24th November 2018

In a tightly contested opening 45 minutes both sides enjoyed spells of pressure that came close to opening the scoring.

Yoann Arquin and Gary Warren both had goals ruled out for the visitors whilst Harry Smith suffered the same fate at the other end as the score stayed goalless at the halfway stage.

In a tighter affair after the restart chances were at a premium before former Glover Michael Rose gave the Silkmen a late lead from the penalty spot.

In action for the first time in a fortnight, Darren Way made five changes to the side that crashed out of the Emirates FA Cup which included new signing Adel Gafaiti. 

The Algerian defender, signed on a short-term contract, replaced Carl Dickinson in the starting eleven whilst the experienced Warren returned from injury to take the captain’s armband and Shaun Donnellan’s spot in the centre of defence. 

Adding yet more experience, Stuart Nelson claimed his first league start of the campaign since returning to fitness as Chelsea loanee Nathan Baxter dropped to the bench. 

Completing the changes, club captain Francois Zoko – now back to full fitness – was handed his first start since August and partnered the recalled Yoann Arquin up top as Alex Fisher (groin) and Olufela Olomola (hamstring) were both ruled out to join James Bailey (knee), Omar Sowunmi (ankle), Jordan Green (hamstring), Diallang Jaiyesimi (knee) and Alefe Santos (ill) on the sidelines.  

On a crisp afternoon in Cheshire the reshuffled Town side began in confident manner by bossing the early play as they looked to get back to winning ways. 

As early as the fifth minute Arquin had the ball in the net following some neat build-up play only for the linesman’s flag to rule out the potential opener for offside, before Wes McDonald’s cross-cum-shot grazed the crossbar inside the opening 10 minutes.

The diminutive winger saw most of the ball in an attacking sense for the green and whites and as the pressure continued to grow, his strike after cutting in from the left lacked the accuracy to test Kieran O’Hara. 

After a spell on the back foot the Silkmen had to wait until the 15th minute for their first opportunity, as a breakaway led to Ryan Lloyd’s cross being drilled into the side netting by Elliott Durrell. 

Buoyed by their opening chance the league’s bottom club enjoyed a spell of dominance which twice went close to breaking the deadlock. 

Danny Whitaker’s stooping header took a wicked deflection off of Gafaiti that required a suberb reflex save from Nelson to hook the ball off the line, a chance that only just preceded Smith having a goal ruled out for offside midway through the half. 

Looking threatening, Durrell pounced on a loose ball on the edge of the box to flash a first-time strike inches wide whilst at the other end Alex Pattison forced O’Hara to parry his strike from a tight angle in an entertaining opening half-an-hour.

As the clock began to tick towards the break the Glovers again thought they’d made it 1-0 only for the officials to rule otherwise. 

Firstly, Tom James’ stunning free-kick from 35 yards out had to be tipped over by O’Hara and from the resulting corner, Warren emphatically headed home only for referee Peter Marsden to blow for a foul in the build-up to ensure it stayed goalless at the halfway stage.

The swapping of chances continued after the break as neither side was able to find the back of the net. 

Macclesfield squandered two half-chances soon after the restart as Fiacre Kelleher and Ben Stephens both headed wide before the pendulum swung back in Town’s favour. 

A flurry of corners earnt the visitors some territory and following a strong run from Pattison, James Pearson was saved his blushes when O’Hara was down low to get a hand to his defender’s overly vigorous backpass. 

Now into the final 20 minutes opportunities dried up as the importance of the first goal grew before Macclesfield were handed a golden opportunity. 

Durrell was brought down in the box by James following a strong run to give Rose the chance to open the scoring from the penalty spot. 

Keeping his composure the midfielder picked out the bottom corner to give the Cheshire outfit the lead with 72 minutes played. 

Quickly introducing Rhys Browne from the bench the former Macclesfield loanee almost made an instant impact only for O’Hara to smother his shot following a jinking run.

Making a further two changes to introduce attackers Korrey Henry and Omari Patrick the visitors switched to a 3-5-2 formation looking for a way back into the game. 

Faced with a wall of 10 Silkmen who looked to defend their fragile lead Way’s side couldn’t fashion one last chance to suffer defeat on the road in their return to Sky Bet League Two action.

Macclesfield Town: O’Hara; Pearson, Cameron, Kelleher, Fitzpatrick; Durrell, Rose, Whitaker, Lloyd (Vincenti 86′); Stephens (Evans 90′), Smith (Blissett 83′). 
Bookings: Vincenti 90′
Subs not used: Grimes, Wilson, Maycock, Arthur.

Yeovil Town: Nelson; Mugabi, Warren, Gafaiti, James; Gray (Browne 73′), D’Almeida, Pattison, McDonald; Zoko (Henry 78′), Arquin (Patrick 84′).
Bookings: Pattison 20′, D’Almeida 66′
Subs not used: Baxter, Mahmutovic, Dickinson, Rogers.