A late Ryan Bowman goal broke Macclesfield hearts as the Silkmen fell to defeat against Exeter City on the opening day of the season.
In the 88th minute, Nicky Law rifled a shot towards goal, but the ball ricocheted off Bowman into the net to win the three points despite a spirited Macc performance.
Macc started the game strongly and they saw plenty of the ball with Jay Harris and Paddy Osadebe dictating play from midfield. However, the first half chance fell to Exeter as debutant Owen Evans saved well from a curling Nicky Ajose attempt in the 20th minute.
The Silkmen produced the best chance of the half when Ben Stephens close range header was cleared off the line after a dangerous corner by Jak McCourt. Soon after, Theo Archibald’s dinked pass found Joe Ironside but his low shot was saved easily by Exeter ‘keeper Lewis Ward.
In the 36th minute, McCourt’s clever pass found Osadebe in space inside the box, but his cross was cleared away from the lurking Joe Ironside.
Macc ended the half as the better side after controlling possession throughout, but the game remained goalless.
The Silkmen continued to lay siege to the Grecians goal after half time. A well worked training ground corner resulted in a good save by Ward after Ben Stephens powerful drive.
Shortly after, Ironside was found again waiting in the box but Dean Moxey’s well timed challenge denied him from tapping home from six yards out.
As the half continued, Exeter grew into the game through the problematic Randell Williams. His darting run resulted in a corner which was nearly headed home by Tom Parkes, however the Macc defence cleared.
Osadebe continued to impress and his one-two with Ben Stephens created space for the former to fizz a shot at Ward, but it was turned away for a corner.
However, the only goal of the game came through Bowman’s late ricochet and despite the Silkmen’s added time attacking push, the Grecians held on for the three points.
Macclesfield Town; Evans, Kelleher, Welch-Hayes, Clarke, Vassell (Horsfall ’90), Stephens (Fitzpatrick ’79), Osadebe, McCourt, Harris, Archibald, Ironside (Blyth ’61).
Subs not used; Ntambwe, Rose.