First Away Win As We Stroll Into JPT Area QF
The Alex finally got their first away win of the season with a comfortable 2-4 victory over Macclesfield Town at Moss Rose in the second round of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.
It was as easy as it came for the Railwaymen, the result never really coming into doubt. Macclesfield looked a shadow of the team that had held us to a 1-1 draw (or had we held them?) last week and the pace of Byron Moore, Joel Grant and Clayton Donaldson found it all too easy to carve them open.
Dario took the rather low key game as a chance to try out a new strike force combination, with Shaun Miller suffering from a slight groin strain and Ajay Leitch-Smith needing a rest.
We opened the scoring on 4 minutes through former Alex winger Colin Daniel, who turned in a Clayton Donaldson cross. From there we should have replicated our opening at Chesterfield on Saturday but, instead, we replicated our 'can't lead, won't lead' mentality. Less than ten minutes later, sloppy defending from Lee Bell inside the area caught the Alex cold and somehow Patrick Ada put Matthew Hamshaw's beyond Taylor.
The pace of Byron Moore, who put in another fantastic display after his impressive outing at Chesterfield, set up the Alex's 2nd on the half hour mark. Breaking clear of the Macclesfield defence he was eventually clattered to the floor inside the area just as he got sight on goal. Penalty. Lee Bell cooly fired home, straight down the centre. And I think we've found our new penalty taker.
That lead, somehow, only lasted a minute. Matthew Hamshaw's long throws, which had caused problems throughout the evening, produced the goods. Dropping awkwardly just outside the six yard area, Patrick Ada misjudged his position, sending his 'clearing' header straight past Rhys Taylor. Again.
Matt Tootle should have got us back ahead soon after, a good run and shot bounced out off the cross bar; the closer we got to half time the more we suffered with over playing the ball in the final first. Macclesfield weren't out of it completely either, the defence looking a bit low of confidence - can't think why.
The second half came and Dario's half time team talk did the trick this time, thankfully we didn't look to defend a 2-2 draw. Looking a lot more assured at the back and a lot more cutting up front, the second half was bossed by the Alex.
Little more than three minutes after the restart David Artell produced his soon-to-be-trademarked-header-from-a-set-piece. Four already this season from the big man, from centre back and all. Just what we've been after all these years!
Pace, flair and a lot of quick passing was giving Macclesfield little chance of getting back into the match and when Joel Grant was put through on goal, the Jamaican finished the Silkmen off in style.
We could have added more but Donaldson doesn't seem like scoring any time soon whilst Westwood should have had at least the one. As the clock ticked on, the Alex settle for the four and eased off the gas.
Full time and it was smiles all round. 1,103 on the gate and at least 600 of those were from South Cheshire. A good following for a meaningless trophy (for another round, at least).
For the team it was a much needed win. Our first win in five games, our first away success of the season and Chesterfield can now be a distant memory/nightmare; we can look forward to the visit of Torquay with a bit of confidence.
The goals are flowing again, though the defence is a tad leakier than it was a couple of weeks ago. Still a bit to work on but still plenty to look forward to.
UP THE MIGHTY RAILWAYMEN.