Michael Rose’s fifth goal of the season was enough to hand Macclesfield Town their second win of this Sky Bet League Two campaign, edging out the visiting Yeovil Town.
The Silkmen had previously never lost when Rose had netted from the spot in all competitions, his last coming in Macc’s league victory against Carlisle United.
The 36-year-old today bagged his third penalty of the season in the 72nd minute, after Elliott Durrell went down in the area under Tom James’ tackle, ensuring the Silkmen made it two wins on the bounce at Moss Rose after the Checkatrade Trophy victory last week.
This led to a stern defensive performance from Macc in the late stages to record their first clean sheet in all competitions this campaign.
In the effective backline was Nathan Cameron who made his first start at Moss Rose, albeit a cold one, and James Pearson who replaced Jared Hodgkiss at full-back. Yet despite the wintry weather, it did not take long before the game became a heated affair.
Within five minutes, Glovers’ danger man Francois Zoko broke free to slide his effort under Kieran O’Hara, but the offside flag was immediately raised on the far side to cut the visitors’ celebrations short.
Wes McDonald then twice tried to make amends but couldn’t find the target in both attempts, prompting the Silkmen to break up the other end and give the visitors a huge scare of their own.
Ben Stephens did well to hold the ball up in the middle of the park and found Danny Whitaker, who fed Ryan Lloyd on the right. His cut back evaded everyone in the area other than the incoming Elliott Durrell, but the winger could only drill his effort into the side netting.
This chance gave Macc some momentum, who came inches away from taking the lead in the 19th minute. Whitaker’s stooping header had Stuart Nelson beaten in the visitor’s net, but Adel Gataifi was on hand to clear off the line.
Harry Smith then found the net just three minutes later, collecting the ball in the penalty area and finishing from close range, only for the offside flag to chalk off his second goal of the season.
Macc continued to press, with Ben Stephens’ optimistic bicycle kick leading to appeals of handball in the box, before Elliott Durrell curled an effort past the post from the edge of the area as the half hour mark approached.
Yet Yeovil soon found their rhythm again to fasten a series of half chances. Alex Pattison forced a strong save from O’Hara at his near post, before the 22-year-old stopper did well to tip Tom James’ swerving free-kick over the bar.
Garry Warren then thought he had finally headed Yeovil in front following a Jake Gray corner, but the referee pulled play back again, this time for a foul by the centre-half in the build up.
Half time: Macclesfield Town 0-0 Yeovil Town
The hosts fastened the game’s first chance after the interval, Fitzpatrick beating his marker on the left before squaring to Stephen’s, who’s shot was impressively shut down by the sliding Gafaiti.
The lively forward almost won revenge, creeping away from the opposing centre-halves and rising high to flick a right-sided cross past the post.
Yet it was backs-to-the-wall defending for Macc in the next ten minutes as the visitor’s peppered the hosts with a series of set-pieces, before O’Hara got down smartly to parry away Pattison’s deflected effort.
However, the Silkmen survived the Glovers’ positive spell and pushed forwards to create several half chances of their own, but it wasn’t until the 72nd minute that a clear opportunity fell the hosts’ way.
Durrell cut in from the right and won a penalty under Tom James’ sliding challenge, and Michael Rose made no mistake from the spot.
It was almost two just five minutes later as Durrell proved a nuisance once again. His cross was met by Smith at the back post, but the striker’s knock down marginally evaded the desperate lunge of Stephens.
The Silkmen had a chance to seal it in injury time as Elliott Durrell lead a three-on-one attack, but the men in green tracked back well to clear the danger.
Yeovil threw all the could at the Silkmen rear guard, but they held on for a well-deserved three points.
Full time: Macclesfield Town 1-0 Yeovil Town
By Matt Bates
Macclesfield Town: O’Hara, Fitzpatrick, Kelleher, Durrell, Smith (Blissett 84’), Lloyd (Vincenti 87’), Stephens (Evans 90+5’), Pearson, Whitaker, Rose, Cameron.
Unused subs: Grimes, Wilson, Maycock, Arthur.
Yeovil Town: Nelson, Gafaiti, Warren, Hugabi, Gray (Browne 74’), Zoko (Henry 79’), Pattison, Arquin (Patrick 85’), D’Almeida, McDonald, James.
Unused subs: Dickinson, Baxter, Rogers, Mahmutovic.