An 80th minute strike from Hayden Campbell secured Macclesfield’s place in the next round of the Isuzu FA Trophy against a game Hanley Town side.
The game started with a cagey aspect to it, with Hanley looking to thwart any Macclesfield momentum with their low block setup. The away team controlled possession in the first 20 minutes but struggled to create any clear-cut chances in the final third.
The Silkmen momentarily clicked into gear in the 21st minute when Arnasalam and Fensome combined on the right-hand side. Arnasalam’s delivery was superb and narrowly missed the head of Peers, who was waiting to score at the back post.
Chances were few and far between for the hosts, but Lucas Baker very nearly took one of these chances in the 28th minute. He received the ball over the top of the Macclesfield defence and volleyed just wide of Max Johnstone’s goal, to the relief of The Silkmen.
Arnasalam was the danger man in the first half, and all the positive attacking play came through him. He and Fensome combined again and Arnasalams effort was deflected just over the bar.
Despite the positivity from the Macclesfield winger, the score remained goalless and The Silkmen went into the halftime interval level with their opponents. Mark Duffy began the second half by making an attacking change, bringing on Tre Pemberton for Kevin Joshua in an attempt to break down the Hanley Town defence.
The game started to open up in the first 10 minutes of the second period, and this very much suited Macclesfield. Both teams looked likely to score in this period but failed to do so.
The Silkmen fans felt that Hanley should have been down to ten men after a horror tackle in midfield from Saul Shotton. The challenge was high and reckless, but the referee decided that it was only worthy of a yellow card, to the dismay of The Silkmen fans.
Sam Heathcote had a glorious chance in the 63rd minute when Luke Murphy’s delivery found him. His volley wasn’t quite under control and he blazed his effort over the bar to add to the frustration.
But The Silkmen continued to press and it paid off with 10 minutes to go in the game. Hayden Campbell came off the bench to win the game for Macclesfield, with a poacher’s finish inside the six yard box.
This clinched Macclesfield’s place in the next round of the cup, and now will travel to Radcliffe on Tuesday in a massive clash at the top end of the league table.