Match Report by Steve Humbles
Telford made a decent start with an industrious Jordan Rose revelling in his new-found midfield role and the Bucks had the first half-chance when new signing Aaron Williams showed off his long-throw and the returning Dan Preston
, up from the back, headed over the crossbar.
Even at this early stage, though, there were signs that the visitors – thirteen points adrift of the play-offs at kick-off - were finding too much space in midfield with John Paul Kissock and Waide Fairhurst enjoying plenty of room in behind Telford’s midfield-five.
Indeed, despite Preston’s near-miss, it was the visitors who were looking the most likely scorers. The prolific Matthew Barnes-Homer fired wide from Keiran Murtagh’s left-wing cross, whilst Fairhurst shot well over from long-range after finding another pocket of space outside the Telford penalty area.
Amari Morgan-Smith, who scored twice at the New Bucks Head for Luton last season, then beat Will Salmon on the Bucks’ left and forced an easy save from Ryan Young before Telford briefly threatened when Preston again ghosted into space at a set-piece, heading wide from Ian Craney’s free-kick.
Macclesfield did sneak in front on the half-hour, however, in fortunate circumstances. Ryan Jackson did well down the right to whip in a dangerous cross. Morgan-Smith swung his right foot at it but completely miscued his effort, only for the ball to balloon up over Young and into the net.
Once that goal went in it all fell apart for Telford, with Kissock completely running the show in midfield and pulling all the strings for the Cheshire side. The former Southport and Luton midfielder shot wide within minutes of the opening goal, and Barnes-Homer then broke away from Valentine before firing just past the post on 35 minutes.
With Macclesfield now completely dominating, Fairhurst’s shot from long-range bounced awkwardly in front of Young but the stopper managed to clutch the ball at the second attempt before the same player shot wide from Murtagh’s free-kick on 42 minutes.
After a bright start for Telford with Rose and new-boy Williams looking lively, the Bucks had fallen behind to fortunate goal and Macclesfield had pulled their hosts apart after that with Kissock enjoying the freedom of the New Bucks Head.
Indeed Telford couldn’t get hold of the ball towards the end of the first-half in a match which increasingly resembled “attack against defence,” and Graham Hyde will have been relieved to get his side in only 1-0 down at the break.
Any chance of Telford staging a fightback were quashed, however, when Macclesfield added a second goal early in the second-half; Morgan-Smith finding space to fire across Young who could get one hand to the ball but couldn’t keep it out.
From that point on Macclesfield were coasting to victory in second-gear. Fairhurst’s shot from long-range was saved and Morgan-Smith – who only returned from a loan-spell at Kidderminster recently - was denied a hat-trick by a smart save at his near-post from Young.
It remained one-way traffic. Barnes-Homer’s shot was blocked by Phil Trainer as Town broke at pace three-versus-two, and from the resulting corner Barnes-Homer steered a shot inches wide of the far post after finding too much space in the box.
Jake Reid skied well over the crossbar for Telford on 74 minutes as the Bucks – despite several attacking substitutions from Hyde – failed to trouble Macclesfield goalkeeper Rhys Taylor all afternoon and the game ended as the most comprehensive of 2-0 victories.
1. Ryan Young, 2. Will Salmon, 3. Ryan Valentine (c), 4. Ian Craney, 5. Dan Preston
, 8. Phil Trainer, 9. Bagasan Graham, 15. Jake Reid, 16. Simon Ford, 20. Aaron Williams, 22. Jordan Rose.
7. Nathan Rooney
(for Craney, 80 minutes), 10. Steve Jones (for Salmon, 46 minutes), 11. Luke Hubbins (for Graham, 70 minutes), 18. Steven Leslie, 25. Marco Adaggio.
40. Rhys Taylor, 2. Ryan Jackson, 22. Craig Braham-Barrett, 30. Thierry Audel, 34. Pablo Mills (c), 8. Kieran Murtagh, 17. Sam Wedgbury, 19. John Paul Kissock, 9. Matthew Barnes-Homer, 10. Amari Morgan-Smith, 20. Waide Fairhurst.
7. Jack Mackreth (for Morgan-Smith, 86 minutes), 11. Peter Winn (for Kissock, 81 minutes), 15. Andre Da Costa, 18. Charlie Henry, 23. Dean McDonald (for Fairhurst, 76 minutes).
Mr Paul Rees (Bristol).
1,567 (including 118 away supporters)