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Season 2003-2004 : Macclesfield Town 4 Yeovil Town 1 : Sat 30th August 2003
Nationwide League Division Three : Macclesfield Town 4 Yeovil Town 1
Other reports : Nationwide Football Matters; BBC Sport; MTFC official site; YTFC official site;

Venue: Moss Rose
Saturday 30th August 2003, 3pm kick-off.

Conditions:
Ground:

Scorers: Martin Carruthers (8 mins, 1-0), Danny Whitaker (21 mins, 2-0), Adam Lockwood (63, 2-1), Martin Carruthers (79 mins, 3-1), Danny Whitaker (88 mins, 4-1)

Attendance: 2,221

Referee: Eddie Ilderton (Tyne and Wear)

Assistant Refs: Peter Grove (West Midlands) and David Mort (Lancashire)

Bookings:
Yeovil: Johnson (46 mins, unsporting behaviour), Lockwood (87 mins, unsporting behaviour)
Macclesfield: Carruthers (59 mins, dissent), Adams (87 mins, unsporting behaviour)

Team Line-Ups

Line up : (3-4-1-2) 1. Chris Weale,
2. Adam Lockwood, 14. Roy O'Brien, 5. Colin Pluck,
20. Gavin Williams, 6. Darren Way, 24. Paul Terry, 8. Lee Johnson, 3. Abdelhalim El Kholti,
18. Kirk Jackson 9. Kevin Gall

Subs: 7. Adam Stansfield (78 mins, for Terry), 12. Hugo Rodrigues, 13. Steven Collis, 16. Andy Lindegaard (46 mins, for El Kholti), 23. Jamie Gosling.

Macclesfield Town: 1. Boaz Myhill, 16. George Abbey, 5. Karl Munroe, 6. Steve Macauley, 3. Danny Adams, 4. David Smith, 12. Danny Whitaker, 7. David Flitcroft, 14. Martin Carruthers, 9. Matthew Tipton, 10. John Miles.

Subs: 8. Chris Priest, 11. Tommy Widdrington, 15. Michael Welch (24 mins, for Macauley), 18. Colin Little, 20. Neil Ross.

Badger's View Of The Game

Yeovil Town went into their fifth game of the season making just one change to the side that lost 0-2 against Northampton on Monday. Paul Terry made his first start for the Glovers since signing from Dagenham as he slotted into an orthodox 3-5-2 formation. Andy Lindegaard moved back to the bench as a result.

The Glovers had conceded two early goals in their previous two games and so they needed a good strong start to settle down their nerves. But when things aren't going your way, luck can really play a part in games, and despite a reasonable start, Yeovil found themselves behind after just seven minutes. Martin CARRUTHERS found himself in plenty of space on the right wing, but as he cut inside to shoot, Roy O'Brien moved to block the striker. Unfortunately, O'Brien's leg succeeded in heavily deflecting the home striker's shot such that it looped over goalkeeper Chris Weale and into the net.

If there is a pattern to Division Three sides standards of play, it is that once they grab a lead, nine of the eleven men get stuffed firmly behind the ball and play gets slowed down to as little as they can get away with. With referee Eddie Ilderton in charge, Macclesfield started that straight from the goal, and the result was a frequently interrupted first half.

But despite offering little further threat, the home side extended their lead with their second attack of the game, midway through the first half. A corner was given, despite a clear deflection off a Macclesfield striker, and the half-cleared ball was pumped back in by David Flitcroft. The ball fell in the penalty box to Lee Johnson, and with little support around him, his weak header fell straight to Danny WHITAKER who controlled once and then returned the ball with his other foot straight past Chris Weale.

Little was being carved out for the Yeovil front line to get hold of and the nearest Yeovil came in a fairly poor first half for them, was a right wing corner that saw a Roy O'Brien header lead to a goalmouth melee that saw boots flying in all over the place. Somehow the ball did not drop to any Yeovil player in space.

Half-time: Macclesfield Town 2 Yeovil Town 0

Andy Lindegaard replaced Abdelhalim El Kholti at half time, with the right winger being asked to cover the left wing-back slot. Yeovil started far more brightly than in the first half and immediately pressurised the Macclesfield goal with long range efforts from Kevin Gall and Lee Johnson firmly struck but off the target. The home side suddenly looked jittery and mindful of having tossed away a two goal lead against Bristol Rovers last week, the Macclesfield crowd were hardly a measure of calm.

Those jitters increased when Andy Lindegaard won Yeovil a free kick close to the corner flag. Up stepped Yeovil's free-kick specialist Lee Johnson and whilst the Macclesfield defenders were working out how to defend the free kick, his lofted cross to the back post was met by a totally unmarked Adam LOCKWOOD who headed home from close range. 2-1 and game most definitely on.

Macclesfield still looked dangerous on occasions, though their attacks on the Yeovil goal were by now limited to quick breaks from defence. They had plenty of pace though, and Matthew Tipton should have done better when he got in behind the Yeovil defence but his tame shot was easily saved by Chris Weale. Tipton was also guilty of a further miss when his weak shot went wide after a freeflowing move by the home side. The danger was that the more Yeovil pushed up in search of the equaliser, the greater the chance of one of those moves bearing fruit.

With just 12 minutes left, Gary Johnson decided to go for broke by taking Paul Terry off in favour of Adam Stansfield, who was to play as a right-winger. Unfortunately, Stansfield had not even got within 30 yards of the ball before Macclesfield went 3-1 up. A long bouncing ball travelled straight through the heart of midfield with neither side getting a touch on it, until a one-touch knock-on by John Miles fell straight into the path of Martin CARRUTHERS who had got in behind the Yeovil defence and lashed the ball home to as good as kill the game off.

In the dying minutes of the game, Yeovil should have been awarded a penalty after Adam Lockwood was stamped on inside the area. The situation resulted in a game of push-and-shove between Lockwood and Macclesfield's Danny Adams and the pair were booked for their troubles. Ironically, Adams had not been the player who had delivered the stamp, and instead play restarted with a dropball; one of many poor decisions made by referee Mr Ilderton.

Salt was rubbed into the wound right on the final whistle when a demoralised looking Yeovil side allowed Danny WHITAKER to waltz his way through 40 yards of the Yeovil midfield and have time to pick his spot and plant one into the corner of the net from the edge of the area. It was by far the most disappointing of all of the goals, from a Yeovil point of view, in that none of the midfielders or defenders seemed to have the will to even make Whitaker's run difficult for him to complete.

Thus Yeovil were put out of their misery. Although Macclesfield deserved their win, the 4-1 scoreline flattered the home side just a touch, given that for 25 minutes of the second half, Yeovil had been within half a sniff of getting a point out of the game. But that third goal totally killed the Glovers off and one of the main points of concern was the body language of those players in the final ten minutes. Whilst Gary Johnson may now be looking at the possibility that he may have to dip into the transfer market during September, it is important that his current squad keep their heads up and don't develop a complex about the current unexpected dip in form.

Badger

MOTM Vote Result:

Player MOTM Score
Roy O'Brien 7 585
Darren Way 1 292
Colin Pluck 2 262
Adam Lockwood 1 138
Kevin Gall 1 92
Chris Weale - 92
Paul Terry 1 77

Overall match rating: 4.4 / 10
Performance: 4.3
Entertainment: 4.5

13 votes received.

Full-time: Macclesfield Town 4 Yeovil Town 1
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