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Match Report


Posted Mon 28 Dec 09 at 19:46 PM

Macclesfield Town 4 – 1 Crewe Alexandra

The Silkmen hit four for the first time in over a year and were out of sight by half time after Ben Wright's close range strike, Paul Bolland's first for the club and a goal of the season contender from Colin Daniel.

The derby demolition didn't continue in the second half and Crewe threatened a comeback after Calvin Zola pulled one back but Macc held firm and Ricky Sappleton put the icing on the Christmas cake in stoppage time.

In front of the biggest Moss Rose crowd for a league game in over two years it was the visitors who made all the early running, buoyed on by a large following behind Jon Brain's goal looking to continue their run of six unbeaten.

However despite a few dangerous early crosses it was Macclesfield who took the lead against the run of play with their first attack.Emile Sinclair's pass out wide to Daniel allowed him put in a low cross from the right which was poorly flicked on by the head of a defender into Wright's path and the front man tucked the ball away from close range.

The visitors continued to have the majority of possession and looked at ease playing the ball around, however this proved to be their undoing at times, losing out in dangerous positions.On 13 minutes Bolland sprinted onto a loose ball after Sinclair had challenged Danny O'Donnell and found himself in on goal to close in on the advancing keeper and calmly slot the ball under him to double the lead.

Carlisle - Bolland

Paul Bolland - Scored his first for the club and was full of running in midfield

The Silkmen looked hungry and defended from the front, closing down Crewe whenever they had the ball in any area of the pitch, with forwards Colin Daniel and particularly the speedy Sinclair getting back on numerous occasions to slide in and prevent attacks before they began.

Brain's first save came on 15 minutes when he dived full length to his left to divert Steven Schumacher's swerving drive around the post and from the resulting corner skipper O'Donnell had a chance to atone for his error but in space he planted a glancing header wide from Ashley Westwood's corner.

O'Donnell went close once more moments later, again from a corner when this time it was played in deep and headed back across goal for the defender to head at goal from six yards but Bolland was in the right place to head off the line.

More pressurising from the Macc attackers forced an error and a loose ball was met by Ross Draper lurking on the edge of the area but he swung his effort wide of the post and at the other end Schumacher thumped a volley into the side netting when a corner was cleared to him 20 yards out.

The Silkmen were in dreamland on 31 minutes when their lead was extended further, courtesy of a wonder strike from Colin Daniel against his former club.He picked the ball up around 35 yards out and unleashed an unstoppable swerving drive which arrowed into the top corner to send the home crowd into raptures.


Colin Daniel - Was a threat throughout and smashed in one of the best goals seen at the Moss for many years

The visitors continued to play the same way and for the last ten minutes of the half certainly had the upper hand but failed to turn their possession into goals.Full back Matt Tootle bombed forward with the ball for 50 yards down the left to set up Luke Murphy to smash over and Clayton Donaldson acrobatically volleyed over wasting a good chance on 42 minutes when he was found eight yards out by Byron Moore's flick-on.

In the second period the Alex carried on attacking and could have done better when Danny Shelley's shot was half controlled by Moore in the area but the forward couldn't react fast enough and Brain gathered the loose ball.

Shelley again found space on the edge of the box on 55 minutes but again Brain was equal to him, brilliantly tipping over his rasping drive.

Macc played more on the counter attack and in limited numbers, however when Carl Tremarco was allowed to bomb out of defence with the ball he only had one option up with him and did well to pick out Wright in the centre but his left footed volley was deflected wide of the post.

On 65 minutes Crewe had a goal back when substitute Zola and Brain both went up to meet John Brayford's high cross and as the ball spilled loose Zola turned to fire into the unguarded net. Despite protests for a foul on the keeper the goal stood and Crewe were back in with a shout still with time on their side.

Izak Reid, pushed further forward after Shaun Brisley was brought on for Emile Sinclair, pulled down a deep cross and struck a left footed shot which was blocked behind by Harry Worley.Then, a long kick by Brain sailed all the way through to Daniel's path and with the keeper advancing from his goal he smashed an effort which was again blocked behind by Worley.


Emile Sinclair - His pace caused problems and he tracked back to great effect, stopping the full backs getting forward

With 15 minutes to go the visitors began to turn the screw and pile pressure on and again Brain was equal to it.A low cross from the left got the faintest of touches by Donaldson who looked to glance into the corner but Brain parried and Brown was able to clear under pressure.

At the other end though Macc still had a chance or two and could have wrapped the game up on 76 minutes when a clever pass allowed Sappleton to cut a low cross back from the right for Daniel and Draper to both see efforts blocked by O'Donnell with the keeper out of position.

In the 78th minute Donaldson squandered a fantastic chance - poking well wide of the near post when he was released by Westwood's pass after he had skipped past two challenges, the former York striker should have found one of his team-mates waiting in the centre.

Brain made another top drawer stop on 82 minutes when a ball into the near post was met by Zola but Brain dived low to his right to get a hand on his shot and then was up to deny his rebound effort too.

Crewe put a number of dangerous balls into the box as the minutes ticked away but the Silkmen defended well.Then in the second of four minutes added on a long ball forward was misjudged by Worley and Sappleton was able to hold off his challenge and step past another before tucking past Phillips to send the visiting fans streaming to the exits.

The remaining seconds ticked away before the referee blew the whistle on Macc's biggest win since February and a brilliant derby day performance all round.

Andy Brinkhurst

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