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Match Report


Posted Sat 26 Sep 09 at 19:01 PM

Macclesfield Town 2 – 1 Torquay United

Hamza Bencherif's second half brace gave Macclesfield a vital win, coming from behind to beat fellow strugglers Torquay.

The Gulls led through Elliot Benyon's 51st minute goal but in a brilliant ten minute period Bencherif first smashed in off the bar to level and then won all three points with a blistering 68th minute near post strike.

An attacking Macc line-up paired Matthew Tipton with Ben Wright and Emile Sinclair started on the right wing with Colin Daniel on the left. Jon Brain also made a return, taking the place of Jose Veiga who had been in goal for the previous four games.

Paul Buckle's Torquay began strongly and created a number of chances inside the first ten minutes with quick short passing.A nice move on the left allowed skipper Chris Hargreaves to play the ball into Benyon's feet and after cutting inside his low shot was easily saved at the near post by Brain.

Benyon had another chance on six minutes, latching on to a long ball forward and stretching to hook his effort well over and smashing into the front of the Star Lane End roof.

Sinclair had the first effort on goal for Macc, collecting Tipton's lobbed cross and flicking the ball over his man before hitting a rising drive which flew just over.

Lee Bell's corners caused problems on a few occasions for the visiting defence, the first of which on 27 minutes perfectly found the head of Nat Brown and his thumping header was blocked in the six yard box amid half-hearted handball claims.

Torquay spurned a fantastic chance after half an hour when a clever header from Hargreaves got Benyon in behind the Macc defence but Brain brilliantly saved with his feet when he looked to flick the ball in from eight yards.

Centre back Mark Ellis also could have broken the deadlock minutes later when he collected a long pass after Paul Morgan couldn't jump high enough to head clear. With Sills unmarked in the middle screaming for a pass he selfishly cut inside and placed an effort which skimmed inches past the far post.

At the interval Torquay possibly went in disappointed not to be ahead, and although Brain didn't have too many saves to make, the Gulls didn't seem like a side which had lost their last five games.

Wayne Carlisle's rash foul on Colin Daniel earned him a booking and a dangerous free kick for Macc which was half cleared to Izak Reid who volleyed over from just outside the area.

Torquay took the lead on 51 minutes and it was little surprise that if the Gulls were to score then Elliot Benyon would be the man to find the net.Nat Brown was dispossessed on the touchline, allowing Stevens to slip the ball through to Benyon who beat the offside trap and just as it looked as if Carl Tremarco would get back to block, his effort seemed to wrong-foot Brain and although he got a touch on it the ball still rolled in.


Macc equalised ten minutes later when Sinclair's speed took him away from his man and found space to put a cross. Ben Wright's header was blocked and Bencherif got to the loose ball first, turning and then lashing in off the underside of the cross bar.


Hamza Bencherif - Four goals for Macc now for the midfield man

The goal visibly lifted the home side and they pushed on right from kick-off to try and grab a second.Substitute John Rooney cut inside his man and after his first shot was blocked, it came back to him and his spectacular overhead kick was hacked off the line.

Macc did find a second and again it was Algerian midfielder Bencherif who notched his third goal in two games.Rooney caused problems for the Gulls defence and the ball fell kindly for Bencherif who took a touch and slammed in at the near post beating keeper Michael Poke for power.

Nat Brown could have made it three soon after when he was first to Bell's cross and planted a header from six yards straight at Poke whose good reaction save kept the ball out and Chris Todd was able to clear.

A scramble and resulting rally of head tennis gave the home fans a few jitters after the Gulls had made a triple substitution to try and get back into the game.

Rooney placed a right footed effort agonizingly wide with ten minutes remaining and Chris Robertson denied Bencherif his hat-trick with a tremendous brave block to stop a rasping effort after the midfielder charged onto Ricky Sappleton's knock down.

In the final few minutes Brain had to make a fingertip save to flick Tim Sills' header over the cross bar after more head tennis in the box but the defence stood strong. Even with four minutes of stoppage time Torquay couldn't create another opportunity and the Silkmen held on for a 2-1 victory, the same scoreline as the famous very first league meeting between the two sides twelve years ago.

Andy Brinkhurst

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