The Silkmen played out an entertaining stalemate at home to Bradford City this afternoon at the Moss Rose; as Jak McCourt's first half penalty was cancelled out by a second half James Vaughan header.
McCourt opened the scoring after good work down the right side from Corey O'Keeffe earned Macc a spot kick following a clumsy challenge from the Bradford backline.
The Bantams would eventually score the goal that their play for much of the game had warranted after a host of spurned first half opportunities.
Bradford started the game the better of the two sides, with James Vaughan posing a threat to the Silkmen backline on a constant basis in the opening period.
His first effort saw him poke the ball just wide of the goal from close in after three minutes as the Bantams looked to impose themselves on the game early on.
Whilst Bradford controlled possession for large periods early on, their next opportunity of note came on the 20-minute mark as the Bamtams’ high press saw David Fitzpatrick dispossessed on the edge of the Macc area.
The ball was played square to James Vaughan inside the six-yard box, but he somehow failed to hit the target and afforded the Silkmen a fortunate escape.
Bradford’s pressure would continue as the half wore on and only some improvised defensive work from Owen Evans and Fiacre Kelleher prevented our visitors from opening the scoring after Vaughan tried to get onto a short back pass.
A resilient first half display was topped off when Macc took the lead somewhat against the run of play.
Corey O’Keeffe did well to drive at the Bradford backline in a rare first half attack before being taken out by Ben Richards-Everton for a penalty.
Jak McCourt stepped up and duly converted from the spot, sending O’Donnell the wrong way as he slipped the ball into the bottom left corner.
The Silkmen continued to press at the start of the second period and Arthur Gnahoua almost doubled our lead with a header from close in after a dangerous McCourt free kick, but Bradford managed to scramble the ball off the goal line.
This proved costly some 20 minutes later as Bradford drew level courtesy of a James Vaughan glancing header into the bottom right corner.
As the match drew towards its conclusion Connor Kirby received a second yellow card and Macc were reduced to ten men for the final minutes of the game.
Substitute Ben Stephens would then be forced off through injury in stoppage time and the Silkmen secured a hard-earned point.
1. Owen Evans
4. Jak McCourt
5. Fiacre Kelleher
7. Arthur Gnahoua (Jacob Blyth 77')
8. Jay Harris
14. Connor Kirby (RC 89')
15. Fraser Horsfall
16. Corey O’Keeffe
20. Emmanuel Osadebe (Ben Stephens, 82' (Brice Ntambwe, 90'))
23. David Fitzpatrick
25. Nathan Cameron
Unused Substitutes: 13. Reice Charles-Cook (GK), 3. Eddie Clarke.
1. Richard O’Donnell
5. Ben Richards-Everton
6. Anthony O’Connor
7. Harry Pritchard
8. Jake Reeves (Hope Akpan, 85')
11. Zeli Ismail (Aramide Oteh, 64')
12. James Vaughan
19. Dylan Connolly
22. Adam Henley
23. Connor Wood
29. Chris Taylor
Unused Substitutes: 30. George Sykes-Kenworthy (GK), 2. Kevin Mellor, 4. Paudie O’Connor, 18. Jermaine Anderson, 24. Daniel Devine.