Macclesfield Town surrendered a two-goal lead as Cheltenham Town fought back at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium to inflict defeat on 10-man Macc as the Silkmen lost their first match on the road in 2019.
Nathan Cameron’s early sending off proved the crucial as Sol Campbell’s side were forced to play over 80 minutes with a man down as second-half goals from Luke Varney, Jacob Maddox and Charlie Raglan claimed the Robins’ first home victory of the calendar year.
Macclesfield took the lead after only 11 minutes as Nathan Cameron’s lofted ball was guided off the head of Harry Smith. Wilson was lurking goal-bound before the Silkmen striker sold Robins and former Silkman keeper Scott Flinders into snapping at him leaving referee Anthony Bankhouse no choice but to award a spot-kick.
Rose stepped up for his recent familiar penalty duties and comfortably tucked home the spot-kick off the inside of the post to put the visitor’s swiftly in the lead.
Chaos followed and Silkmen captain of the afternoon Cameron was shown a straight red for a pull-back on Maddox who was ready to pounce at goal. A lengthy discussion between Bankhouse and his assistant linesman took its course before the decision to dismiss Cameron.
Despite the disadvantage of being a man down, the Silkmen regrouped to perfection and against the run of play doubled their advantage when Wilson capitalised on a calamitous error from the Robins shot stopper Flinders to tuck home a misclearence from the 32-year-old into an empty net to register his seventh league goal of the season.
Campbell and his troops were then forced onto the backfoot with a number of Cheltenham attacks coming to zero effect.
The former England international was then forced into a number of substitutions with injury headaches stacking higher than Mount Everest as Callum Evans was forced off after only minutes of coming on with the midfielder replaced by Keith Lowe before Harry Smith also hobbled off before half-time.
The Premier League winner opted for defensive steel to protect their slender lead and Campbell’s defence rallied valiantly to keep the Robins at bay for the opening 45 minutes.
The remainder of the match proceedings was followed by waves of Cheltenham attacks that included 10 additional minutes of first-half stoppage time with Kieran O’Hara the busiest Silkman player of the pitch.
However, the Robin’s persistent pressure and brute force meant it was inevitable the hosts pulled one back when striker Varney executed a magnificent overhead kick to fire past a helpless O’Hara before Maddox completed the comeback on the hour mark smashing home from 12 yards to level proceedings.
A Cheltenham winner seemed excruciatingly imminent and the hosts were consistently frustrated by the outstanding Silkmen goalkeeper O’Hara who pulled off a string of outstanding saves to keep the scoring at bay.
The Robin’s continued to rally at goal and the 3041 members in attendance – including the outstanding 242 away supporters – were finally given a match-winner when centre-back Raglan was found towering in the box to thunder in the all-important third goal 10 minutes from time.
Macclesfield could not be faulted for their consistent efforts to defend in numbers and break on the counter-attack waiting for a moment to seize their authority back on the contest.
Sadly, for the visitors that chance did come four minutes from time and was squandered by Wilson who found himself one-on-one with Flinders before slicing his shot just wide of the left-hand post.
It was the final defining moment of the match as Cheltenham held on to secure their first home win of the calendar year and end a miserable run to move them up to 18th and five points clear of danger.
Meanwhile, the Silkmen will have to dust themselves off from an unfamiliar defeat in recent weeks to inspire a response away against Mansfield in a week’s time as the promotion-chasing outfit host Campbell's troops in a week’s time.
Cheltenham Town: Flinders, Broom, Forster, Tozer, Raglan, Hussey, Clements, Thomas, Maddox, Varney, Addai.
Macclesfield Town: O’Hara, Hodgkiss, Kelleher, Cameron, Welch-Hayes, Marsh, Rose, Maycock, Arthur, Smith, Wilson.