SILKMEN FIRE BLANKS WHILST SHOTS FIRE AHEAD!
By crazyjoe
Friday 14 Apr 2017 22:15:00
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The Silkmen welcomed the Shots to the Moss Rose, hoping to build upon the excellent away win at Chester in midweek and continue their push towards the play-offs. Their visitors were on a good run themselves, having won their last two games to sit just outside the play-off places in sixth. John Askey rang the changes with George Pilkington, Kingsley James and Chris Holroyd returning to the starting line-up in place of Danny Whitaker, John McCombe and Anthony Dudley.

Aldershot had clearly done their homework and almost immediately pressed high up the pitch to try and stop Macc from building from the back. Despite this and with Luke Summerfield prominent; the Silkmen began brightly, switching play from side to side in an attempt to create a clear cut opportunity. Both Jack Mackreth and Rhys Browne saw plenty of the ball at this point, with Browne having the better of the argument with right back Arnold, on one occasion skipping round the back of the defence into the area, but his dangerous cross proved to be too high for both Holroyd and Mackreth. Mackreth, however got very little change out of Shots left back Straker and failed to build on his excellent midweek performance against Chester when he had a hand in two of the goals.

As the half wore on Aldershot came more into the argument with both Benyu and Kanu causing moments of consternation for the Silkmen rearguard. Benyu fired over when well placed and Silkmen custodian Scott Flinders dealt comfortably with a Kellerman effort as the Shots looked to break the deadlock. The Silkmen for their part forced a series of corners which were comfortably dealt with by the Shots defence. Right on half-time Benyu had the ball in the Silkmen net as he fired in across Flinders from the left hand edge of the box. Thankfully for the Silkmen, the linesman had his flag raised and the first period ended goalless, with the Silkmen having failed to get a shot on target throughout the entire first half.

The second half begun with the Silkmen and the Shots looking to step up the pace; both clubs needing more than a point if their play-off ambitions were to be realised. Kingsley James was the first to try his luck but his long range effort was comfortably gathered by Cole. Aldershot came back into contention with both Kellerman and Mensah making dangerous forward runs from midfield, which tested the Silkmen defence. It was from one such Mensah run that the Shots opened the scoring. Mensah glided past two Silkmen, drawing both Byrne and Pilkington out of position, before slipping the ball cleverly through to Benyu, who coolly guided the ball past Flinders into the bottom corner on 59 minutes.

Almost immediately John Askey rang the changes, bringing on both Whitaker and Dudley for James and Mackreth as the Silkmen searched for an equaliser. However, the Silkmen lacked cohesion and frequently gave the ball away as too often players went for the money ball, rather than trying to patiently build an attack. There was plenty of huffing and puffing, but little end product as the Silkmen failed to trouble Cole. As the game went on it seemed there was only going to be one winner and the Shots made certain of all three points by doubling their lead in the 83rd minute. Another dangerous run by Mensah saw him set up Gallagher whose shot was parried by Flinders, only for substitute McClure to react quickest and force the ball home.

All too late the Silkmen pushed forward and Chris Holroyd finally shook himself free of Evans - who had spent most of the afternoon hanging onto Chris by all means fair, but mainly foul - and his angled drive finally brought a save out of Cole. It was however too little, too late and brought to an end what had been in the main, a very disappointing Silkmen performance.


CJs Scores on the doors;

Scott Flinders 6.0: No real chance with either goal. His distribution was however again very wayward.

Andy Halls 6.0: A steady performance though was troubled at times by Kanu's pace.

Neill Byrne 6.0: A reasonable performance defensively, though was not allowed the time to distribute effectively from the back.

George Pilkington 7.0: George was the one of only a couple of players who didn't look out of sorts.

David Fitzpatrick 6.0: A very in and out performance from the normally reliable ‘Fitz'. There were some good moments going forward tempered with some wayward distribution which isn't like him.

Jack Mackreth 5.0: Jack failed to build on an excellent effort against Chester and failed to trouble Straker.

Kingsley James 6.0: Kingsley had some good moments but failed to stamp himself on the game.

Luke Summerfield 6.5: Luke started well and had a decent first half, but failed to have anywhere near the same effect after the break.

Ollie Norburn 6.0: Ollie was another who began well, but who had very little say after the break.

Rhys Browne 7.0: Rhys provided the few dangerous moments we had with some decent runs which saw him get behind the defence on a couple of occasions. However, on both occasions the crosses came to nought.

Chris Holroyd 6.0: Chris works hard and today was no exception, although he found life difficult against big centre back Evans. In fairness to Chris on another day Evans would have had two yellow cards by half-time.

Substitutions

Danny Whitaker 5.0: Danny couldn't really get into the game and again I noticed was pushed wide on the left where in my opinion he is totally ineffective.

Anthony Dudley 5.0: Anthony impressed me against Chester, but today in spite of plenty of effort had very little influence on proceedings.

This was a disappointing afternoon for the Silkmen, which saw us slip further behind the play-off contenders, whereas Aldershot put themselves right in the thick of things. My Man of the Match was George Pilkington, one of only a couple of players who looked anywhere near their best.



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