Two first half goals secured all three points for The Silkmen, at a cold and blustery encounter at Blundell Park this afternoon.
Sol made two changes from the team that suffered the heartbreaking loss to Swindon last Saturday. Miles Welch-Hayes started ahead of David Fitzpatrick and Harry Smith was welcomed back from his suspension with a starting place as Ryan Lloyd was ruled out through injury.
The Silkmen started brightly and had obviously listened to Sol’s pre-match interview as there was a real positivity to their play. Attempting to pass the ball neatly through midfield to avoid the swirling wind, Macc won a corner almost immediately after the opening whistle. Yet the resulting set piece sailed over the heads of everyone and went out for a goal kick.
Koby Arthur was getting involved in an plethora of Macc attacks, and picked up a yellow card just eight minutes in after an alleged shirt pull.
Grimsby were unable to make anything of the resulting free kick, giving the ball away to Michael Rose almost immediately.
Both teams were trying to pass the ball but Macc were having much more success completing their game plan, with Grimsby forced into playing a more direct route, lumping the ball forward to their two front men who were often left to watch the ball sail into touch.
Grimsby’s first real chance came on 14 minutes, with Ben Pringle threading the ball through to top scorer Wes Thomas. The pass was too heavy however, and Kieran O’Hara was able to gather comfortably.
With the wind behind them, Macc continued to plug away and search for an opening in the Grimsby defence, who remained fairly solid.
The deadlock was broken on 25 minutes, after Koby Arthur was fouled by new Grimsby signing Sebastian Ring just outside the box.
Michael Rose sent a tantalising low ball past the two man wall and Tyrone Marsh was perfectly placed to slot home from a close range.
The goal seemed to take the hosts by surprise but The Silkmen pushed forward straight from the restart, perhaps knowing that a one goal lead was not enough to guarantee the much-needed win.
The Grimsby fans were getting frustrated in the stands at the constant long ball game, as the wind was making it a fruitless affair. The home side then won a corner and took it short, only for it to be cleared for a second. Nathan Cameron intercepted and attempted a cheeky chip out of defence, only to be fouled in the process.
The play settled down around half an hour minutes in, with Grimsby formulating more passing movements. However, Macc remained strong and had a chance to add a second shortly after. Fiacre Kelleher won the ball on the edge of his own box, ploughing forward and playing a through ball to Harry Smith, who was unfortunately caught offside.
Macc were to double their lead on 36 minutes following an error by Mitch Rose, who had come on from the bench to replace the injured Harry Clifton. After a heavy shot from Harry Smith, Grimsby ‘keeper James McKeown got the ball clear, where it fell to Mitch Rose in midfield. Taking too long on the ball, Rose was pickpocketed by Scott Wilson, who ran through on goal and finished coolly, sending 130 Macc fans into wild celebrations.
With manager Michael Jolley clearly less than impressed in the home dugout, Macc were happy to see the half out and go in at the break with a comfortable lead.
After the restart Grimsby saw more of the ball and were able to create more meaningful attacks with the wind now behind them.
However, Macc remained strong and it wasn’t until the hour mark that Grimsby had their first real chance of the second half.
After an impressive string of successful passes, the ball fell to Sebastian Ring who clipped wide for a goal kick. Wes Thomas was also to rue a missed chance when, moments later, he also missed the target.
There could have been a third for The Silkmen shortly after, with a second successive corner landing at the feet of Wilson who had his shot cleared off the line. Tyrone Marsh was unable make the follow up count and Macc began slowing the play down, much to the frustration of the Grimsby fans and bench.
O’Hara was forced into a smart saved with five minutes to go. Ahkeem Rose played an excellent pass through to Wes Thomas but, with O’Hara steaming towards him, was only able to shoot at the young keeper’s feet and Kieran was able to make a good stop to deny the Grimsby frontman.
With Macc successfully winding down the clock, the added three mins were seen out in comfortable fashion and The Silkmen were able to maintain their two goal lead, clean sheet and claim all three points.
With both Yeovil and Cambridge also winning, there is no change in the Silkmen’s position in the table, but a solid victory will give Sol’s team confidence as they continue the march towards League 2 survival.
Macclesfield Town Starting XI: O’Hara, Welsh-Hayes, Cameron, Kelleher, Hodgkiss, Arthur, Maycock, Rose, Marsh, Smith, Wilson
Unused subs: Grimes, Fitzpatrick, Vincenti, Idem, Lowe, Andoh.