National League leaders Macclesfield Town’s gap at the top was reduced as top of the form table AFC Fylde were rampant at Mill Farm. Clinical finishing from the hosts made the difference as the Silkmen struggled with a heavy surface.
Two of the three new Macclesfield Town signings made the squad for the visit to AFC Fylde’s Mill Farm ground. Nathan Blissett and Callum Evans were named on the bench, alongside Shwan Jalal, making his return from suspension.
The Silkmen got off to a promising start as Tyrone Marsh minute intercepted a Fylde pass and Elliott Durrell put his shot across the face of goal. But early danger signs were there for the Silkmen as Sam Ramsbottom was called into action in the third minute, and saved well from a Jonny Smith shot.
Just three minutes later the home side took the lead after a powerful Lewis Montrose header from a corner alluded Ramsbottom and found the net.
Marsh made an acrobatic attempt to equalise in the 16th minute after a creative cross field pass from Fitzpatrick played in Durrell down the right, who crossed in and Marsh’s effort was saved by Jay Lynch in the Fylde goal.
Jack Muldoon tried his luck in the 20th minute and Ramsbottom tipped his effort around the post for a corner, but just three minutes later Muldoon found the net with a brilliant strike from 25 yards that Ramsbottom could do nothing about as it flew into the top corner.
Macclesfield continued to try and get back into the game with Durrell tracking back in order to try and win possession for his side. Danny Rowe and Muldoon in particular continued to impress for Fylde, a constant threat to Keith Lowe and Kieran Kennedy at the heart of the Silkmen defence.
With the pitch continuing to cut up particularly in the six-yard box, Fylde continued to test Ramsbottom from range, and captain Sam Finley added a third after Macclesfield’s ‘keeper failed to deal with his long-range effort in the 34th minute.
John Askey had seen enough, opting to change formation with Scott Wilson coming on to replace Scott Burgess in the 37th minute. But there was still time for a fourth for the home side as Smith beat the offside trap, rounded Ramsbottom and slotted home in additional time in the first half.
Ramsbottom was replaced by Jalal at half-time, and the second-half began on a more even keel as the Silkmen looked to get on the scoreboard. Fylde continued to look dangerous from set-pieces and in the 54th minute Rowe’s free-kick was blocked, and Finley’s effort flew over the bar.
The fifth goal for the hosts was unlucky as a reflex save from Jalal after a Smith deflected shot fell to Finley who had an empty net and a tap in for his second of the game.
Macclesfield had a couple of corners at the beginning of the half, which the Coasters cleared, but the best chance of the game for the Silkmen fell to Pilkington who found himself in the box and volleyed an effort at goal which was well saved by Lynch.
Blissett came on in the 67th minute to make his debut and soon made an impression on the Fylde defence with his strength and height. But despite glimpses of promise from the striker that will hopefully be seen on a better day for the Silkmen, it was Fylde who kept their clean sheet and added a sixth goal from Andy Bond in the 82nd minute, with a first time shot past Jalal.
That was the last real action of the game on an afternoon that Macclesfield will quickly want to put behind them.
Macclesfield Town Starting XI: Ramsbottom (Jalal 45’), Fitzpatrick, Lowe, Pilkington, Durrell, Marsh (Blissett 67’), Lloyd, Ramsbottom, Kennedy, Whitehead, Burgess (Wilson 37’), Whitaker ©
Subs not used: Evans, Hancox
AFC Fylde Starting XI: Lynch, Montrose, Francis-Angol, Tunnicliffe, Bond, Finley © (Taylor 80’), Rowe, Muldoon (Chettle 72’), Smith (Tasdemir 63’), Burke, Stubbs
Subs not used: Grand, Blinkhorn
Goalscorers: Montrose 3’, Muldoon 23’, Finley 34’ 57’, Smith 46’, Bond 81’