Macclesfield Town maintained their unbeaten start to the 2017/18 season with a 1-1 draw against National League newcomers Hartlepool United in the first home fixture of the new campaign.
Macclesfield went into this fixture on the back of Saturday’s impressive 1-0 win over Wrexham on Saturday and Manager John Askey name an unchanged team prior to kick off and was hoping to build on the victory at the Racecourse Ground.
The home side started well in this encounter as they looked to build on Saturday’s impressive result and summer signing Elliot Durrell was involved in a lot of the early openings.
It took 17 minutes for the away side to have their first sight of goal. Midfielder Jack Munns collected the ball on the edge of the Silkmen penalty area, but the former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder saw his effort fly well wide of Shwan Jalal’s left-hand post.
Butt Macc continued to trouble the away side, and the lively Durrell almost created the opener when he found Ryan Lloyd with a clever first-time ball at the back post. The former Port Vale man’s powerful header, however, just went past the far post.
Chances to flow for the home side – first Noe Baba’s long-range effort caught Loach scrambling across his area and Lloyd, again, saw his header scrambled away by the Hartlepool goalkeeper.
Hartlepool’s resistance could only last until the 38th minute and unsurprisingly it was that man Durrell, again, who created the opportunity. His cross found the way to club legend Danny Whitaker and he made no mistake in putting Macclesfield ahead from the edge of the six-yard box with a superb header.
The second half continued much in the same fashion with both Lloyd and Tyrone Marsh forcing Loach into low saves in the early stages.
But the away side got themselves back into the game, much against the run of play, when Jake Cassidy connected well to Ryan Donaldson’s free kick on the edge of the area. The frontman beat off the advances of the Silkmen defenders in the 58th minute to head home and beat Jalal in the Macclesfield goal. To add insult to injury for the Silkmen George Pilkington was forced off with an injury soon after.
But Macclesfield refused to let their advances drop after the goal and Durrell saw his powerful effort fly over Loach’s crossbar from long range and Baba also had an effort from distance.
In truth, chances were few and far between in the second half, although there was more bad news for the Silkmen in the 79th minute as Durrell was forced off with a nasty looking injury.
Despite the effort of the Silkmen, they were forced to share the points at the end of the game and will look to build on their unbeaten start when they host Bromley at Moss Rose on Saturday.
Jalal, Fitzpatrick, Lowe, Pilkington (Kennedy), Durrell (Arthur), Marsh, Lloyd, Baba, Yates, Burgess (Wilson), Whitaker ©.
Subs Not Used: Hancox, Richards
Attendance: 1519 with 265 Hartlepool fans
Referee: J Johnson.
By Steven Dale.