Two late goals in the last five minutes of normal time led to heart break for the Silkmen after they led for 83 minutes on the 3G pitch at Gander Green Lane.
The Silkmen went into the tunnel with a 1-0 lead thanks to a superb individual goal from Scott Wilson. A quick throw and good work from Koby Arthur saw the ball in find its way to the 24-year-old who appeared to take the home side by surprise, striking the ball sweetly as it flew into the bottom left corner from 25 yards out in just the second minute of play.
It was Wilson’s first League start for the club among a handful of changes from our starting XI against Bromley. Billy O’Brien came in for Shwan Jalal after he failed a late fitness test, with Courtney Richards, Mitch Hancox and Scott Burgess also handed starts.
Sutton grew into the game after our fast start, but suffered an injury to defender Dean Beckwith forcing manager Paul Doswell into an early change with Louis John coming on. A particular strength for the home side was their height advantage, with Ross Lafayette and Jamie Collins in particular putting the Silkmen’s defence under pressure. Billy O’Brien commanded his box well in his first full appearance for the club.
Macclesfield’s front line was a pacy one, with the holding presence of Courtney Richards allowing more freedom for those around him and this was complimented by Ryan Lloyd’s introduction after the break.
Understandably Sutton United came after half time looking to get the equaliser, and almost succeeded immediately as the dangerous Lafayette forced O’Brien into a diving save to his left, with the ball hitting the post, and finding the net from the rebound. Despite Sutton protests the goal was ruled offside.
As Sutton continued to press with their long ball strategy that could only be described as aerial bombardment, eventually they broke through. Substitute Moses Emmanuel used his pace to drill home, and it was double the disappointment just two minutes later as Tommy Wright found a gap and slotted home to add a second.
Four added minutes followed and despite a late free kick for the Silkmen we were unable to find the equaliser.
Jamie Butler, Aswad Thomas, Dean Beckwith (Louis John 6’), Jamie Collins (Capt), Kenny Davis ( Josh Taylor 65’), Ross Lafayette, Craig Dundas (Moses Emmanuel 69’), Craig Eastmond, Nicky Bailey, Dan Spence, Tommy Wright
Subs: Louis John, Kieron Cadogan, Jeffrey Monakana, Moses Emmanuel, Josh Taylor
Billy O’Brien, David Fitzpatrick, Keith Lowe, Scott Wilson (Tyrone Marsh 65’), Courtney Richards (Capt) (Danny Whitaker 87’), Noe Baba, Kieran Kennedy, Mitchell Hancox, Gime Toure, Scott Burgess, Koby Arthur (Ryan Lloyd 52’)
Subs: Tyrone Marsh, Ryan Lloyd, Shwan Jalal, Adam Yates, Danny Whitaker
By Molly Hudson