WITH the luxury of a pre-match coporate meal on offer the matchday started well for me. Despite the records stating that Rovers were yet to beat Macclesfield at home the gasheads were positive, especially after our recent upturn in fortune. The pitch's quality continued to worsen, with every game passing its looking more and more like a beach, and the gusty Bristol winds helped ensure a tough game against a physical Macclesfield side.
Rovers started well, looking confident in possession but struggled repeatedly to break down two back lines of the Silkman's defence. The first chance came when Macclesfield's Ben Futcher found himself obstructing the ball in the penalty area allowing Lee Brown the chance of a shot, but could only manage to hit the oncoming defenders.
As the game progressed it was clear what Macclesfield's game plan was, to contain and fustrate our forwards and attempt to break quickly on the counter. This was evident with the treatment of Matty Harrold who was constantly (as always) being pulled and pushed by the opposing defender, so much so that I started to wonder if he had something to tell us! Macclesfield bore little threat going forward, their closest chances coming off the back of repeated long throws into the Rovers' box, but to little avail.
The second half started how the first half ended, with Rovers pulling the strings and dominating possession but struggling to penetrate through the Macclesfield backline. Mathew Lund saw his dipping volley narrowly pass the crossbar after the ball was poorly cleared by the Macclesfield defence from a Rovers corner. Even though Rovers were the dominant force it was one of those games where you could see Macclesfield unfairly taking all 3 points from the mem, and it was almost the case when George Donnelly dispossed Rovers' Cian Bolger only to narrowly rifle past the post.
Rovers, clearly unhappy to let the game peter out, decided to change things up with a double substitution, Stanley and Zebroski entering the fray. Craig Stanley instantly had the chance to break the deadlock by slipping a ball through to Mustapha Carayol who made space for himself firing a hard shot straight into the body of goalkeeper Richard O'Donnell. Macclesfield were thoroughly irritating at times, wasting as much of the game as they could after every foul or dead ball situation, so much so that keeper O'Donnell recieved a deserved yellow card for time wasting.
Despite the utter dominance of Rovers the Silkman came away with a well fought for point. We lacked the cutting edge to break through a stiff backline but can be pleased with our overall performance. It was a credit to Rovers and our recent form that Macclesfield tried in every way to waste the remaining minutes of the game.