Taste of the Terrace: Macclesfield experience one of worst I can remember

I reckon Macclesfield Town are the 78th club I have visited in the top five divisions but if I never again have to go to Moss Rose it will be far too soon.

Tuesday, 18th December 2018, 4:59 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 10:07 am
Crawley Town fan Geoff Thornton. Picture by Steve Robards

For various reasons the experience was one of the most unpleasant I have endured as a spectator.

Of course the Silkmen were not to blame for the appalling weather.

The gale was furious and the icy rain blew right to the back of the stand which had no windbreaks at the ends.

The advertising hoardings that were destroyed by the wind can be replaced and the club can probably save up for another shilling to put in the meter to power their dodgy floodlights.

At least it was dry in the spartan communal space under the stand.

The home side also cannot be criticised for taking three points. Crawley gifted them two chances and they accepted both in fine style.

Bondz N’Gala’s woeful attempt at a clearance went straight to Elliott Durrell who volleyed home from fully 25 yards.

The big centre back also failed to cut out Michael Rose’s cross that was deftly headed in at the near post by Harry Smith. Glenn Morris nearly saved them both.

Defeat by the division’s bottom club (and you could see why they are there) is bad enough but Crawley’s play throughout the game was so poor that it led to real anguish among the club’s most diehard supporters.

They looked totally unprepared for the dogged resistance of a side hoping to impress their newly appointed manager and quite unable to adapt their play to the treacherous conditions.

Macclesfield did and coped well whether facing the wind or with it at their backs.

Morris did his very best; George Francomb and Joe McNerney were steady while Luke Gambin was desperately unlucky to see our best effort of the game turned over the bar by Kieran O’Hara.

Where is it going wrong? Why is the squad, that under Harry Kewell appeared candidates for the play- offs, now looking like relegation fodder?

I am concerned that the responsibility may lay with the management.

Motivation does not appear to be one of Gabriele Cioffi’s strengths while the squad’s technical shortcomings with the ball and lack of awareness without it suggest Nathan Rooney’s coaching skills do not come up to par.

Furthermore Cioffi apparently does not believe his squad needs strengthening in the transfer window. “Oh yes it does”, as they say in panto.

Without Ollie Palmer and Filipe Morais, who will score the goals? Will somebody please tell Dominic Poleon he is allowed to challenge for the ball?

Support for Panutche Camara’s creativity would not go amiss, nor would another genuinely reliable defender.

I am still just as disheartened as last week but at least the barely noticed Kevin Johnson showed there are still some decent referees out there.