For the second time this season Macc and Nuneaton shared the points, as the Silkmen today looked
out of ideas against the league’s bottom side which had failed to win away since August.
Steve King named an unchanged line-up following the good away point at Forest Green last
Saturday, however it was Nuneaton who should have gone ahead in the first few minutes.
Full back Neil Cartwright was given far too much time and space to cross from the right to find
Danny Newton, who sliding in managed to divert the ball over the bar from just a few yards out
when it looked easier to score.
In the opening 15 minutes Cartwright found the same position on numerous occasions and managed
to whip in some good deliveries, and it seemed that if that if the visitors were to find the net it
would come from that source. From another of his right wing crosses, Andy Brown beat Kieran
Charnock to the ball but headed wide from eight yards.
At the other end a fantastic run down the left by Craig Braham-Barrett saw him beat two men and
get to the by-line to put a good ball in – which was met by Chris Holroyd’s firm header, drawing a
fine save by Adam Smith to palm wide.
The Silkmen had the ball in the net on 16 minutes when Braham-Barrett produced a pinpoint cross
for Matthew Barnes-Homer to head in, however the Macc hitman was flagged offside to deny him
his 13th league goal of the campaign.
A few minutes later Barnes-Homer was in the action again when he was found by a clever short ball
behind the defence from Waide Fairhurst, but the keeper parried his effort clear.
The game descended into a midfield battle for a long period of the first half, before Nuneaton could
have broken the deadlock in the 36th minute. Connor Taylor robbed Braham-Barrett of possession in
a dangerous area and looked to be clean through, only for Keiran Murtagh to sprint back and make a
brilliant last ditch challenge when he was just sizing up his shot.
On 41 minutes Fairhurst’s ball into Sam Wedgbury’s path down the right dragged a defender over
out of position, creating a big space infield for Holroyd. Wedgbury managed to feed the ball inside
for the loanee striker but his touch let him down and squandered a good opportunity.
Just before the break a Pablo Mills ball down the left flank looked to be too long but Holroyd did well
to keep it in by the corner flag. He dribbled infield and found Keiran Murtagh bursting into the box
but the midfielder’s shot was deflected behind.
In the second half Fairhurst went close with two efforts in quick succession – firstly stinging the
palms of the keeper from 25 yards and then smashing a well hit drive just wide of the far post from a
similar distance, with Holroyd sliding in but just unable to add a finishing touch.
On 52 minutes Lance Cronin punched Adam Walker’s free kick clear and when it came to Danny
Newton he tried to volley back goalwards with the keeper still off his line, but his effort went a few
Holroyd’s 20 yard effort drifted just over the bar after a neat one-two with Murtagh as Macc began
to dominate the possession but couldn’t find the right killer pass or telling cross to break down the
Jack Mackreth and John Paul Kissock were brought on for Mills and Fairhurst as King shuffled things
around to give Macc some different options in the final third but still the Silkmen struggled to create
many clear cut chances.
Barnes-Homer dropped deep to collect the ball on 70 minutes and with the defence backing off he
went for goal, but his effort lacked any real power and ran well wide.
With the Silkmen pushing forwards in search of a winner, they left gaps at the back and were nearly
made to pay in the final five minutes when Keiran Murtagh’s free kick was headed clear and fell
favourably for the visitors who quickly broke with three against two. The ball was fed into substitute
Wes York’s path who tried to place the ball past the onrushing Cronin who spread himself well to
block his low shot and was then up quickly to pounce on the loose ball.
Another Nuneaton sub Tyrell Waite lashed an ambitious effort over the bar from an acute angle but
Nuneaton looked very happy to run the clock down and hang on for their first point on the road in
Skipper Gareth Dean was lucky to stay on the pitch after pulling Holroyd to the floor just minutes
after being booked for kicking the ball away and Macc became more and more frustrated as the
seconds ticked away.
One more chance was created in the final minute of time added on with Mackreth’s right footed
cross glanced wide by Holroyd eight yards out before the final whistle blew to end a poor afternoon
for King’s men.