Macclesfield suffered late heartbreak as a last minute Jak McCourt goal consigned The Silkmen to their first home defeat in five games at the Moss Rose, going down 2 - 1 to Swindon Town.
Tyrone Marsh scored his first goal of the season to open the scoring on 13 minutes, but it was short-lived after Marc Richards drew the visitors level later on in the half.
Sol Campbell could only name a bench of five players at the start of the game and that wasn’t helped by a late Jak McCourt challenge forcing Ryan Lloyd off.
Macc were made to pay in second-half injury time as McCourt scored a last gasp winner after a Swindon counter-attack.
There were two welcome returns to Campbell’s starting line-up. Nathan Cameron returned to the starting eleven with Jamie Grimes dropping to the bench, whereas Jared Hodgkiss also made an appearance, replacing James Pearson.
The first chance of the match fell to the visitors. Kyle Knoyle cleverly turned his marker in the box before shooting and hitting the crossbar from 7-yards out.
However, Macclesfield responded in emphatic style.
After Nathan Cameron was fouled in the middle of the Robins’ half Michael Rose floated a fantastic ball into the box. Swindon’s defence was slow to react, but Tyrone Marsh wasn’t, as he slipped past his marker and delightfully chipped the ball over Lawrence Vigouroux on the volley, to grab his first goal of the season on 13 minutes.
The Silkmen had the wind in their sails and just minutes later it was very nearly 2-0. Vigouroux scuffed a clearance and the ball fell at the feet off Scott Wilson who saw the Robins’ number 1 off his line and audaciously tried to lob the ball into the net but it agonisingly dropped just wide of the post.
Swindon then started to test Kieran O’Hara in between the sticks. Kaiyne Woolery hit a stinging shot towards goal which the young goalkeeper tipped over the bar on 25 minutes whereas Marc Richards could only head the ball straight at O’Hara on the half-hour mark.
Although, moments later, Richards made his pressure pay. Michael Rose was adjudged to have handled the ball outside the area and referee Scott Oldham awarded a free-kick. The ball was floated into the box and the striker managed to break through the defensive line and head past O’Hara from close-range to equalise.
The Silkmen started the second-half with the same attacking fashion as the first. Scott Wilson’s bursting runs through the defensive lines continued to trouble Swindon and Tyrone Marsh almost added another goal to his tally after he flicked on another Michael Rose cross.
Swindon also came close when Keshi Anderson’s shot from a tight-angle stung the fingertips of Kieran O’Hara.
Sol Campbell already had injury concerns coming into the game forcing the manager to name only 5 substitutes out of a possible seven, and a scrappy second-half led to another blow. A very late Jak McCourt challenge caught Ryan Lloyd and despite being yellow carded Lloyd had to be replaced by Miles Welch-Hayes.
As the clock ticked into the last ten minutes both teams were doing all they could to steal three points. Kieran O’Hara had to be alert to tip a Kaiyne Woolery effort over the crossbar once again.
However, like the first game of the season, it was to end in heartbreak.
After Jermaine McGlashan picked up the ball after a Macc free-kick his pace orchestrated a Swindon counter-attack. He switched the ball to the back post and the ball was headed back into the penalty area for Jak McCourt to fire home leaving O’Hara with no chance.
A bitter pill to swallow, but a trip to Grimsby on Saturday gives the Silkmen the perfect opportunity to bounce back.
Attendance: 1,964 (381 Swindon)
Macclesfield Starting XI: O’Hara, Hodgkiss, Fitzpatrick, Kelleher, Marsh, Wilson, Lloyd (Welch-Hayes 72’), Maycock, Arthur, Rose, Cameron
Subs Not Used: Lowe, Grimes, Vincenti, Idem
By Andrew Gate