It’s amazing to think that eight years ago we were at Old Trafford for the FA Cup match with a following of 9,000, and at Saturday’s game with only 2,100 watching.
I was looking at the current side and thinking which of these would actually make that Conference team, apart from Dannie Bulman who did play in that game, I don’t think any of the current squad would make it – perhaps Glenn Morris on the subs’ bench.
Again it was another uninspired home game which barely gave the supporters anything to get them going, no urgency in getting the ball forward, when they did the chance to cross it, the ball hit the first defender and gave the front two no service whatsoever.
Once again it was the defence who actually kept us in the game for long periods, the midfield constantly gave the ball away with either short or over hit passes – the front-two of Ollie Palmer and Dominic Poleon created some chances but failed to hit the target and make the ‘keeper work.
The only bright spark was the performance of loanee Matty Willock who worked his socks off throughout the game until being substituted with 20 minutes to go which didn’t go down too well with the home support.
He was extremely unlucky to be booked by the referee for apparent simulation for a so called dive in the area, from my position in the West Stand he was taken from behind and a definite spot-kick.
Initially it looked like the official had pointed to the spot, then seem to change his mind as he ran over to Willock brandishing the yellow card.
While we are on about the referee, he was very seldom up with play and the antics of the Macclesfield defenders for constant shirt pulling went unpunished, falling over at the slightest touch, we were never getting any fair treatment.
He managed to book seven players for what was a non-physical game, perhaps two were justified.
As the game went on you could see it happening, with Crawley giving the ball away so often.
Macclesfield took the lead on 40 minutes, when an error of judgment by David Sesay was punished – instead of putting the ball in row Z, he tried to beat the player and lost the ball, the winger crossed the ball over for Harry Smith to head past Glenn Morris who tried in vain to get to the ball which went in at the far post giving the visitors a half-time lead.
With half hour remaining Gabriele Cioffe started to make changes, and immediately added some pace to the side – Nathaniel-George, Camara, Grego Cox.
The home side were now starting to show some enterprise in going forward and with eight minutes remaining created a great chance to equalise when Grego-Cox got to the goalline, put a terrific ball across beating all the defenders and ‘keeper only for Camara to fail to side foot the ball in from two yards missing the ball completely.
That’s was that, so we thought another home defeat, two minutes later however on 84 minutes, scores were level, Lewis Young drove to the edge of the penalty area and fired home with the help of a deflection over the ‘keeper into the net.
This then set up a grandstand finish and the Red Devils now seemed to have woken up and were taking the game to Macclesfield – the home crowd now had something to get behind the team but it was too little too late. Had Crawley gone on to win it, it would have been harsh on the visitors who had played the better football throughout the game – was it a point gained or three points dropped – on the performance, a point gained.
I wish the effort shown by Dannie Bulman yesterday would rub off on the other players, playing as the attacking midfielder he was constantly driving the team forward but with little or no help from his team-mates.
Finally, you never loose class, Sol Campbell smartly dressed in a suit and shoes – had the biggest cheer of the day when a ball was fired out for a throw-in – he flicked the ball up with his heel and then calmly caught the ball – brilliant. He also found time to have his photo taken at the start of the second half with some home supporters.
Next away games: Next Saturday we are taking two coaches to MK Dons for a league game with a 3pm kick-off – we depart from the PP Stadium at 10.00am and have organised a buffet stop for each coach. Cost for this trip is £20. Please contact us on 07771-792346 if you want to travel.
On Saturday, March 16 we have a trip to Crewe Alexandra, for this game we will only be taking the one coach, it will leave the stadium at 7.30am and again the fare is £20.00 - we aim to stop at the White Lion, Barthomley for a buffet lunch arriving just after midday but are waiting for confirmation from them.
We are now taking bookings for this trip if you want to travel. We will have a coffee and comfort stop at the M6 Toll services for about half an hour depending on traffic.