MACCLESFIELD FC 5, ASHTON UNITED 0
A bumper crowd of 3,222 saw Macclesfield FC, one of the title favourites in Northern Premier League, premier, cruise to victory over Ashton United on a scorching hot day at the Leasing.com Stadium.
Ashton, who have slipped to ninth place, fielded Marcus Cusani at left back and welcomed Luke Carroll-Burgess back into midfield, but made the worst possible start as just four minutes in Alex Byrne’s back pass came off centre back Dan Cowan’s foot for Paul Dawson to burst into the area and slide home the opener.
Eight minutes later and after Neil Kengni failed to get any meaningful contact on Alex Curran’s far post cross, the Robins could have equalised as Luke Burke’s right-wing cross came back off the crossbar and was then rolled against the post by Brad Abbott with the rebound landing in the grateful arms of goalkeeper Conor O’ Keefe.
A quick move then saw Dawson’s pass give Kengni a clear sight of goal with keeper Luke Simpson out well to block, but this was only a temporary reprieve as Laurent Mendy strode forward out of defence and when he released the ball to Curran, Mitchell Rose’s challenge was deemed a penalty with Curran himself converting confidently.
The visitors brought on Louis Potts at the interval but once again were the architects of their own downfall as a long ball from the back saw hesitation between Burke and Simpson allowing left winger Luke Duffy to nip in leaving himself with an open goal to run the ball home.
Ten minutes into the half and Curran was back in the action as a ball into the area allowed him to show neat control turning past Sean Newton before providing a neat left foot finish.
Substitute Leon Arnasalam then caused Simpson to spill his shot which was cleared for a throw in.
By now Mendy seemed to have free reign and a great run into the box saw Kengni’s pass pick him out with his left foot effort flying wide but with seven minutes left Kengni sidefooted home the goal his performance deserved from Dawson’s square pass following a left wing delivery from Arnasalam.
Ashton United: Simpson, Cowan, Newton, Caroll-Burgess, Burke, Rose, Byrne, Abbott (Adams
53), Gilchrist (Potts 46), Lowe (Bianga 60), Cusani. Sub (unused): Robbins.
Attendance: 3,222 (92 visitors).
Report: David Robinson.