It was an historic occasion for Macclesfield Town last night as The Silkmen progressed to the Third Round of the Carabao Cup for the first time in the club’s history after edging past Walsall in a dramatic penalty shoot-out.
After a pulsating cup tie ended 3-3 in normal time, Kieran O’Hara proved to be the difference in the shoot-out saving an incredible three penalties.
Macc are now in the hat for the Third Round, together with the giants of the English game and manager Mark Yates couldn’t be prouder of the performance that secured our spot.
“I’m proud of the players tonight and what they gave for the supporters.” said Yates speaking to Silkmen TV after the game.
“We weren’t at our best first half on Saturday, but we responded brilliantly, and we picked the same team tonight that finished the game.
"Walsall were full of confidence and they have been winning games of football - so tonight was very pleasing in many aspects.
“There’s still lots for us to improve on, but we showed massive character and desire tonight. Going 3-2 down when we were 2-0 up makes it very hard to pick yourself back up - but that's what we did.
“Every player is desperate to get our first win in the league, but I think this result will go a long way towards that.”
Fantastic individual displays from the likes of Harry Smith and penalty hero O’Hara caught the eye, with Yates saying that he wants more of the same levels of performance throughout the season.
“The lads were great tonight and I want that every week. We can score goals I have no doubt about that and we’ve got to start keeping clean sheets - but tonight our goalkeeper’s made saves when they’ve been needed, and we’ve dug deep defensively.
“I thought it was a really good goal from Harry. James Pearson’s played a brilliant disguised pass from the half-way line into the striker and we’ve seen that a few times from Harry, but he’s not just hit the target previously. Tonight though, he’s connected with it and hit the target tonight to put us 2-0 up.
“We didn’t change our half-time team talk despite their goal just before the interval. We just picked up on one or two points where we showed them a little too much respect, but you’ve also got to give them credit - they’ve got some good players and they caused us problems, but we dealt with most of them.
“We’ve all got to stick together, we’re all desperate to do well - the players, the fans, the chairman, the staff and the owner and as long as we all stick together I have no doubts we’ll be fine.
“The fans were brilliant tonight and quite rightly the players went over and applauded them all. From where the club's come from in recent times this level was always going to be a tough ask so we all need to stick together and if we keep performing like we have done tonight in our own league we’ll be more than fine.”
By Andrew Gate