Game 44 of the season
With Macclesfield finding themselves on the fringes of the play-offs and protecting an unbeaten home record and the visitors deep in trouble, this game appeared a home banker. The scoreline will back this assertion up, but for much of the game there was little to choose between the sides, as an Alfreton side that lack quality kept plugging away, without truly threatening to upset the hosts.
Alfreton have managed to add to their squad in the last week, and saw Byrne and Johnson thrown in to try and continue the Reds good recent form at the Moss Rose. While they may have lost players from last season, most notably John Akinde who is scoring regularly for Barnet; Alfreton remained a physically imposing side and opened with an energy that threatened to disrupt Macclesfield’s play.
With almost a quarter of an hour gone and very little to choose between the sides, Scott Barrow scored a wonderful individual effort to put Macclesfield ahead. The BBC have been incredibly understated in their description of the strike “Scott Barrow beat three Alfreton players to score”. The reality (despite my blue bias) is that he picked up the ball in the left full-back position, powered past the first challenge, skipped between two players on the half way line and wrong footed the centre half and goalkeeper to calmly slot home a cracking effort.
Please feel free to click below, have a look at the goal and make your mind up:
The middle portion of the game seemed to go very slowly, with both sides struggling to string passes together or make any clear cut opportunities. It certainly wasn’t for a lack of effort, with Moke in particular hurtling up and down the right flank all afternoon.
Alfreton did look a fairly limited side, although it was heartening to see that they continued to try and play football for the most part. Karl Hawley cut a frustrated figure upfront however and was unable to find a clear route to goal. Ironically, Alfreton’s came closest from a high free kick, which Keane glanced just over the angle of post and bar.
The second goal came gift wrapped, a horrendous mix-up saw Alfreton block their own clearance and the ball fall back into the path of Waide Fairhurst. Despite a tight angle, the striker pounced on his opportunity and made the final five minutes a formality for Macclesfield.
I may be getting greedy having awarded this a 5/10, considering an 80 yard solo run and goal, a clean sheet, going 4th in the league and taking 3 points; but for much of the 90 minutes it was scrappy and definitely a case of grinding out three points.
Entertainment = 5/10