A Danny Whitehead wonder goal wasn’t enough to earn Macclesfield three points, as a late Torquay United equaliser denied the Silkmen all three points despite dominating proceedings at the Moss Rose.
However, despite it being a frustrating day at the office, the point means Town stay at the top of the Vanarama National League.
John Askey made three changes to his side after the previous outing at AFC Fylde. Shwan Jalal returned to the starting XI replacing Sam Ramsbottom in between the sticks, whereas George Pilkington made way for Scott Wilson and Callum Evans made his second debut for the club replacing Scott Burgess.
Macclesfield piled on the pressure in the early stages and the opening ten minutes were dominated by the Silkmen.
The attacking duo of Wilson and Marsh caused the visitors problems, with both having chances blocked and Ryan Lloyd almost converted from close range after Durrell forced his way through the Gulls’ back line in what was a fast start for John Askey’s men.
Torquay had no option but to play on the counter attack with Macc’s early dominance, but they grew into the game on eighteen minutes. Jamie Reid somehow missed the target as he went one on one with Jalal and seconds later he sent a curling shot wide of the post.
Jalal was again called into action just a minute later when a mix up in the defence allowed Luke Young through on goal, but the Macclesfield number one produced a fantastic reaction save with his right hand to keep the score goalless.
Throughout the half Macclesfield kept knocking on the Torquay door. Evans and Durrell were linking up perfectly down the right wing and that was echoed on the left wing by Fitzpatrick and Lloyd but whilst both pairings were sending crosses into the danger zone, Torquay’s defence were standing firm and clearing the ball to safety.
Just before the half ended, Macc very nearly scored the opener. Once again a cross came into the box from the right wing and Tyrone Marsh rose highest. However, his header was well saved by Ryan Clarke in the opposition goal.
The first half was as pulsating as a clash at the very highest level, but nobody could make the breakthrough in the first forty-five minutes.
Half-Time: Macclesfield 0 Torquay United 0
Torquay boss Gary Owers made the decision to change goalkeeper at the break with Dorel replacing Clarke and Macclesfield wasted no time in testing the new man in between the sticks.
Marsh started the second half as he ended the first by rising highest to head the ball towards goal, but Dorel was equal to it as he calmly collected the ball in mid-air.
Despite that chance, the second-half was a more muted affair. Tyrone Marsh had the most notable chance when he tried his luck from twenty-five yards out, but it didn’t trouble the Torquay defence and the ball flew wide.
Then came a moment of magic from Danny Whitehead on seventy two minutes. After a great spell of attacking football the ball fell to the central midfielder on the edge of the area and he sent a rocket of a shot into the very top of the right-hand corner leaving Dorel with no chance, to put Macclesfield one-nil up.
John Askey’s side didn’t rest on their laurels and just a minute later the Silkmen were attacking again and were very nearly two goals to the good.
Scott Wilson burst through the defence and went in on goal but somehow Dorel produced an incredible save from close range to deny the Macclesfield frontman.
Just after the hour mark Nathan Blissett was introduced to the Moss Rose faithful for his home debut and he was looking lively. He also came close to doubling the lead, but Dorel saved his looping header from crossing the line.
Then against the run of play Torquay grabbed an equaliser. Elliott Romain bundled the ball over the line in the seventy-ninth minute, after Jalal palmed a shot away from goal and Keith Lowe couldn’t clear the ball off the line in time after the Torquay man steered home.
Macc then again went on the hunt for a second. Blissett continued to bomb forward but he couldn’t direct his shot on target when the ball fell to him on the edge of the penalty area, slicing the ball over the crossbar.
Four minutes of added time followed and Macc continued to assert the pressure onto the Devon side, but it just wasn’t to be for the Silkmen as a plucky Torquay side escaped with a point.
Final Score: Macclesfield 1 Torquay United 1
Macclesfield starting XI: Jalal, Fitzpatrick, Lowe, Durrell (Hancox 85’), Marsh (Blissett 63’), Wilson, Lloyd, Kennedy, Evans (Pilkington 77’), Whitehead, Whitaker ©
Subs not used: Ramsbottom, Burgess
Torquay starting XI: Clarke (Dorel 45’), Efete, Davies, McGinty ©, Gowling (O’Sullivan 74’), Young, Reid (Williams 63’), Barnes, Romain, Dowling, Balotini
Subs not used: Keating, Klukowski
Attendance: 1699 (119 Torquay)
By Andrew Gate