The Silkmen came out 2-0 victors with an astute performance against a Winstanley Warriors side that had previously won their last seven games yesterday.
The first half was a relatively uneventful affair, with neither side able to carve out any clear-cut chances. However, the Silkmen put in a mature performance, winning every second ball and controlling the game.
Despite this, the visitors came closest to scoring on the 28-minute mark. Adam Morris received the ball out wide and swung in an inviting cross which was met by Lewis Rotherham. The captain’s header flew just over the wrong side of the bar.
Macc tried to answer back immediately. Sean Holland, who was pulling the strings in midfield all afternoon, clipped a ball down the channel for the run of Tyler James. The striker unselfishly squared it across goal, but nobody was on hand to finish it for the Silkmen.
The first half proved frustrating for Paul McGuire’s side, who lacked that final ball when it mattered.
McGuire gave a reassuring team talk and made it clear that the level of performance was good, but a few subtle changes were needed. Zack Box replaced Amin Ahmed at right wing.
The deadlock would be broken just two minutes after the second half had commenced. Rocco Fregapane, who worked tirelessly all afternoon, swung a deep free kick into the box. The ball bounced through the crowd of players and into the bottom corner to give the Silkmen the lead.
The encounter became more end-to-end from this point onwards. The visitors came close to an equaliser 53 minutes in. Winstanley Warriors put in a cross which was met with a powerful header. However, Ricardo Longato was on hand to deny them an equaliser with a quick reflex save.
Tyler James was on the end of a lovely Silkmen passing move 55 minutes in. The recent FA Cup debutant saw his driven effort tipped around the post by Dan Adamson for a corner.
Macclesfield U21’s continued to press for a second goal. Rocco Fregapane saw his 25-yard free kick curl just over 61 minutes in.
Sean Holland unlocked the Warriors defence soon after with an inch-perfect pass through two defenders for the on-rushing Tyler James. The striker’s squared pass was curled narrowly wide by Callum Knight 64 minutes in.
Despite Macclesfield’s confident performance, they still had to be wary of the threat Winstanley Warriors U21s posed.
The visitors came close just minutes later, but Ricardo Longato was on-hand to deny an equaliser with a superb double-save. The first saw him deny Lewis Rotherham with the one-on-one, the second came immediately after as he turned behind the follow up at his near post.
With legs starting to tire, both sides knew there was plenty more opportunities to come. The Silkmen had the chance to seal the victory 67 minutes in. Riche Makelele was played through and saw his effort well-saved by Dan Adamson.
Ricardo Longato made another superb stop 70 minutes in, tipping a powerful longshot onto the bar for a corner. The resulting corner saw Warriors head just over.
Paul McGuire made three changes in the space of ten minutes to try and see out the game. Donald Eumessi, Yakubu and Fabio Outtara came on for Tyler James, Lewis Price and Zak Butterworth respectively.
Yakubu could have scored with his first touch of the game. Rocco Fregapane raced up the pitch from left back on the counter attack and squared it for the winger. However, his tame effort was easily saved by Adamson.
Macclesfield U21s finally put the game to bed 88 minutes in. Riche Makelele made no mistake with his second big chance, rounding Adamson in superb fashion and slotting the ball home to double the Silkmen’s lead.
That was game, set and match as Macc ended Winstanley Warriors’ seven-game winning streak with one of their best performances of the season.
Macclesfield U21s: Longato (GK), Butterworth, Fregapane, Dolling (C), Seymour, Holland, Ahmed, Knight, James, Makelele, Price
Substitutes: Yakubu, Eumessi, Outtara, Box, Glendon