Macclesfield Town ended the Vanarama National League 2015/16 season with a draw at The Shay Stadium against Halifax Town.
The draw meant that the Silkmen finished in 10th position overall and condemned their opponents to relegation to the National League North.
Halfiax needed all three points to stay in the league and after Scott McManus gave the hosts the lead they looked on course, but a Danny Rowe equaliser left the Shaymen a point shy of safety.
The draw was thoroughly deserved for the Silkmen, who on another day would have ended the season with all three points.
It was the Silkmen who began the better of the two teams, after a quick start saw two consecutive corners in the opening minutes, which resulted in Jack Sampson coming close with a header, but it went wide of the goal.
The hosts then had the first clear cut chance of the game in the 5th minute as Shaquille McDonald broke free, but Ritchie Branagan was quick off his line to make the save.
Despite this chance, Macc continued to push for an opener and top scorer Kristian Dennis, into the side in place of Reece Styche, almost provided a goal when he latched onto Danny Rowe’s ball, but he fired over the bar.
Rowe was causing problems for the Shaymen defence throughout the first half, and a curled effort from outside the box went wide in the 30th minute.
Next up was Sampson, who again was causing trouble in the area and a ball into the box by skipper Paul Turnbull, almost saw the number ten on the end of the cross, but on the stretch he couldn’t get the connection it required.
As the news filtered through elsewhere of the results in the fight for relegation, it seemed to spur Halifax on and they carved out another chance and it was McDonald again, but his effort was well blocked by John McCombe.
However, despite holding on for much of the first half, Halifax broke the deadlock right on the stroke of half-time as, Richard Peniket cut inside from the right and played in McManus who slotted the ball past Branagan.
Macc came out after the interval looking to get the equaliser and defender Neill Byrne came close after 47 minutes with a header, but he couldn’t get enough power behind it.
Halifax looked to put the game out of reach and chances fell thick and fast between the 50th and 60th minutes, firstly a double save from Branagan denied Connor Hughes and Jordan Burrow, before, Josh MacDonald had an effort saved by the Macclesfield keeper.
Ritchie’s saves were vital, as in the 62nd minute, the Silkmen drew level and it was that man Rowe, who was on the end of a Sampson flick and managed to beat Samuel Johnson to make it 1-1.
The goal changed the momentum in the game and Macclesfield looked to go in front and a chance fell to Dennis in the 66th minute, but it was well saved by Johnson.
Moments later in the 68th minute, Rowe almost doubled his tally and put Macc 2-1 up, as an effort from range hit the post.
The Shaymen then soaked up the pressure from Macc during the final 20 minutes of the game and had their hearts in their mouths when Danny Whitaker curled wide late on.
With four minutes of additional time added on and with Halifax staring relegation in the face, substitute, Danny Hattersley hit the post and Halifax couldn’t put in the rebound, condemning them to relegation to the National League North.
The draw means that the Silkmen end the season with just one defeat, against Champions Cheltenham, in their final eleven games.
Halifax Town: Johnson, Hibbs, Roberts, Bolton, McManus, Wroe, James, MacDonald (Fairhurst), Peniket (Hattersley), Burrow, McDonald (Hughes)
Subs: Porter, Hughes, Walker, Fairhurst, Hattersley
Macclesfield Town: Branagan, Halls, McCombe, Byrne, Turnbull (Cowan), Holroyd (Sutherland), Sampson, Rowe, Dennis (Diagne), Fitzpatrick, Whitaker
Subs: Cowan, Jalal, Diagne, Styche, Sutherland