Match Report: Tranmere 1-4 Macclesfield

Macclesfield Town
Posted:Tue 20 Feb 2018

Macclesfield Town extended their lead at the top of the National League with a 4-1 victory over Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park.

The hosts edged much of the first half, but the visitors came out on top thanks to two goals apiece from Elliot Durrell and Danny Whitaker.

Victory extends the Silkmen's lead to five points at the top of the table after what has been an excellent four days on the road.

The Silkmen started the game at pace attaking the Kop end, with Rovers notably taken back by the high-intensity start to the match.

The hosts weathered the early possession of Macc however, and Andy Cook was first to try his luck at Shwan Jalal’s goal when he tried a shot from range, watching the ball sail safetly over the bar.

Cook was back at it again shortly after, going one on one with Jalal but seeing his effort read by the keeper. Minutes later he was up for a header at the back post, but he couldn’t divert it anywhere but wide of the goal.

Tranmere had the ball in the net on the 17-minute mark, but Silkmen fans were thankful to see the offside flag raised to prevent the opener.

Former Macclesfield star Ollie Norburn was shown a yellow card for a late challenge on Elliott Durrell after 24 minutes, and after receiving treatment the winger was fine to continue.

Connor Jennings was next to continue the Tranmere efforts on the Silkmen goal, but his chance was well stopped by Jalal once again, with Macclesfield looking resilient.

Marsh and Blissett did their best to work half-chances down the other end for the visitors, but the Rovers defence stood firm. Durrell’s miss-hit cross almost slipped under the bar of Scott Davies’ goal, but he was on his toes to turn it over for a corner.

With the half coming to a close and Tranmere on top for much of the initial 45, Macclesfield broke through Danny Whitehead from their own half. He fed Tyrone Marsh, who switched play to Durrell, who fired in a cross-come-shot towards goal which Danny Whitaker controlled and prodded over Davies to give Macclesfield the lead seconds before the interval.

The lead wouldn’t last long, however, as Andy Cook brought the hosts level less than five minutes after play resumed. Left wide open at the back post, Cook rose unchallenged and fired the ball across Jalal to make the score 1-1.

The first half may have been a cagey affair, but it’s safe to say it was a game of two halves. Elliot Durrell responded quickly to the equaliser with an instinctive drive from distance, striking the ball hard and low across Davies’ goal. It was enough to catch out the Rovers keeper, and Macclesfield restored their advantage as the ball slipped through his gloves.

Jalal made a superb save down the Macclesfield end following a similar shot, which took a deflection off of Fitzpatrick. His quick distribution lead to a corner, which soon resulted in a penalty for handball.

Danny Whitaker stepped up from twelves yards and made no mistakes, doubling Macclesfield’s advantage.

Durrell clearly wasn’t happy with his first goal of the evening, as he replicated and perfected it on the 65th minute. With the ball once again on the right hand side, Durrell struck across Davies and the ball flew like a rocket into the bottom left corner, leaving no doubt to the quality of the connection.

Mitch Hancox almost made it five when he went around Davies, but his effort was cleared off the line. What looked to be a huge test for the Silkmen turned into a comfortable victory in the space of a few minutes.

The Silkmen players showed their excellent fitness as the game moved in to the closing stages but Shwan Jalal was on hand to make a fine fingertip save to help the goal difference as Tranmere looked for a lifeline.

That didn't come though and Askey's men will now turn their attention to the visit of Maidenhead on Saturday.

Match Stats

Tranmere 1-4 Macclesfield

Attendance: 7,385 (429 Macc fans)

Macclesfield: Jalal, Hodgkiss ©, Lowe, Pilkington, Fitzpatrick, Durrell (Burgess 81), Whitehead, Whitaker, Hancox, Marsh (Evans 77), Blissett.

Subs Not Used: Wilson, Ramsbottom, Kennedy,

Booked: Pilkington

Goals  Whitaker (45'+1 minutes, 62' minutes pen), Durrell (55' minutes, 66' minutes)

Attendance: 7,385 (429)

By Adam Washbrook

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