MACCLESFIELD FC 4, RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 0
Macclesfield FC’s manager David McNabb and his assistant Tom Lees left their posts shortly after the emphatic home win against Ramsbottom United stretched their lead at the top of Northern Premier League, west division.
It was an extraordinary turn of events as they had only been appointed at the end of October to replace Danny Whittaker who was sacked with the team top of the table.
When McNabb did not appear for his post-match press conference, speculation started to mount, especially as word filtered through that a statement was being prepared.
And not long afterwards, it was released, stating: “Macclesfield FC can confirm that manager David McNabb and assistant manager Tim Lees have stepped down from their roles following this afternoon’s game against Ramsbottom United.
“Both David and Tim have taken this difficult decision in the best interests of the football club as their work demands have meant that they no longer feel that they can devote the necessary time to our promotion push.
“David and Tim will be incredibly hard to replace, and we would like to thank them for all their efforts most sincerely.
“Both individuals are fantastic people, and their work ethic is second to none. They will be sorely missed by us all and we wish them both every success in the future.”
McNabb and Lee certainly left on a high as the Silkmen secured a seventh win from their nine games in charge in which they suffered only one loss, sweeping past next-to-bottom Ramsbottom.
James Berry was denied by a fine save from Ramsbottom goalkeeper Harry Turner, an early warning for the visitors who fell behind in the 18th minute at the Leasing.com Stadium.
Nicky Maynard, who played in the Premier League for West Ham, broke the deadlock with his ninth goal of the season the day before his 36th birthday.
A neat lay-off from James Hardy found Maynard who stroked a shot low past Turner from the edge of the box in an opening period when both sides played the elements as much as each other as there was persistent snow.
And at half time, there was the sight of director Robbie Savage joining groundstaff on the pitch to clear snow from the lines. Fair play to the former Wales international for getting stuck in.
The second half saw Macc’s supremacy tell as they are effectively full time, a hybrid model in which they train three morning a week, and their superior fitness showed as well as their class and pedigree.
There was a time in the second half when they had Neil Danns, Luke Murphy, Mark Duffy and Maynard – with more than 2,000 professional matches between them – on the pitch.
Macc doubled their advantage six minutes after the restart when Berry raced clear from halfway and rounded Turner to score his 12th of the season on the former Wigan Athletic and Hull City player’s 22nd birthday.
Berry provided the assist for Macc’s third midway through the second period, threading a pass to release Neil Kengni who raced clear to nick the ball past the advancing Turner, his seventh of the season.
Macc’s fourth with 20 minutes left rounded off a miserable afternoon for the visitors as Ramsbottom centre back Kelvin Lugsden put through his own goal as he tried to clear a cross, a finish any striker would have been proud of.
Ramsbottom offered little and their only chance of note came in the first of four added minutes when James Murphy drew a decent save from Macc keeper Wyll Stanway.
But it was a victory which will always be overshadowed by the departures of McNabb and Lees.