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Sat Mar 2

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The Vanarama National League South

Draw for Slough at Silkmen

Macclesfield Town

Macclesfield Town

Alford (32), Sharratt (84)
Slough Town

Slough Town

M.Scott (1-1, 79)
League Attendance: 1043 Morrys Scott
With six minutes remaining at the Moss Rose Ground on Saturday, Trevor Bunting showed rather too much of his goal to Chris Sharratt and paid - as the left-winger flashed in a shot earning the home side a point.

Macclesfield were well worth their draw but until Bunting's invitation Slough seemed set to take all three points from their hosts for a fourth successive season. Two headers from the towering Morrys Scott had given Town an advantage that they had strived fiercely for, at times riding their luck, but generally as impressive as at any time in recent weeks.

In no particular order, Manning, Dowson, Fiore and Sayer were all worthy of praise and player-manager Les Briley made an enormously re-assuring return as sweeper. Slough looked well organised again and against a side full of confidence on the back of blistering recent form, they needed to be.

Last week Macclesfield had humbled Hartlepool in the FA Cup and locals could barely wait to tell stories of storming performances, beautiful football and goal blitzes. Gateshead left Moss Rose with a 6-1 beating earlier in the month.

Early on however Slough struggled to settle in and Macclesfield seeking a fourth consecutive Conference victory ran the show.

Sharratt tormented Hancock, Askey probed Dowson — and got little joy — while their new sensation the ginger-haired 19 year-old Martin McDonald looked every inch a real league prospect.

Encouraged to shoot whenever he went forward after his superb strike against Hartlepool, the youngster went for goal from 30 yards but struck the heels of Brian Lee.

The resulting corner should have seen Macclesfield go ahead but top scorer Carl Alford couldn't convert the chance from close range after Askey created the opportunity.

Ex-Manchester City star Mark Lillis was unable to get his blonde locks to Sharratt's driven free kick while at the other end Mark Fiore carried out the best chance of the game so far with a line, tight turn and cross for Scott. Amazingly from just six yards out and unchallenged he headed tamely wide — he would make amends later.

At that time Scott's error looked to have been a costly one. Just past the half hour the impressive left back Bimson broke away to cross beyond Slough's defence and this time Briley hadn't spotted the 'spare' man and Alford with plenty of time thumped in his 14th goal of the season.

Crucially Slough struck back almost immediately and broke Macclesfield's rhythm, they were never as dominant again.

Hancock's free-kick was floated in towards the penalty spot and Scott rose well to get a vital touch in front of goalkeeper Steve Farrelley.

Early on in a thoroughly entertaining second half, Sayer blazed over and Briley made a timely interception as Alford roared in on goal. If there was a criticism to be made of Slough it was that their defensive work lacked common sense.

Lee, Briley and particularly Edwards were guilty of aimlessly thumping clearances which never looked likely to find either the toiling Sayer or Morrys Scott.

All it did was allow the home side the chance to build again and apply more pressure. When possible Slough surely have to try to 'play their way out more often or at least try to find a man. The first-time hoof clear is a very short term cure and in the long term serves only to build up more problems. If Briley is to stay as a sweeper it may fall to him, as a former midfield man, to educate the others in the art form of passing.

Midway through the second half Lillis had a similar chance to the one Scott had missed but though he achieved more power his aim was as poor and Bunting and Slough escaped.

A minute later Askey seemed taken by surprise as Alford missed Sharratt's low cross and his first time side foot effort went wide.

Now it was Macclesfield's turn to pay the price as Fiore and Manning combined to win Slough a 79th minute corner. Hancock, who had been guilty of wasting several corners, this time got it right picking out the late run of Scott who glanced a header past Farrelly.

Macclesfield pressed and Slough back peddled but just as the thought of a first league win as boss will have been crossing Briley's mind, Sharratt dashed them, driving low and hard into Bunting's net from 25 yards.

Macclesfield Town Lineup

Farrelly, Shepherd, Bimson, Kendall, Lillis, Sorvel, Askey, McDonald, Alford, Adams (Green), Sharratt.


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