Macclesfield Town fell short in the FA Cup First Round after suffering a 2-1 defeat away at League Two side Portsmouth; Adam McGurk’s brace secured Pompey a tie in the second round, despite a resilient effort by the visitors.
McGurks goal inside the opening couple of minutes and just before the interval were enough to hold John Askey’s Macclesfield who were unlucky to not earn at least a replay.
Kristian Dennis’ goal gave the travelling support some hope after a misjudged throw in by Enda Stevens but wasn’t enough to see the Silkmen pick up a draw.
McGurk opened the scoring just three minutes in after latching onto a through ball and slotting the ball past Jalal comfortably.
The Silkmen’s first chance came eight minutes in, after a short spell of possession, Paul Turnbull dribbled towards the box, however his driven effort was well saved by Brian Murphy.
Macc drew level on the 15th minute, Enda Steven’s threw the ball back to his keeper, Kristian Dennis sprung upon the opportunity as the ball slowly reached the keeper, the clearance rifled of Dennis and flew into the top corner to make it 1-1.
As Macc looked to take the advantage in the game, Chris Holroyd found Danny Whitehead open centrally, Whitehead’s long-ranged effort forced a brilliant save from Murphy.
Gareth Evans came close to giving the hosts a 2-1 lead when he found space in the area, his shot towards the far corner was excellently cleared off the line by David Fitzpatrick.
Pompey received the first yellow card of the game after a very late challenge by Kyle Bennett on Holroyd after the winger’s mazy run left Bennett beaten.
McGurk doubled the lead for the hosts in first half stoppage time, Stevens played a driven cross inside the area and the ball found its way to McGurk who smashed the ball home to make it 2-1 to Portsmouth at half-time.
Danny Whitaker almost brought Macc back into the game just minutes into the second half, a cleared corner fell to him outside the area, after stepping past one played his curling effort was parried over the bar by Murphy.
Ten minutes into the second half Dennis had a glaring opportunity to bring the Silkmen level again, a deflected clearance fell kindly to Dennis but his half-volley from just inside the box headed over Murphy’s goal.
Jack Sampson and Paul Lewis replaced Whitehead and Turnbull Macc piled on the pressure, Sampson almost made an immediate impact after a deep cross by Fitzpatrick was headed into the side netting by the substitute.
As the game drew to a close Pompey substitute Marc McNulty came close to adding a third, however his header from seven-yards out flew straight over Shwan Jalal’s net.
In the last minute of the game the Silkmen had a glaring opportunity to make it 2-2, the ball fell kindly to Whitaker just inside the area but his finesse effort went the wrong side of the crossbar seeing Pompey progress through to the second round.
Macclesfield Team: Jalal, Halls, Pilkington, Diagne, Fitzpatrick, Whitaker, Whitehead, Turnbull, Holroyd, Rowe, Dennis
Subs not used: Branagan, Byrne, Lewis, Sampson, Cowan, Meikle, Churchman
Portsmouth Team: Murphy, Davies, Webster, Burgess, Stevens, Doyle, Evans, Hollands, McGurk, Bennett, Chaplin
Subs not used: Bass, Boco, McNulty, Naismith, Tollitt, Clarke, Atangana
Today’s Attendance: 9,834