Tuesday 12th April
The Macron Cup Round 3
Macclesfield 4 Brocton 1
Brocton travelled to NWCFL Champions Macclesfield without both Alex Curtis and Jack Bostock who were out of the country. Reg Smith led the line in his 102nd appearance after changing his flight plans to be back for the game. Macclesfield fielded a strong side as they hunted a league and cup double.
The Badgers started superbly and had the ball in the net inside four minutes. A corner was partially cleared as far as Christian Blanchette, and his shot flew into the corner of the net. Inexplicably, the linesman flagged for offside with Smith supposedly in an offside position affecting the goalkeeper’s line of sight. The only official that could have seen this was the referee and he was happy to award the goal until the frantic waving of the flag alerted him. Brocton had another good chance in the eight minute. A pinpoint ball from Adam Weldon picked out Blanchette however he tried to play in Will Finlay rather than taking a shot at goal and the chance went begging. Macclesfield responded in emphatic style by taking the lead in the 12th minute. There was some fortune in the goal as a fierce shot from James Berry-McNally deflected off Brocton skipper Kenny Devoir, wrongfooting Tony Allsopp and flying into the net. There was nothing fortunate about the second goal two minutes later. Aaron Dwyer cut in from the right, found space and curled a superb left-footed shot over Allsopp into the top corner. With Brocton reeling, Macclesfield wasted no time in grabbing their third in the 17th minute. Dwyer fed Max Bardsley-Rowe who skipped past Weldon and his inch perfect cross was headed into the net by Berry-McNally, at the far post. Berry-McNally was a real thorn in Brocton’s side, and after picking up a loose ball from Brad Rolston, he raced clear but decided to square the ball rather than taking on Allsopp. Bardsley-Rowe and Dwyer combined again on the right, Dwyer cutting onto his favoured left foot and curling just over. To their credit, Brocton gathered themselves and tightened up at the back. Dwyer again tried an attempt on goal, this time forcing a comfortable save from Allsopp. The Impressive Macclesfield skipper, Laurent Mendy, picked up the ball and went on a direct run towards goal with his shot rebounding off Allsopp before being gathered at the 2nd attempt. With three minutes remaining in the half, Berry-McNally went close again. He beat Rolston and from a narrow angle curled a shot inches past the post. Brocton were awarded a free-kick on a rare foray forward with Smith off target with his effort. In stoppage time, that man Berry-McNally raced clear with his cross just over the head of Tom Clare.
Half-Time: Macclesfield 3 Brocton 0
The half-time team talk in the Brocton dressing room worked wonders as they pulled a goal back within a minute of the restart. An excellent cross from the right by Blanchette, was turned home by Smith, sliding in, in front of keeper Samuel Ashton. It could so easily have been two for Brocton just two minutes later. A superb cross from Substitute Dan Evans picked out Blanchette at the far post but it was just too far in front of him to get a good contact. Berry-McNally again got away from the Brocton defence only to be fouled by Rolston who was booked. Macclesfield continued to be dangerous down the flanks and a cross from Dwyer was superbly gathered by Allsopp. Berry-McNally wasted a good chance for his hat-trick when firing over the bar from a good position. In the 55th minute, Brocton were inches away from a second. A superb cross from Rolston, was met on the volley by Finlay with his shot skimming the bar. Macclesfield wasted a glorious chance for their fourth in the 62nd minute. A left wing cross from Brandon Lee picked out striker Clare but he cleared the bar when, perhaps, he should have hit the target. Four minutes later, Clare went even closer. A great run and cross from Lee was met with a header from Clare and Allsopp pulled off a fine point blank save. Brocton were still well and truly in the game and a shot from Smith took a deflection to take it away from goals. The home side made it four with fifteen minutes remaining. Former Sandbach United striker Bobbie McDonnell, on as sub, played the ball into the path of Clare and this time his shot gave Allsopp no chance. In the 84th minute, Berry-McNally raced into the box and went down under a challenge from Tom Vaughan. It was no surprise to anyone, based on some of the other decision, when the referee pointed to the spot. Berry-McNally himself took the penalty and, rather fittingly, it was superbly saved by Allsopp. Brocton’s final chance of the game was created by Smith, who skipped to the by-line, pulled it back for Cam Jackson and he was blocked as he attempted to shoot. Two minutes into stoppage time, a cross from Berry-McNally was tipped over the bar by Allsopp, the resulting corner coming to nothing. The final whistle went sending Macclesfield deservedly into the quarter final, but the young Badgers can be proud of their efforts in going toe to toe with the champions.
Full-Time: Macclesfield 4 Brocton 1 Attendance:530
Macclesfield; Samuel Ashton, Max Bardsley-Rowe (Liam McColl 84), Brandon Lee, Marco Fregapane, Lewis Fensome, Laurent Mendy, Aaron Dwyer (Jelanil Blake 69), Callum West (Bobbie McDonnell 71), Tom Clare, Mark Duffy, James Berry-McNally. Subs (Not Used): Harvey Smith, Nathan Beca
Brocton: Tony Allsopp, Brad Rolston, Adam Weldon (Dan Evans 45), Kenny Devoir, Tom Vaughan, Ben Haddaway, Will Finlay (Cam Osborne 64), Jake Thomas, Reg Smith, Connor Haddaway, Christian Blanchette (Cam Jackson 77). Subs (Not Used): Luke Haddaway, Jake Triggs
Yellow Cards: Berry-McNally (Macclesfield); Rolston, Devoir, Blanchette (Brocton)