2017/18 Season Review – February

Macclesfield Town
Posted:Fri 08 Jun 2018

February was argubably the best month of the season for Macclesfield Town, as the Silkmen picked up maximum points from four matches and created a healthy lead at the top of the table.

Macclesfield began the month just one point clear at the top, before Wrexham capitalised on the Silkmen’s two-week break from football to leapfrog into first. However, the perfect 12 points that followed saw John Askey’s men reclaim the highest perch and build a five-point cushion.

The run started with the visit of bottom-side Guiseley to Moss Rose, but the Silkmen were put on the back foot straight away after Rowan Liburd’s 10th minute opener against the run of play.

However, Plymouth Argyle loanee Nathan Blissett drew Macc level after half-time with his first goal for the club, acrobatically blasting home from close range.

Tyrone Marsh was then on hand to squeeze a header past Luke Coddington in the visitors’ goal, securing Macc first victory since New Year’s Day.

Now back at the top of the league, the Silkmen travelled to Aldershot brimming with confidence… and it showed. Will Evans brought down Blissett in the area and Danny Whitaker tucked away a superb penalty just three minutes after kick-off.

Macclesfield held the 1-0 lead to half-time, with Blissett doubling the advantage soon after the interval by burying Elliot Durrell’s square ball.

Aldershot Town continued to press, and eventually got their reward as George Pilkington was flagged for hand ball and Scott Rendell scored the resulting penalty.

The Silkmen held on for a win at The EEB Stadium and were on the road again three days later as the team and 429 Macc fans travelled to second-placed Tranmere Rovers.

A dominant 4-1 victory at Prenton Park confirmed Macclesfield were back at their best, sending them five points clear at the top and the Rovers down to sixth.

After bettering the hosts in the first half, Whitaker gave Macc their reward, striking the opener from Durrell’s cross-come-shot moments before half-time.

However, it was Tranmere who came out stronger, scoring just four minutes into the second half, courtesy of Andy Cook’s header.

Durrell certainly had something to say about this, and his optimistic, long-range strike found the bottom corner after catching the Rovers’ ‘keeper off guard.

Soon after, Liam Ridehalgh was penalised for handball in his own penalty area and Whitaker stepped up to net his second of the game and third in two matches.

Durrell also scored his second of the day four minutes later, this time with an even better strike than the first.

Following a quick counter attack, the 28-year-old’s beautifully struck effort from the right flew across goal and in off the post.

An emphatic February for Macc was rounded off with a 1-0 victory against Maidenhead, making it three wins within the space of a week.

Despite dominating large parts of the game, both sides looked to be sharing the spoils until an injury-time corner lead to Scott Wilson heading in whilst unmarked at the back post.

That goal was ensured February’s perfect record, both Wilson and the rest of Askey’s squad put a tough January firmly in the past. The Silkmen were once again the team to beat in the National League.

By Matt Bates

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