Macclesfield Town extended their unbeaten run to 11 games in all competitions with a goalless draw against Solihull Moors at Moss Rose.
Sitting comfortably top of the table at the beginning of the afternoon, Macclesfield were looking to extend a recent run that had seen them move six points clear at the top of the National League table.
Boss John Askey made three changes ahead of this fixture, with Elliot Durrell, Tyrone Marsh, and Danny Whitaker coming into the side. They replaced Scott Wilson, Noe Baba, and Scott Burgess.
The hosts made the better of the early exchanges, with George Pilkington heading wide from a corner after just two minutes.
Mitch Hancox, the hat-trick hero from New Year’s Day, was visibly full of confidence, and his tenth-minute drive fizzed just wide of Kieran O’Leary’s left-hand post. Tyrone Marsh would then see his effort cleared off the line by Liam Daly as Macc pushed for the advantage.
In the period of play that followed, however, it was visitors Solihull that may have considered themselves unfortunate not to be in front. Some quick thinking from O’Leary, combined with some quick build play, eventually found Afolayan in the area and the high-rated forward brought the best out of Sam Ramsbottom in the Silkmen goal.
Askey was forced into making his first change of the afternoon slightly prematurely, as an injury to defender, Kieran Kennedy, midway through the first half brought an end to his afternoon. He was replaced by Jared Hodgkiss.
The game remained quiet until five minutes before the break when a great turn and cross by Danny Whitaker caused problems in the Solihull penalty area. Marsh was the beneficiary of the midfielder’s tireless work down the right, before Daly’s intervention denied the forward from close range.
The second half began with the home side on the front foot. Hancox putting just wide a great ball into the box by Elliot Durrell on the right.
In slightly disappointing circumstances for Macclesfield, they were forced into their second change of the game after 51 minutes. Earlier substitute Hodgkiss the man replaced by Noe Baba after picking up an injury.
Durrell then had probaly the best chance of the afternoon for Macc as he latched on to a long Keith Lowe ball before he was twice denied by the Solihull keeper.
A heavy spell of pressure from The Silkmen followed. Ryan Lloyd the first to question his luck as he flashed just wide before Hancox saw his effort well saved by O’Leary. The latter would become Askey’s third, and final, change after 68 minutes, as he was sacrificed for Scott Wilson to enter proceedings.
Despite Macclesfield enjoying most of the possession in an open second half, Solihull began to come into the game strongly as the game began to draw to a close. A great defensive header from George Pilkington and a last-gasp clearance from Noe Baba kept the proceedings of the game in the balance.
Scott Wilson drew a great save just before the end, but the draw meant that Macclesfield extended their unbeaten run in the National League. They will now travel to Halifax for the FA Trophy this coming Tuesday (9th January) as they aim to book a home tie with Maidenhead United next weekend.
12 – Sam Ramsbottom
3 – David Fitzpatrick
4 – Keith Lowe
5 – George Pilkington
7- Elliot Durrell
8 – Tyrone Marsh
11- Ryan Lloyd
15 – Kieran Kennedy (Hodgkiss) (Baba)
16 – Mitch Hancox (Wilson)
18 – Danny Whitehead
23 – Danny Whitaker ©
Subs not used:
By Steven Dale.