Williams Off as City Fall to Defeat

Last updated : 23 February 2002 By Andy Beill
City had all of the first half possession but had little to show for it afterwards.

Lawrie Dudfield had gone close in the opening minutes when he had a shot booted off the line by Ridler.

David Beresford's deep cross gave Steve Wilson difficulties at the back post, but he managed to claw it away.

Mike Edwards lashed a long-range left-footed effort towards goal in the 25th minute, with Wilson turning it over the bar.

Macclesfield were quickest out of the blocks in the second half, going ahead in the 50th minute. Nice work down the right wing saw Munroe play it to Lambert inside the box, who gave Paul Musselwhite no chance as he blasted the ball into the net in front of the few visiting fans.

Theo Whitmore came on for the impressive Jason Van Blerk minutes later as City looked to take the game to Macclesfield, but soon found themselves down to ten men.

A horrific challenge by Chris Priest on Ryan Williams right in front of the referee was deemed fair by the man in black, who allowed play to go on. As Williams limped off for treatment when the ball went out of play Mr. Ryan produced a red card, for what must have been dissent.

City were up against it from then on, and the visitors should have added to their lead while we regrouped.

MacAuley came inches away from heading in Munroe's cross, nodding it against the inside of the post before Justin Whittle cleared.

He then had a woeful miss a minute later, when Musselwhite parried a shot. MacAuley managed to hit the outside of the woodwork from the rebound with the open goal to aim at.

A brief respite saw City have their best chance of the match. Mike Edwards' cross went to the back post where Gary Alexander looked odds-on to score, but couldn't beat Steve Wilson from five yards out.

Macclesfield again went close in the 70th minute. Lambert hit the post and then Tipton, who took his time on the ball in front of the open goal with the rebound, saw Musselwhite fly across the goal-line to put the ball out for a corner.

The City keeper went into the referee's book a minute later when he protested after being roughed up in a goalmouth scramble. Soon later Gary Alexander received his 11th caution of the season for a foul.

Alexander had a chance in the 4th minute of stoppage time but fired way over seconds before the referee blew for full time on a terrible night for City.

Tigers manager Brian Little said: "I'm very, very disappointed and it goes without saying that it was our worst home performance of the season.
"Quite honestly we could have lost by more goals and that's really hard to say but if I'm honest I have to admit that.
"At the end of the day you can't always play great but you can give everything you've got.
"We didn't do that against Macclesfield and that's really what niggles and hurts."

City line-up (4-4-2): Musselwhite; Edwards, Whittle, Wicks, Van Blerk (Whitmore); Williams, Greaves, Sneekes, Beresford (Roberts); Alexander, Dudfield.
Un-used subs: Glennon, Johnsson, Matthews.