MATCH REPORT: MACCLESFIELD 3 V 2 RUNCORN LINNETS

Drama right at the end of a scintillating Cheshire derby saw Macclesfield defeat Runcorn Linnets and edge one step closer to NPL West glory.

Head Coach Neil Danns made one enforced change from last Saturday’s victory at Newcastle Town as Sam Grimshaw replaced the injured Brandon Lee.

It was the Silkmen who started the brighter with Dan Sweeney having the first chance as he fired over on the half-volley from Mark Duffy’s corner.

Neil Kengni and James Hardy were both denied by good defensive blocks by the Linnets backline as Macc dictated the early stages of the game.

Danns’ side came close to taking the lead as Luke Murphy’s deflected shot from range almost sends Taberner the wrong way, but the keeper adjusted brilliantly to make a stunning low save.

Macclesfield did take the lead 10 minutes before the break as Murphy’s brilliant cross to the back post was headed home by Dan Sweeney for his first Silkmen goal.

The former Bromsgrove man fancied his chances of a second as he won the ball back in the middle of the park before driving forward and firing over from distance.

Some intricate play down the left just after the break as Grimshaw, Alex Curran, and James Hardy combined before Curran struck low but easily gathered by Taberner.

Runcorn were well in the game in the second half and had a chance to equalise as Oliver McFadyen was one on one with Wyll Stanway, but the Silkmen shot stopper closed the angle well.

Moments later, Linnets levelled the game as Ryan Brooke headed a cross out of the reach of Stanway to give the visitors a deserved equaliser.

Macclesfield retook the lead in thunderous fashion as Alex Curran went on his own before firing a super strike into the top corner to continue his good form.

Just three minutes from time, Runcorn equalised again as Lewis Doyle’s cross to the back post beat Stanway and went straight in.

The drama was only just beginning as the hosts were awarded a penalty when Kane Drummond was brought down by Taberner in the dying embers.

Curran was the man to step up and confidently stroked the ball into the top corner to win the game for the Silkmen.

A crazy ending to the game saw Neil Danns’ side take one step closer to NPL West glory as they piled the pressure on the chasing pack.

Macclesfield: Stanway, Pemberton, Grimshaw, Fensome, Mendy, Murphy, Kengni, Duffy (75), Sweeney (80), Hardy (69), Curran

Subs: Thorpe, Drummond, Maynard       

Unused Subs: Cowan, Massanka

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