Matthew Barnes-Homer’s brace gave Macclesfield a third consecutive two goal home victory against a Barrow side still winless this season.
For the first time in almost six years Macc have now recorded four wins on the bounce as Steve King’s side continue their tremendous start to life in the Blue Square Premier.
Following Saturday’s victory at Sincil Bank the Macc boss made three changes to his side with Ryan Jackson, Charlie Henry and Waide Fairhurst making way for Sam Wedgbury, Jack Mackreth and debutant loanee Chris Holroyd.
The Bluebirds of Barrow came into the game with just two points on the board from goalless draws in their opening two games, and having lost their last two 3-1.
Former Silkmen Vinny Mukendi led the line for the visitors, and he was often the focal point of their attacks, attempting to use his height. He wasted a good opportunity of a three against two break early on though by ambitiously shooting miles over from 30 yards to the delight of the Star Lane End.
Mackreth, signed from Barrow in the summer, saw a lot of the ball in the first half and on nine minutes when his cross was half cleared Keiran Murtagh was brought down just outside the box. Holroyd took the free kick but his curling effort was deflected over the bar off the wall.
The home side went ahead on 16 minutes with their first real chance – an inch perfect pass by the tricky John Paul Kissock found Barnes-Homer’s run into the box and he calmly slotted past keeper Danny Hurst into the bottom left corner.
The visitors played some neat football in midfield but struggled to create many real opportunities to test Lance Cronin – Adam Boyes’ tame header wide the closest they came in the first half.
However the Bluebirds did worry the Macc backline, who on a few occasions gifted away possession in dangerous areas and needed last ditch challenges to deny a shooting chance. The Silkmen continued to look dangerous when going forward – and often managed a shot on goal at the end of most of their attacks.
In the 22nd minute Holroyd received the ball after making a good run down the channel, he played it inside to Murtagh and his left footed drive was palmed behind by the keeper. From the resulting corner Mackreth connected with Kissock’s corner with a diving header which whistled just over the bar.
Kieran Charnock’s saving challenge stopped Boyes when he looked about to pull the trigger and later Craig Braham-Barrett had to lunge in to block after Cronin’s poor clearance.
Just before the interval Murtagh played a great cross-field ball to Mackreth, who for once cut inside rather than going for the by-line, creating space to go for goal only for Hurst to pull off another good stop at his near post.
With no changes at the interval, Boyes had a chance inside 30 seconds of the restart but drilled a yard wide from the edge of the box.
Just after the hour a slick move on the edge of the area saw Barnes-Homer’s shot blocked and when it bounced back to him he fed Macreth out on the right who aimed for the far corner and flashed the ball just wide of the post with the keeper beaten.
A few minutes later Barnes-Homer was found in an almost identical position by Murtagh and a similar effort from him flew across the face of goal and the wrong side of the upright.
Although the Silkmen were on top, their single goal lead looked fragile and Boyes almost levelled when he got the wrong side of Wedgbury to smash goalwards which needed Cronin’s fingertips to divert it over the bar.
Both sides brought on fresh legs as the game came towards its conclusion before more goalmouth action in the five minutes of time added on.
Fantastic play on the left by Murtagh saw him beat two men and cut in from the corner flag to close in on goal before squaring the ball to substitute Tony Diagne but the Frenchman’s goal-bound effort was blocked on the line.
Macc did kill the game off halfway through injury time when a tremendous diagonal ball found Barnes-Homer, the keeper parrying his initial effort but the striker wasn’t to be denied and tucked his follow up effort in at the near post for his fourth in five games.