Macclesfield Town secured their third win on the bounce after an excellent 3-1 victory against playoffs challengers Braintree Town at the Moss Rose.
A first half penalty from Danny Whitaker opened the scoring for the Silkmen before Danny Rowe’s curling effort and a first goal for John McCombe made it 3-0 to Macclesfield.
With the win cemented, the viasitors did find aa consolation goal through Simeon Akinola after a good run was capped off with an even better finish past Shwan Jalal to make it 3-1.
Braintree created the opening chance eight minutes in through Akinola, a well-worked corner found its way onto Akinola’s head but he could only guide it onto the roof of the net.
Just one minute later Dan Sparkes found himself some space inside the area, but his curling effort was well-saved by Jalal keeping the score 0-0.
As the Iron continued to look dangerous a glaring opportunity fell to Michael Cheek, with the ball coming to him in the air, he mishit the ball and fired it over Jalal’s net.
The Silkmen finally applied some pressure of their own, and after Whitaker delivered a corner, John McCombe headed it towards the back post and Reece Styche was brought down and Macc were awarded a penalty.
Whitaker stepped up and sent visiting keeper Tom King the wrong way after coolly slotting far into the bottom-left corner making it 1-0 to the hosts 24 minutes in.
Five minutes later the Silkmen nearly extended their one-nil lead, Danny Rowe played a corner back down the wing to Andy Halls, and after setting himself, Halls unleashed a fierce effort which went agonisingly close to doubling the lead.
Chris Holroyd had a glaring opportunity to put John Askey’s side 2-0 up, smart build up play saw Jack Sampson’s excellently chest down a ball for Holroyd to break clear into the area, but after hesitating, good defensive work saw the danger cleared.
As Macc took control of the game, another corner fell kindly this time to George Pilkington who was unmarked as he made an open run to the back post, and with the goal clear in sight his powerful downwards header somehow clipped of Styche on the line and looped over King’s net after it look certain to be heading goal bound.
Macclesfield continued to look like doubling their lead before the break and a quick counter-attack by Danny Rowe saw him break down the left and his cross to Sampson could only be headed directly into King’s hands to see the half end 1-0 to the Silkmen.
Askey’s side made a dream start to the second half, after a defending corner was only cleared to Styche in his own box, he turned and broke away towards the visitor’s half and played a clinical through ball for Danny Rowe who ran onto it, sprinted the rest of the way towards King’s goal and finished with a curling effort into the corner making it 2-0 with 48 minutes gone.
Jalal was finally tested 64 minutes into the second half, after the visitors were looking for a way back into the game, leading goal scorer Cheek found some space and his header was denied by a brilliant stop by Jalal parrying over the bar.
McCombe confirmed the victory for the Silkmen just one minute later, after rising highest in the area from the corner McCombe drilled his header into the far corner making it 3-0.
As the Silkmen continued to dominate play, Danny Whitehead nearly added a fourth, Rowe broke forward and his pass deflected its way through to Whitehead, and with just King to beat, King provided an excellent save with his boot to keep the score 3-0.
The visitors finally pulled a goal back 77 minutes in, Akinola broke through and finished with a smart effort past Jalal to pull it back to 3-1.
Silkmen captain Paul Turnbull came off the bench to strengthen the midfield and ensure Macc held onto their deserved lead and take all three points with the 3-1 victory.