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Macclesfield 2
Drummond (11'), Rooney (79')
1 Bamber Bridge
Scarborough (59')

Macclesfield 2 - 1 Bamber Bridge

Bamber Bridge were narrowly defeated 2-1 by play-off hopefuls Macclesfield at the Leasing.com Stadium. 

Harry Scarborough equalised for Brig in the second half, but it was made redundant by John Rooney's acrobatic effort with 10 minutes left to play that left the visitors with little time to reply.

Danny Forbes got proceedings underway and Milligan’s side looked to start on the front foot, creating several chances in the opening exchanges. But neither forwards Harry Scarborough and Rhys Turner were presented with clear cut opportunities despite seeing plenty of possession. 

It wasn't long before the hosts made their presence known as they took an early advantage just shy of the 10-minute mark. Drew Baker lofted the ball over the Brig back line to in-form forward Kane Drummond who made no mistake as lifted his effort over James Pradic

Brig reacted well and created several opportunities as they looked to find a leveller before the break. Simon Grand’s crossfield ball found the feet of Scarborough before Forbes teed up Turner, who struggled to keep his effort down.

Forbes and Turner both saw efforts blocked as the hosts struggled to clear, before the Silkmen countered and an excellently timed challenge from Lamine Toure stopped Drummond in his tracks as he set his sights on Pradic goal once again. 

Mark Cullen replaced Turner with five left to play in the first half, as Brig entered the interval a goal down. 

The hosts had a couple of opportunities just before the 50 minute mark when Pradic claimed Drummond’s headed effort following a Rooney free-kick. Moments after, Drummond slotted another effort wide. 

A few moments later Churchman’s powerful effort from distance earned a corner. A well-worked short corner routine presented Baxter with a big opportunity to equalise just outside the six-yard-box, but his effort was tipped over the bar for another corner. 

With an hour played Brig had an equaliser. A wide free-kick was swung in and glanced over the head of Macauley Wilson before Scarborough fired home at the near post. He then jubilantly wheeled away towards the travelling supporters. 

Following the goal the pendulum seemingly swung in the favour of Brig as an abundance of chances were created - the pick of the bunch being Danny Edwards' effort rattling back off the post. 

The ball fell to him in the centre of the box, as he took his time to place his finish, coming agonisingly close to taking the lead with just over 20 minutes left to play.

Pradic smothered Rooney’s powerful strike from distance, as the hosts grew back into the game, and began to look dangerous once again heading towards the final 15. 

Moments later Brig were made to rue their missed opportunities as Rooney’s acrobatics regained the Silkmens lead. 

The final half-chance came when Edwards fired an effort over the bar after Scarborough’s cross. But it wasn't to be for Brig as they were narrowly defeated on the road despite a much improved display. 

Milligan’s side will be looking to get back to putting points on the board next weekend away at 12th-placed Morpeth Town, following a run of unfortunate results against several teams pushing the top end of the table. 

Match reporter: Matt Grimshaw @MattGrimshaw_


Published Sunday 4th February 2024