THE BEAST STRIKES AGAIN!
By Lymeview
Friday 14 Apr 2017 22:25:00
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The visit from the Minstermen promised much, not least as a dress rehearsal for our trip to Wembley in May, and added to this was the fact that we badly needed a win to prevent our already slender play-off hopes turning skeletal! The scene was set for an interesting evening. The visitors boasted four ex-Silkmen in their line-up; not least the legendary "Beast" himself Jon Parkin. Adding further spice to the mix, Scott Flinders and Luke Summerfield were both previously with York.

As things turned out the match had all the ingredients of an exciting encounter; spectacular goals, near misses and breath-taking saves! I am sure that any neutral spectator would have gone away feeling he had been entertained while the York following seemed pleased enough as they made their way back over the Pennines. How come then that the Macc faithful seemed less than inspired by the evening's fayre? Had this been the opening game of a new season I am sure that we would have found the positives and argued that had we taken our chances we could have got something out of the game. The trouble is that this was home defeat number nine which is enough to give the most ardent supporter an increasingly jaundiced view.

In many ways the first six minutes were a taste of what was to come. Danny Whitaker, who was impressive throughout fed Mitch Hancox and Chris Holroyd sliding in, just failed to connect with the full backs perfect low cross. One minute later and we were a goal down. It came from a simple long ball down the middle. Parkin played a clever pass to Heslop who struck, in the words of Danny Whitaker, "an absolute worldy" from 30 yards into the top corner. It was a super goal but perhaps questions could be asked about the defending with young Dudley failing to track back with the goal scorer.

Macc continued to push forward with both full backs getting involved. Andy Halls put in a great cross but again Chris Holroyd could not quite get there first to turn the ball in. After fifteen minutes York striker Oliver got the home side into "another fine mess", beating Flinders with a clever finish with the outside of his right foot. Once again Parkin was involved making it difficult for McCombe to clear another long ball down the middle. When the ball was played back into the penalty area Oliver was too strong for Mitch Hancox and the finish was top drawer. Macc's best effort of the first half came from Ollie Norburn when his swirling drive was beaten out by former England under 21 ‘keeper Scott Loach. A few years ago Loach saved a penalty taken by Martin Gritton when playing for Morecambe against Macc.

The second half started in lively fashion with chances at both ends. Hancox and Summerfield set up a good opportunity for Dudley but he delayed his shot too long. Then, after good work from Halls, Luke Summerfield saw his well struck drive deflected over the bar. Scott Flinders then kept Macc in the game with a wonderful double save reminiscent of Jim Montgomery in 1973. Flinders got down quickly saving from Parkin and when Morgan-Smith looked certain to score; the big ‘keeper somehow blocked the follow up shot from point blank range.

On 58 minutes the Silkmen pulled a goal back when Danny Whitaker coolly slotted home from the penalty spot after Dudley's header had been handled. Loach made a number of decent saves and Macc pushed for an equaliser, the best of which was a double stop to match that from Flinders earlier. First he flung himself to his right to make a one handed save to deny Chris Holroyd and as the ball ran loose he beat out Mitch Hancox's fierce angled drive. Inevitably it was Jon Parkin who had the last word bundling home a late goal after Macc had failed to deal with a long throw.

Ratings for this game are tricky as most of the players had their moments, but in the end York took their chances and we did not. Add to that is that in big Jon Parkin; York had the best player on the pitch.

Scott Flinders 7.0: I would not blame Flinders for the first two goals and I am not sure he was at fault for the third. He did make two excellent saves.

Andy Halls 7.0: Andy won some important tackles and supplied dangerous crosses from the right.

George Pilkington 6.0: Both our central defenders were given a tough time by Parkin. 'Pilks' did try to commit their midfielder by bringing the ball out of defence which was good to see.

John McCombe 6.0: There were plenty of headed clearances but like 'Pilks' (and many other centre backs down the years), he found that man Parkin a tricky customer!

Mitch Hancox 6.0: Mitch had his moments having been denied a goal by Loach and set up two good chances. His distribution was not always up to his usual standards though and he could perhaps have been stronger for their second goal.

Rhys Browne 6.0: Rhys was another who played well in parts. Notably a saving tackle in the first half and a clever pass to help set up a chance for Holroyd. He seemed to disappear for long periods however.

Ollie Norburn 8.0: Looked a class player again. He was always wanting the ball and trying to set up attacks. Ollie was my Man of the Match!

Danny Whitaker 7.5: Danny was close to his best. There were numerous things to admire about his game but the cross leading to the penalty was a good example of the sort of quality he can still provide.

Luke Summerfield 6.5: No lack of effort and some quality moments but on the night the least effective of our midfield trio. It seemed to me at times that Luke was maybe trying a bit too hard against his former team mates.

Anthony Dudley 5.0: Anthony put in a couple of shots on target and "won" the penalty. He tended to lose the ball a little too easily at times however. This was not one of his better days but he has ability and he remains an interesting prospect.

Chris Holroyd 5.0: Despite looking a bit jaded Chris could easily have bagged a hat-trick! It is a while since he scored though and his form has dipped a little.

Substitutions

Jack Mackreth 6.0: Didn't really make much impact coming on as a sub for Summerfield.



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