Skip to main content

Match Report

 

Posted Sat 17 Jan 15 at 18:30 PM

REPORT: HARRIERS 0 MACCLESFIELD TOWN 2

Two goals in two minutes handed Macclesfield Town all three points at Aggborough as Harriers lost a fourth consecutive game on home soil.

Alex Grant and leading goalscorer Waide Fairhurst gave the Silkmen a two-goal advantage with 20 minutes left as Gary Whild's men could not find a late response.

The result pushes Harriers down into eighth, although they remain only a point away from fifth-placed Eastleigh.

Boss Whild made four changes to the Harriers side which was knocked out of the FA Trophy to Altrincham last week.

Jordan Tunnicliffe was available once more and replaced Birmingham City loanee Nat Kelly in defence, while Craig Reid, Callum Gittings and Akwasi Asante dropped to the bench.

Jake Green made his third start of the season and Aman Verma returned from injury, while Keyon Reffell, who made his Harriers debut as a substitute last week, was handed his first start and his first appearance in the Vanarama Conference.

Verma spearheaded a Harriers forward line as the versatile attacker was supported by wingers Reffell and Marvin Johnson.

Meanwhile, Macclesfield, who hadn’t played since their New Year’s Day victory over Grimsby Town, made just one change to their starting XI as Paul Lewis replaced the departed Arthur Gnahoua.

And, despite a bright first half by Harriers, it was the Silkmen who broke the deadlock late on through Grant.

Fairhurst’s close-range shot was well-blocked by Kyle Storer and earned Town a corner, which was taken by skipper Paul Turnball.

George Pilkington knocked on the set-piece into the path of Grant in the centre of the box, who was well-placed to poke a close-range effort past Danny Lewis.

Macclesfield doubled their advantage in style shortly afterwards with a stupendous 45-yard strike courtesy of Fairhurst.

A clearance by Lewis fell at the striker’s feet but, standing on the halfway mark, Fairhurst had it all to do to actually find the net.

He did so with great skill, however, curling a cracking long-range shot past Lewis and into the top corner.

It was frustrating for Whild’s side who had looked on top in the first half and should have taken a lead into the interval.

Their best chance of the opening 45 minutes came around the half-hour mark through Verma, who was making his first appearance since New Year’s Day.

Jack Byrne won his side’s first corner of the afternoon and Kevin Nicholson’s set-piece was met by Verma, who has demonstrated his aerial prowess on various occasions.

He directed a header towards goal and it was only the efforts of Silkmen midfielder Danny Whitaker who kept his effort from crossing the line.

Johnson also came close after testing Macclesfield goalkeeper Rhys Taylor six minutes before half-time.

The winger, who switched flanks with Reffell on several occasions throughout, was fed by Jared Hodgkiss, the right-back doing fantastically to dodge challenges and keep possession as he marauded into the centre of the field.

Receiving the ball, Johnson let loose a stunning 30-yard strike which Taylor had to save with a valiant dive to his left.

As Macclesfield scrambled upfield to counter-attack, Hodgkiss was then on hand to thwart Adriano Moke who had made a charging run into the box.

Harriers had shown positive endeavour in attack and mounted patient passing moves going forward but were struggling to find that vital final ball, that killer instinct in the final third.

Reffell was busy in the box while Tunnicliffe looked solid alongside Jamie Grimes at the back.

Macclesfield found their attacking play restricted in the first half and could only threaten from a Grant header wide as Harriers pinned them back for the majority.

The visitors stepped up in the second half and forced Lewis into a save five minutes in, the Harriers ‘keeper tipping over Pilkington’s close-range header before Grant’s headed effort from the subsequent corner was blocked wide.

But Harriers maintained their threat, as Byrne saw a stylish volley fall wide shortly after the hour mark, the midfielder chesting down Reffell’s knock-on header and plundering a first-time hit narrowly past the wrong side of the post.

Macclesfield’s late double-hit knocked the wind out of Harriers’ sails somewhat, however, as their first-half efforts were punished in cruel fashion with little time for redemption.

And the Silkmen almost added a third with five minutes remaining, but Tunnicliffe kept substitute Matthew Barnes-Homer from finding the net against his former side with a well-executed clearance to stop the low effort from rolling over the line.

Jake Green and Storer had further efforts as the game drew to a close, while Grimes’ header from a corner was inches away from finding the net, as Harriers couldn’t secure a response and Macclesfield left with the points.

    Latest Match Reports