New management team, same old story. United struggle to create chances and give away a Sunday league goal that literally hurts my head to think about!
The first half starts with little action, until the Murphy non-decision (see key moment) does nothing for our mood or the players momentum. After that the Silkmen control the lions share of the half, with us sitting too deep and inviting pressure. A tremendous point blank save from Dorel keeps things level, it looked a definite goal in Bristows!
The 2nd half sees the introduction of McQuiod to attack down the left. However, we have a compete liability on the pitch at left back and his name is Myles! The defender turns blind and provides their attacker a simple chance to round Dorel and tap in. All too familiar shambles from our defence.
After that there is some chances here and there – mainly from Luke’s set pieces. Gowling and Reid come fairly close, but there is little cohesion or confidence and our performance finishes with a whimper as passes go astray. If Owers wasn’t sure what a big job he has on his hands, he knows now.
Efete 7 Gowling 6 McGinty 4 Anderson 2
Myrie-Williams 5 Young 5 Evans 5 Reid 5
Subs: McQuoid 5.5 Higgins 5 Keatings 4
Man of the Match:
It’s generally not a good sign when your keeper is a shoe-in for MOM, and this is no different. Dorel makes two excellent saves in the first half and is calm under crosses. The keeper has been one constant plus in recent weeks and Ryan may have a job on his hands to get his place back!
Not spoilt for choice so I won’t talk for long on this subject! Michee Efete has a decent game, he is a big strong lad who defends well, wins headers and also bursts forward several times with pace and power. Definitely a lad who brings something to the table, and more than capable of playing at our level.
McQuoid looks a decent prospect on the wing; a player certain to start next week I would have thought.
Owers goes with four at the back and initially a midfield three of Young, Evans and Gray, whilst Murphy is isolated in attack. Sympathy for Gray who is a bit lost and simply doesn’t know where to be, before making way for McQuoid at the interval.
Overall the midfield lack the guile to trouble their opposition, and George D cannot come back quick enough. The second half sees Murphy joined by first Reid and then Ruairi. It does make us slightly more threatening…slightly!
The Silkmen have unsurprisingly better understanding than us and also much more composure and quality on the ball. For all their possession they don’t have loads of chances, but Macclesfield are another mid-table team who are good enough to turn us over.
Scott Wilson causes problems for our dithering defence, whilst at the back Keith Lowe wins most challenges. A well set-up team who should finish in the top half of the table, though maybe not challenging for promotion.
The Ref actually makes the right calls for most of the match, but for me he gets a very big one wrong. That is of course the challenge on Murphy by the Macclesfield keeper. It’s looks a stone wall free kick and sending off, and we are stunned when nothing is given. We shouldn’t stunned, incidents like that rarely go our way – or so it seems.
Two key moments. Murphy gets on the end of a through-ball, nicks it past the keeper and looks to be fouled outside the area. He actually could have made sure of things by side-footing the ball home and I’m sure he regrets not doing just that. The whole ground expects a free kick and red card, but the ref is unmoved.
The second moment is when Myles gifts Wilson a goal just after half time. Why why why he does it I don’t know, not even looking to check where the striker is and playing it blind. It’s another terrible defensive decision in a season so far littered with them. I don’t want to see Anderson at left back again (or in the team for that matter). McGinty also has a very poor game alongside him, and Macclesfield get down that side far too easily.
Is the new striker the answer to our goalscoring troubles? Well it’s difficult to tell today. Rhys has his moments, and is clearly trying to get to know his team-mates. He won’t win lots in the air and needs support alongside him, but wants to make runs on the shoulders of defenders which is encouraging.
A guy who needs match fitness and the right partner – not sure who that would be right now. Maybe Ruairi, if the young man can trace his own confidence.
It’s a disappointing debut for the new management team and another depressing afternoon in Bristow’s. The eleven (+ subs) just aren’t aggressive enough, too often space is granted to the away team and we do not play like a team desperate to pick up points.
Sure, it’s a team struggling to find an understanding but we need to fight harder and also play on the front foot. Too timid again, letting the opposition dictate and making simple errors at the back. It’s a recipe for disaster and Owers will have to demand much better.
If the Murphy decision had gone our way things may have different, and it may take a slice of lady luck to turn this terrible run around.
Meanwhile we can only hope that Owers can knit together this squad of strangers and locate a cohesion, identity and purpose to our play very soon – before (dare I say) it’s too late.
Away 30th September