frequently changed hands with neither side able to break down the defence of the other, despite some clearly tiring legs. Surprisingly it was Moors who looked the closest to grabbing a winner, the last chance of the game taking the form of a Shepard Murombedzi chance, which went asking. Despite the last minute setback, Moors went home happier, the better side in a well-contested match.

Moors Line-up

  • 13 O’Leary (By The NEC’s Man of the Match)
  • 2 Green
  • 18 Reckord
  • 4 Carter
  • 26 Daly
  • 22 Green
  • 30 Kelleher
  • 7 Murombedzi
  • 17 Afolayan
  • 10 Hylton (Substituted for Carline, 77)
  • 37 Thomas

Substitutes

  • 3 Bowen
  • 19 Frempah
  • 25 Carline
  • 27 Storer
  • 34 Asante

Macclesfield Line-up

  • 12 Ramsbottom
  • 3 Fitzpatrick
  • 4 Lowe
  • 11 Lloyd
  • 5 Pilkington
  • 15 Kennedy (Substituted for Hodgkiss, 26, Baba, 51)
  • 7 Durrell
  • 16 Hancox (Substituted for Wilson, 68)
  • 18 Whitehead
  • 16 Whitaker
  • 8 Marsh

Substitutes

  • 2 Hodgkiss
  • 9 Wilson
  • 10 Richards
  • 14 Baba
  • 22 Arthur

Attendance: 1771 (84 Moors)
Referee: Andrew Miller