(18-8-15) Lincoln 5-3 Macclesfield (Vanarama National League)

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Game number 9 of the season

The 4th game of the season for the Silkmen, after taking 4 points from their last 2 home games. A visit to Lincoln never really fills the average Macc fan with much hope however, with just 2 victories in the last 20 visits to Sincil bank, only one of which I have been lucky enough to see.

This was another game for me watching from the press box, and it certainly kept us all busy on social media and the radio, with 8 goals and chances galore throughout the whole 90 minutes. The game opened in typically cagey fashion with neither team taking much of a chance in possession. However it soon burst to life as the away team scored 2 excellent headers from pinpoint Paul Turnbull set pieces, to find themselves with a 2 goal cushion after just 6 minutes; Dennis and Lewis the scorers.

Lincoln looked all at sea for both goals, but they showed a fighting spirit which was to see the game completely turned on its head in a 20 minute spell. Football is often cruel, and so it proved as the 93 away fans never really had chance to enjoy their lead. First Hearn rose from a corner, to head past Jalal, with 4 Macclesfield players in close attendance. Then came a quiet spell as the game settled down for the first time since the opening whistle. Lincoln were the better side by this point, and they used width well to move the ball around and disrupt the shape of the Macc side.

It looked like Macc had weathered the spell of pressure, only for an uncharacteristic error from George Pilkington to gift Hearn his second on 24 minutes. This time the away side crumbled, and before they think about holding on until half time, Rhead was able to rise above Byrne and deposit a fine header into the bottom right corner of Jalal’s goal.

Thankfully the remainder of the half passed without Lincoln adding to their tally, although Macc struggled to get any sustained possession going, with Sampson isolated upfront and Whitaker struggling to make any impact in the midfield. Their task was made virtually impossible just after half time, as more awful defending saw Rhead escape the close attentions of Byrne and Cowan, before poking the ball home from 10 yards.

The humiliation was complete in the 73rd minute, as Hearn notched his hatrick after a terrible attempted back-header from Turnbull fell short, allowing the striker to finish well past sub ‘keeper Branagan. Only with the introductions of Rowe and Whitehead did Macc look to pose any threat going forward. Numerous opportunities came and went as Lincoln switched off in the last 15 minutes, however it took until the last minute for a consolation goal, as Dennis was awarded too much space from a Cowan throw-in and he managed to drill the ball into the bottom corner of the net.

A disappointing trip over to Lincoln for the Silkmen, who squandered a 2-0 lead to come away with nothing. There is a pressing need to address their issues on the road, both to take pressure of home matches, and to ensure that this will not be a campaign to keep looking over our shoulders at the relegation zone.

Entertainment – 6/10

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