By Rob Trafford.
A brace from Alex O’Connor proved not to be enough for Macclesfield Town’s Under 21 side this afternoon, as a physical Mossley Juniors side ran out 4 – 2 winners at Ashton Sixth Form College,
In the last of their pre-season friendlies, Macc started the brighter and looked to play fast, intricate football from the off.
Yet with just three minutes on the clock the hosts had broken the stalemate when Mitchell Roach broke free and calmly hammered past Jones in the Macc goal.
The visitors stuck to their guns however and laid siege on the Mossley goal with Pemberton and O’Connor looking particularly dangerous.
Despite some good saves from the Mossley ‘keeper and epic goalmouth scrambles which would just not fall kindly for the lads in blue, it took a world class effort from O’Connor to restore parity.
The youngster hammered a thirty yard free kick from the left, over the makeshift wall and into the top right hand corner of the net.
You will never see a better free kick, by anyone, anywhere.
The Silkmen continued to press yet on 19 minutes Mossley’s lead was restored when Greg Sale’s thirty yard free kick somehow nestled into the near post.
Cue an absolute onslaught by the visitors, as they tried to get back on level terms for the second time.
Rendel had an absolute screamer well tipped over by the Mossley ‘keeper, and Macc were handed a golden opportunity to equalise in the 34th minute when they were awarded a penalty following a heavy challenge in the area.
The spot kick was brilliantly saved however, after the ‘keeper dived to his right and sublimely turned the ball around the bar.
Despite his impressive saves, the Mossley ‘keeper would be left red faced shortly after, as O’Connor’s scuffed shot slid agonisingly under his gloves and into the near post.
It was a shame really, as up until this point the young Mossley stopper had kept his side in the game.
Just before the interval Martyn Irvine breathed a sigh of relief, when a free kick from the right was glanced on to the inside of the far post before being cleared to safety by Okome
The interval brought with it a number of changes for both sides, and less than a minute after the restart Macc’s number 15 audaciously launched a mid-air rabona, which was brilliantly saved by the Mossley ‘keeper.
Macc continued to dominate proceedings, yet would fall behind on 65 mins when the Referee pointed to the spot after it seemed like a Mossley forward had lunged at the Macc centre-back with both feet in the air.
Both sets of players, as well as the decent level of support on the sidelines were bemused by the decision, yet the kick was confidently despatched which gave the hosts the lead.
On 69 minutes the dangerous O’Connor was inches away from his hat-trick, as he smashed the ball towards goal on the edge of the area, and only an acrobatic tip over the bar prevented Macc from equalising for the third time.
Shortly after the deficit was doubled however, when the Mossley number three hit an absolute screamer from twenty five yards out which nestled into the top right hand corner.
Macc did not give up though, and efforts from Pemberton and O’Connor in particular threatened to set up a grandstand finish.
But as the full time whistle blew, Martyn Irvine could be pleased with what he had witnessed ahead of next weekend’s big kick off against Styal.
Macclesfield Town U21’s (Starting XI): Jones, Okome, Anderson, Nolan, Ogundaisi, Kemp, Rendle, O’Connor, Pemberton, Del-Rio, Crosdale