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Match Reports

Match Report: Macclesfield Town 2 v 2 Stevenage

23 March 2019

It was a case of better late than never for the Silkmen as Danny Whitakers' 94th minute strike secured a point against play-off chasing Stevenage. 
 
Elliott Durrell got Macclesfield off to the perfect start when he ran through on goal and calmly slotted the ball into the back of the net, but the lead didn’t last long as Ben Nugent headed Stevenage level two minutes later. 
 
Early in the second-half, the visitors took the lead when Dan Newton fired past Kieran O’Hara but Whitaker’s strike at the death gave Macc a vital point in the quest for survival.
 
Coming into the fixture, Sol Campbell made no changes to the side that secured a vital three points away at Yeovil Town. However, Shamir Mulings replaced Liandro Martis on the substitutes bench.
 
The first 30 minutes of the half was a quiet affair with both teams struggling to control the midfield.
 
Nathan Cameron came closest for the Silkmen when he directed a header just over the bar on ten minutes, whereas Alex Revell’s snapshot for the visitors six minutes later was the closest the Moss Rose crowd had to a goal for the first half an hour. 
 
However, with fifteen minutes to go in the half the game sprung to life. Stevenage were struggling to deal with the balls from the midfield and Macc should’ve made the away side pay. Harry Smith down the right and squared to Stephens, but the chance fizzled out with the goal gaping.
 
Elliott Durrell then dispossessed his man and found Ben Stephens who layed the ball off to Reece Cole, but he couldn’t find the net once again. 
 
Although Macc did find the net just minutes after when Elliott Durrell latched on to a fantastic chipped ball by Michael Rose and ran through one on one with the goalkeeper and he duly slotted the ball past Farman. 
 
The lead didn’t last long though, Stevenage were awarded a free-kick just two minutes after the opener. Midfielder Joel Byrom put the ball into a great area for unmarked defender Ben Nugent who headed the ball into the net. 
 
Half-Time: Macclesfield 1 Stevenage 1
 
The second-half got off to a much quicker start. Unfortunately for Macc though it was Stevenage who benefitted from the second-half. 
 
Half-time substitute Dan Newton picked up the ball on the edge of the area and fizzed the ball past Kieran O’Hara from a difficult angle to put the visitors ahead. 
 
From then on, the game became a scrappy affair. Stevenage’s defensive partnership of Scott Cuthbert and Ben Nugent were keeping Harry Smith at bay but the Silkmen refused to be deterred as they continued to knock at the away side’s door. 
 
In fact, it took until injury time for the Silkmen’s pressure to pay off and deservedly so. Sol Campbell’s decision to bring on Danny Whitaker proved to be a masterstroke when in the 94th minute of four minutes added on Macc stole a share of the spoils.
 
Whitaker picked up the ball on the edge of the area and cleverly turned his marker allowing him to power a shot across goal and despite Farman’s best efforts he couldn’t keep the ball out of the net and Macc secured a vital point. 
 
There wasn’t time for a reply by Stevenage, but the result exemplified the never say die attitude the Macclesfield players have shown of late. 
 
Full Time: Macclesfield 2 Stevenage 2
 
Attendance: 1,866 (127)
 
Macclesfield Town Starting XI: O’Hara, Fitzpatrick, Kelleher, Durrell, Smith, Stephens, Pearson, Rose (Whitaker 81’), Cameron ©, Cole (Wilson 59’), Jules
 
Subs Not Used: Idem, Marsh, Welch-Hayes, Evans, Mullings
 
By Andrew Gate 

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