Match Report: Macclesfield Town 1-1 Grimsby Town

Grimsby Town came from a goal behind to earn a draw with Macclesfield Town at the Moss Rose.

The Mariners were the better side for much of the contest and created several good chances during the first half but fell behind just after the interval when substitute Joe Ironside opened the scoring from the penalty spot.

But Town struck back and ended a run of seven league games without a goal when Charles Vernam found the net to equalise.

Afterwards, the visitors looked the more likely of the two sides to force a winner but it was not to come.

One change was made to the Town side that started the home defeat by Scunthorpe last time out, with Moses Ogbu returning to the line-up in place of the injured Matt Green.

James McKeown started in goal, with Luke Hendrie, Harry Davis, Luke Waterfall and Liam Gibson across the back four.

Harry Clifton, Jake Hessenthaler and Ethan Robson were the midfielders, with Max Wright and Vernam alongside Ogbu in attack.

The substitutes were Sam Russell, Mattie Pollock, Joe Starbuck, Elliott Hewitt, Elliott Whitehouse, Ahkeem Rose and Harry Cardwell.

Macclesfield were looking to get back on track after having six points docked last week and seeing their scheduled home fixture against Plymouth on Saturday postponed after stadium safety certificate issues.

The Silkmen and their fans would be hoping for some relief from those problems with a positive performance and result against the Mariners, while Town were also aiming for a much-needed win having not tasted victory since late September.

A Hendrie cross from the right dropped out of play at the far post for a goal kick as Town attacked for the first time on three minutes after a quiet start to the game.

A deep cross from Hessenthaler two minutes later was gathered by home keeper Owen Evans at the second attempt under pressure from Vernam.

The Mariners were inches away from taking the lead soon afterwards, after Vernam did well to get into the penalty area on the left. He played a low ball back for Wright but his first-time shot went just past the post.

Hendrie saw a shot blocked as Town continued to dominate the early stages of the game, before an effort from Jay Harris at the other end was also blocked.

A foul on Ogbu gave Town a free kick inside the Macclesfield half and Hessenthaler’s ball from it was headed out for the first corner of the game, which was cleared.

Hendrie then gave away a free kick when he fouled Emmanuel Osadebe on the home left. It led to a good chance when the ball was sent into the penalty area, although Fiacre Kelleher’s header looped over the bar.

Another opportunity for Wright came after more good work by Vernam down the left. Again, the ball was pulled back for Wright but it seemed to bobble slightly and he could only lift it over the bar at the near post.

Ogbu headed wide from a Hendrie cross on 22 minutes, before a scrappy period in which neither side was able to threaten.

A foul on Osadebe gave the home side a free kick in a dangerous position but it was blocked, as was a follow-up shot by Harris.

Ogbu was fouled on the left on 34 minutes but Hessenthaler’s free kick to the far post was headed wide by Waterfall.

Osadebe was presented with a chance when a header from Davis fell for him but the striker dragged his shot well wide of McKeown’s target.

Macclesfield’s David Fitzpatrick was shown the yellow card for bringing Wright down as he looked to break through the middle on 37 minutes.

Davis then had to clear from an Osadebe cross after a quickly-taken home free kick found the striker in space on the left.

Clifton was spoken to by the referee after a foul on Corey O’Keeffe which led to a Macclesfield free kick 25 yards from goal. Jak McCourt took it but caused no problems for McKeown as his shot cleared the bar.

One additional minute was played at the end of the half and Hendrie was booked for a foul on Fraser Horsfall on the left. The free kick led to a scramble in the penalty area but a block by Hendrie got the ball out of play.

That proved to be the last action of the first half, meaning the scoresheet remained blank at the break.

Fitzpatrick was replaced by Ironside for the hosts before the restart and they had a dream start to the second half when the substitute was brought down by Davis inside the penalty area four minutes in. The referee pointed to the spot and IRONSIDE made no mistake, powering the ball past McKeown to open the scoring from 12 yards.

Wright was booked for a foul on Kelleher after a heavy touch but the resulting free kick from the home left caused no problems.

A Macclesfield corner from the right was cleared, before a header from Vernam hit the bar after the striker had met a cross by Hessenthaler.

Rose replaced Ogbu in Town’s first substitution on 58 minutes and soon afterwards, the Mariners were level as they hit the net for the first time in seven league games. VERNAM broke through the middle and kept going, reaching the penalty area before firing past keeper Evans into the far bottom corner of the net to make it 1-1.

The away side were forced into a second change just after the hour when Gibson limped off with an injury. Pollock was sent on in his place.

A foul on Wright by O’Keeffe gave Town a free kick to the right of the penalty area on 65 minutes but Hessenthaler’s ball was headed clear. The Mariners retained possesion though and the ball was worked back for Wright to cross for Rose, although the striker volleyed well over the bar.

O’Keeffe was replaced by Ben Stephens for the hosts, then a foul on Vernam gave Town a free kick but Hessenthaler’s ball was headed clear.

Arthur Gnahoua won a corner for the home side when his cross was blocked by Davis on 72 minutes and the ball from the flag was headed out by Waterfall for another one. This time, Nathan Cameron headed over the bar.

A push on Wright by Horsfall, who was booked, gave Town another free kick on the right edge of the Macclesfield penalty area. Whitehouse came on for Hessenthaler before it was taken, then Robson’s ball was cleared.

Rose won a corner soon afterwards as he attempted to drill a low shot across goal but again, the Mariners could not turn the set-piece into a goalscoring opportunity.

Davis was yellow-carded for a foul on the Macclesfield right on 84 minutes but the resulting free kick from McCourt was caught by McKeown.

Harris was the next to be booked after a foul on Robson. The Sunderland loanee took the free kick himself but his shot was held by Evans.

Four added minutes was signalled as Rose went down under a challenge in the Macclesfield box but the penalty claims from the travelling Town fans were waved away by the referee.

Whitehouse linked up well with Rose to create another chance but the midfielder’s shot was blocked for a corner, which was well caught by Evans.

That proved to be Town’s last opportunity to force a winning goal and were therefore forced to settle for a point.

The Mariners are next in action on Sunday, when they host Crawley Town.

Macclesfield Town Evans, McCourt, Kelleher, Gnahoua, Harris, Welch-Hayes, Horsfall, O’Keefe, Osadebe, Fitzpatrick, Cameron.

Subs: Charles-Cook, Ironside, Stephens, Kirby, Blyth, Ntambwe

Town: McKeown (c), Hendrie, Waterfall, Davis, Gibson, Clifton, Robson, Hessenthaler, Wright, Vernam, Ogbu.

Subs: Russell, Pollock, Starbuck, Hewitt, Whitehouse, Rose, Cardwell.

Attendance: 1991 (439)

Next Up: Crawley Town (H)


Get all the latest news from Blundell Park.

Skip to content P