Topic: Macclesfield away......
Smart motorway my arse.
Not the best of starts when it takes you over an hour to get from Brighouse to the Saddleworth exit in the M62. All because of a light dusting of sleet.
It was like driving on a f***Ing rollercoaster. Crawled all the way to the highest point of the M62 and by the time we passed the red rose on the way down over the border we were doing 60mph. With no apparent reason for the near stationary traffic before that.
Not sure what the answer is but there must be better ways to sort traffic out.
You get to see some pretty posh gaffs as you skirt Bramhall and the like on the way to the ground. Footballers wives country but definitely not those in the Vanarama National League. Think Merc 4x4s and big hair. Big houses but all a bit dull in terms of countryside and the like.
Our kid had joined us for today’s festive away trip. Last time me and him went away was Leeds at Villa I think.
Macclesfield were top of the league this morning so despite Town’s 4-0 drubbing of Chester on Saturday, H was being remarkably realistic for an 8-year old. Not sure we’ll win but it’s another new ground is a fairly good attitude I reckon.
The delay meant we got in the ground about 10 minutes before kick-off. No bad thing. We were in the away seats (£2 for her as I bought the tickets in advance, can’t say fairer than that). We were down the sides, level with the edge of the penalty area. Good for offsides which she’s starting to spot.
Had a couple of great old timers behind us. You could tell they’ve probably been watching Halifax for 50 years or so. They knew the game and were talking to her about stuff. One would say ‘has he got a name?’ every time a Macclesfield player gave away a freekick for Town. When the booking never came it would be ‘ref must live round here’.
Town’s away following are a funny bunch but then again aren't all teams when you stop and look? A lot look like they’ve travelled to the game from 1981. We followed a 'Twin Valley' mini-coach to the streets near the ground. It was like a Sunshine coach giving the local AA group a lift.
And then there’s the ‘mob’. As we left they were hanging around the exit gate making sure they were all together. Funny seeing how some on here must have looked when you’re older now. They were all maybe 14 to 18. Macclesfield had a similar group in the their ‘main stand’ (H kept commenting on how little it was, wait until she sees some of the other grounds in this league!). Didn't see or hear anything approaching bother mind. Probably too cold to be scrapping by the end.
On the pitch Town were, once again, frustrating. The first five minutes had us thinking it could be a long, long day but then Town scored first and seemed up for it.
You can see why Macclesfield are top of the league. Well-drilled and just a bit more ‘intelligent’ than most teams you see at this level. I know that sounds wank but it’s true.
Our kid reckoned some of Town's players were scared in possession and I got what he meant, very quick to look to get rid when top players up the leagues thrive on having it at their feet and just seem to make more time for themselves. Wilde, Town’s fullback, is a prime example. Even H commented that he was always panicking when he got the ball. Can’t wait to get rid and that means he loses possession for the team a lot.
Town would win the ball and then play themselves into trouble. I heard her say ‘just keep it’ at one point. She’s learning. Sadly, the hard way. McDonald gave them problems in the first half but hardly seemed to get a kick in the second. Waring, the lad on loan from Tranmere, was brought on but probably 10 minutes too late to make a real difference.
Their first goal came from a deflected shot in the one minute of added time. Like I say, frustrating.
In the last minute or so, trailing 2-1, Town managed to bundle the ball into the net. Unfortunately it was in the keeper’s hands at the time. 50 years ago it’d have won them a draw.
Dover away on Saturday. We’re giving that a miss.
They play Macclesfield again at home on New Year’s Day (play them again in the FA Trophy on the 9th). I can see Town getting a point at home.
Another away game. Another great day with my daughter.
Macclesfield Town 2 FC Halifax Town 1