Rooney treble sinks blues
There was no happy start to the New Year for Warrington Rylands as they failed to close the gap on league leaders Radcliffe, losing to fellow promotion candidates Macclesfield.
An entertaining game started with Rylands on the front foot with Macclesfield centre half Sam Heathcote receiving a 4th minute yellow card for hauling down Adama Sidibeh. The visitors goalkeeper Dylan Berry saved James Baillie’s free kick, and did well to beat away a Sidibeh shot from close range a minute later while Sidibeh’s follow up was blocked by a desperate defender.
In a frantic opening period former Rylands player Kane Drummond ran onto a through ball which split the Rylands defence wide open, but with the goal at his mercy struck an upright.
The visitors took the lead in the 13th minute when Luke Duffy burst past a couple of defenders, his cross ricocheted around the six yard box before John Rooney turned the ball home from close range.
Rooney double his sides lead 9 minutes later drilling a free kick into the bottom corner of the net after Drummond went down on the edge of the area.
Rylands began to regain control of the game with Baillie having a shot deflected onto the roof of the net for a corner from which James Neild headed wide.
Neild halved the deficit in the 35th minute from another corner after a Baillie shot had been deflected wide. Baillie’s set piece delivery was met at the near post by Neild whose flicked header landed in the far side of the net.
Rooney went close to completing his hat-trick just before half time but was denied by James Butler and Neil Kengi’s follow up shot was well held by goalkeeper Luke Pilling.
Rylands drew level 8 minutes into the second half. Drummond burst into the Rylands box but was disposed by Butler’s tackle; Dean Furman completed the clearance moving the ball forward to Mo Touray who played in Sidibeh. Rylands leading goal scorer made no mistake driving his shot past Berry.
Both sides were looking to take the advantage with play switching from end to end, Touray had two shots just off target but it was Rooney who struck the decisive blow in the 71st minute.
Rylands were struggling to clear the ball from their area when it fell to Rooney who smashed it through a packed penalty area to complete his hat-trick.
Rooney had the chance to make it four for the afternoon on the 90th minute mark but his double attempts were blocked as Macclesfield tried to see out the game as Rylands pushed forward in search of an equaliser, which almost came deep into stoppage time when they were awarded a free kick on the edge of the Macclesfield area but Joe Adams’ kick flew over the bar.
WARRINGTON RYLANDS: Pilling Smith Swaby-Neavin Butler Neild Furman Baillie (Adams) Hough (Touray) Hardcastle Sidibeh Hardcastle Uche (Pedro); Subs not used: Regan, Hurst
MACCLESFIELD: Berry, Pemberton, Lee, Fensome, Heathcote (Niasse), Dawson, Kengi (Owolabi), Mendy, Drummond (Hurst) Rooney, Duffy. Subs not used Murphy, Curran
Refeeree: Alexander Beckett
Man of the match selected by match sponsors Jobfinity – Adama Sidibeh