Blues Bow out of Cup
Warrington Rylands FA Cup dreams are on hold for another year after their lost an entertaining evenly matched game 2-1 at fellow NPL Premier Division side Macclesfield.
The hosts enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges with Rylands goalkeeper Luke Pilling tipping a Laurent Mendy shot over the bar and diverting a Luke Duffy shot into the side netting.
Playing in the 3rd qualifying round for the first time in only their 5th year of entry into the competition, Rylands started to come more into the game and took the lead in the 22nd minute.
Dean Furman floated the ball over the Macclesfield defence into the path of Adama Sidibeh; his first touch controlled the ball, the second guided into the bottom corner of the net.
Rylands were only able to hold the lead for 5 minutes as Alex Curran took advantage of a moment’s hesitation in the Rylands defence to level the scores. The red shirted defenders failed to deal with a ball clipped into the area by Duffy allowing Curran to pounce.
Rylands responded with Sidibeh meeting a Clive Smith cross with a header which was cleared off the line, and also drew a fine save from Macclesfield goalkeeper Conor O’Keefe with shot.
Curran, Macclesfield’s leading goal scorer, was given the opportunity to put his side in front in the 38th minute from the penalty spot. A quick free kick was played into the Rylands area, Paul Dawson went down as he pushed the ball past Javid Swaby-Neavin prompting referee Harry Jones to award a penalty.
Pilling dove low to his left to save Curran’s spot kick to ensure the sides went into half time level.
The second half followed a similar pattern to the first half with play switching from end to end of a rain lashed Moss Rose pitch without either side being able to create a clear cut chance, until the game’s deciding moment arrived in the 68th minute. After good build up play, John Rooney received the ball 25 yards out and let fly with a spectacular shot which flew past a diving Pilling.
Macclesfield, who saw shots by Alex Hurst and Curran blocked by desperate defenders, controlled the final stages of the game limiting their visitor’s efforts in finding an equaliser to shots from outside the box.
O’Keefe pulled off to good saves to keep out shots from Swaby-Neavin and Ben Hardcastle, while Joe Piggott and Hardcastle were narrowly off target with shots.
MACCLESFIELD – O’Keefe, Pemberton, Lee, Joshua, Heathcote, Dawson (Hurst), Kengi (Peers), Mendy, Curran (Murphy), Rooney, Duffy, Subs not used Noaln, Johnstone, Fensome, Campbell.
RYLANDS – Pilling, Smith, Swaby-Neavin, Butler, Wilson (Bakkor), Furman, Hardcastle, Neild, Sidibeh, Touray (Piggott), Maieco (Baillie). Subs not used Regan, Hough, Kyffin
Attendance 1,429 Referee Harry Jones