DEFENCE LETS STAGS DOWN
Macclesfield Town 3 - 1 Mansfield Town
Parkin 6, Tipton 58, Morley 62 Lloyd 54
Attendance: 2456 (438 from Mansfield)
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John Parkin, Matty Tipton and Dave Morley scored the goals to give the Silkmen a 3-1 win over Mansfield at the Moss Rose.
As well as leapfrogging Lincoln City, the result all but ensured the Silkmen's place in the top seven as Northampton would now need to make up six points and eight goals in their remaining two games.
But the first half belied the Silkmen's seemingly comfortable scoreline as the Stags dominated possession without really managing to test Steve Wilson.
But not before the Silkmen had taken an early lead. A free kick, 20 yards out and close to centre was taken by Jon Parkin. His daisy-cutter to the bottom left corner giving the Stags 'keeper no chance after just five minutes.
Although the Stags were having the lions share of the play for the rest of the half, the Silkmen's defence was doing it's job and preventing them getting the final killer ball into the box. A long shot from Giles Coke, who had run virtually unchallenged from his own half and hit a long range shot that Steve Wilson parried onto the post.
This was pretty much all of the action of note in the first half hour before Mansfield won a brace of corners and shortly afterwards forced a goalmouth scramble which ended when Lloyd saw his shot deflected wide of the upright.
Mark Bailey was replaced at half time my Matthew Carragher and Wilson was the first 'keeper in action as he held a low drive from the edge of the area. Jon Parkin had the first chance for the blues, seeing his shot from a wide angle saved.
But the half was less than 10 minutes old when the visitors levelled the scores. Lloyd running from his own half without a challenge and hitting a soft drive goalwards that somehow evaded Steve Wilson to end up in the back of the net.
After having struggled to impose themselves on the game in the first half, the Silkmen suddenly woke up and it was just a matter of minutes before they were back ahead. Paul Harsley played a ball down the left flank for Parkin to chase. He beat his man an played in a beautiful cross to Matthew Tipton whose flicked header saw it fly into the top corner.
McLachlan then fired a volley just over the bar from a right wing cross but it was less than five minutes before the Silkmen had the ball in the back of the net again to seal the three points. Parkin did well to win a corner on the left hand side. Played in, it was met by the head of David Morley who hit a looping header over Jason White and into the back of the net.
Danny Whitaker was then replaced by John Miles but the game was really over as a contest. The Silkmen pressed for more goals but the linesman's flag pulled up first Matthew Tipton and then Jon Parkin whilst Paul Harsley was adjudged to have handled as he strode clear of the defence to find himself clean through.
Mansfield tried to hit the Silkmen on the break on a couple of occasions but could not find their way back into the match.
Verdict: An important win for the Silkmen to set them up for a good run into an almost certain playoff campaign. Goals from the front two were also good for confidence as the Silkmen found their form, if only in the second half.
Latest | April 2005