The Silkmen progressed to the Second Qualifying Round of the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday thanks to a first half Neil Kengni strike at West Didsbury and Chorlton.
The home side started the brighter with Ben Elliott and Curtis Miller causing problems for the Silkmen defence in the early stages – though thankfully not asking too many questions of Marcelo Pitaluga, who was comfortably able to ensure Macc weren’t made to chase the game at any stage.
Laurent Mendy responded with a looping header from James Berry’s corner, which only just cleared Jones’ crossbar.
Just after the half hour mark though, it was Neil Kengni who was the man that made all the difference as he slammed home Tom Clare’s knockdown from close-range.
James Berry continued to ask questions of the hosts’ defence after Kengni’s opener, setting up Brandon Lee and Laurent Mendy, both of whom were unlucky to have not doubled Macc’s lead prior to half time – with Jones being called in to action on both occasions, doing enough to prevent the game from running away from the North West Counties Premier Division side.
An end-to-end second half then followed with both sides creating great chances, but neither able to alter the scoreline following Kengni’s crucial strike.
Neil Danns and Tom Clare made way for Alex Curran and Nicky Maynard respectively mid-way through the half, with the Magic Man exploring different options as the Silkmen looked to double their lead.
Dontai Gabidon and Curtis Miller came close to equalising – thankfully, neither of their efforts were on target. James Berry and Tre Pemberton were then booked for fouls in the latter stages of the half, ensuring that there was no way back for the hosts.
Luke Murphy tried his luck from range with a ferocious volley, although the ball sped just wide of Jones’ far post.
Lewis Fensome thought he had settled the tie with ten minutes to go, as his header found the top corner, though much to his dismay, it was ruled out for offside.
Marcelo Pitaluga was quite happy to take a long-range Elliott strike to the mid-rift deep into the five minutes of stoppage time.
Eventually, the referee’s final whistle was music to Macc ears as our place in the next round was confirmed.
The Silkmen are back in league action on Tuesday evening, making the short journey to Witton Albion where they will look to maintain their 100% record in all competitions.
Macclesfield FC: Pitaluga, Pemberton, Lee, Fensome, Bunney, Mendy, Kengni, Murphy, Clare (Maynard 65’), Danns (Curran 65’), Berry (Bell 85’).
Subs not used: Byrne, Bower, Grimshaw.
By Will Jones.