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Match Reports

Match Report: Stevenage 1-0 Macclesfield Town

8 September 2018

Macclesfield Town were unlucky to come home pointless, as Danny Newton’s goal proved to be the difference at the Lamex Stadium.

Mark Yates made no alterations to the side that put three past Blackpool during the week, but a well-drilled Stevenage defence helped keep the Silkmen’s danger men out.

The eventual winner came less than five minutes before the end of the first half, as Joel Byrom's corner was met by Newton at the front post, who squirmed the ball past an unsighted Rhys Taylor.

The Silkmen seemed improved after an impressive outing mid-week, taking the game by the scruff of the neck early on as bodies in blue found space down the wings

After successive corners for the visitors, Peter Vincenti, who was making his first league start in an interchanging front three including Malachi Napa and Nathan Blissett, first came close for Macc from the left.

His delicate chip towards the backpost had to be tipped over by the back-pedalling Stevenage stopper, with just under 15 minutes played.

Yet moments later, Stevenage had their first clear chance to open the scoring. The ball broke to Alex Revell in the area, but the striker’s left-foot gave away at the crucial moment and Macc remained unscathed.

The Silkmen continued in their attempts to make early pressure count as Welch-Hayes found Napa in the area, who stretched out a leg and got the slightest of touches to divert the cross goal-bound. His effort originally caught out Paul Farman, but the goalkeeper recovered before the ball crossed the line.

Just after the half hour mark, Stevenage began an attacking spell of their own as Whitaker was forced to clear off the line from a corner.

However, James Pearson was proving to be nuisance with his long-throws, finding Blissett in the area who nodded back to Napa, but the 19-year-old couldn’t find the goal his performance thus far deserved.

Michael Timlin’s 20-yard strike for Boro whistled past the post before they opened the scoring in arguably unconventional style.

Steve Seddon tried to make it two before the interval, but he couldn’t keep his long-range effort down.

Half-Time: Stevenage 1-0 Macclesfield Town

There were very few chances following the break, until Napa came close after the hour mark. The 19-year-old, who had been a headache for Boro all afternoon, managed to force an attempt from distance, but his curling effort sped past the post.

The Silkmen attempted to push forward for most of the second-half, lofting balls up to Harry Smith and Blissett, but the Stevenage defence were equal to Macc’s endeavours.

With just over 15 minutes remaining, Smith had the best chance to make it level - Farman beating him to the ball by a matter of inches after Fitzpatrick played a superb pass down the left.

This ignited Macc once again, with Napa, Blissett and Tyrone Marsh all having shots blocked after queuing up in the area. Fiacre Kelleher was also denied from a corner as Stevanage flooded their box with men in white shirts to hold onto their lead.

There was then a penalty shout for the Silkmen with less than five minutes to play, Whitaker lifted a ball towards the on-running Marsh, but Farman’s challenge on the Macc substitute was deemed a fair one.

Injury time proved it wasn’t to be for the Silkmen today, as Keith Lowe headed agonisingly wide from a Fitzpatrick cross, before Whitaker’s spectacular volley from outside the area was remarkably blocked on the line. 

Full-time: Stevenage 1-0 Macclesfield Town

Macclesfield: Taylor, Fitzpatrick (Kelleher, 68'), Lowe, Grimes, Blissett, Welch-Hayes (Smith, 45'), Napa, Pearson, Vincenti (Marsh 72’), Whitaker, Rose.

Unused subs: Wilson, Evans, Maycock, Arthur.

Stevenage: Farman, Wildin, Timlin (Iontton, 60’), Cuthbert, Ball, Byrom, Revell, Kennedy (Sonupe 76’), Seddon, Newton, Nugent (Guthrie, 78').

Unused subs: Dieng, Ferry, Campbell-Ryce, Henry.

By Matt Bates

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