A brilliant second half performance from Paul Dawson and The Silkmen saw the Gladiators outclassed in the first home game of the season at The Leasing.com stadium.
Dawson bossed the game in the early goings from his midfield berth and was the main reason behind the success in the middle of the park.
Lewis Fensome came in for the injured Tre Pemberton and also started brightly. He could have had an assist to his name within six minutes after a delightful cross into the box just missed the head of Tom Peers.
The first 20 minutes seemed to be a settling-in period for both teams, with a shortage of clear cut opportunities for The Silkmen and their opponents.
The game started to open up for the hosts in the 30th minute when Kane Drummond flashed the ball across the face of goal. Tom Peers connected with the ball but couldn’t quite steer it on target.
The pressure continued towards the end of the first half and The Silkmen went close again. It was Drummond who this time had an effort himself, one that was well saved by the Matlock Town goalkeeper.
The best chance of the half came in the 43rd minute. A wicked in-swinging corner troubled the Matlock defence and found the head of Sam Heathcote, who was shocked to see his towering header tipped over the bar by the Matlock shot stopper.
Macclesfield came out of the gates fast in the second half, and quickly took the lead in the 54th minute. Dawson set up Peers with a defence-splitting pass, and his striker made no mistake in slotting the ball home to score his first goal for The Silkmen.
Dawson’s night got even better five minutes later when he scored his first goal for the club. The midfielder received the ball from 25 yards out, and hit a low, drilled shot into the bottom left corner, giving the goalkeeper no chance.
The Silkmen had hit their opponents with the 1-2, and within a matter of minutes the game had changed from precarious to comfortable.
Macclesfield pushed on for the third, and had multiple chances to wrap up the game. Brandon Lee came extremely close in the 70th minute, when his low shot was blocked on the line miraculously by a Matlock Town defender.
Substitute James Hardy made an impression during his cameo, and came close to killing the game off with a venomous strike from just outside the box, which whistled past the post.
But it was another substitute, Neil Kengni, who managed to seal the game for The Silkmen with 10 minutes left to play. A wonderful pass from Hardy set it up, and Kengni composed himself to give The Silkmen an insurmountable lead.
Despite the victory being secured, Mark Duffy’s men still pressed on to get another goal in the game, and looked the more likely team to score the fourth, but The Silkmen settled for a 3-0 victory on the night as they continued their winning start to the campaign.
The Silkmen are back at home again on Saturday and will welcome Gainsborough Trinity to the Leasing.com Stadium, where Macclesfield fans will hope the early season momentum can continue.
Match Sponsor – Bear Grills Cafe & Bar
Man Of The Match – Paul Dawson sponsored by HAP Solutions Group
By Kallum Bates