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Macclesfield Town 1-0 Salisbury City
Macclesfield Town 1
SALISBURY City’s threadbare squad departed Cheshire empty-handed after suffering a crushing blow six minutes from time.
Wonder saves from Will Puddy and classic defending looked to have earned Salisbury’s injury-hit squad a precious point on their travels until a deflected effort separated the sides.
Danny Rowe’s driven shot looked to ricochet off teammate Steve Williams and then Callum Hart’s boot, before trickling into the bottom corner to deny Puddy a sixth clean sheet of the season.
Missing the likes of midfield ace Clovis Kamdjo, for personal reasons, Brian Dutton, Ricky Wellard and James Clarke meant boss Mikey Harris was short of options, resulting in four attacking substitutes.
But despite being under pressure for heavy periods, Harris’ bare bones gave a fighting display against a side that haven’t lost at their fortress Moss Rose Stadium since early September.
They played some free-flowing football for the first ten minutes then, after that, they failed to get a foothold in the game.
Scores of Macclesfield chances came pouring Puddy’s way but he was equal to them, doing especially well to keep out Jack Mackreth’s rasping drive.
A goalless stalemate at half time came at a cost for Salisbury as they lost key winger Elliott Frear to an ankle injury. Scott Boden clipped the upright early on in the second half, before mistiming Peter Winn’s routine cross.
Both Danny Whitaker and Scott Boden forced Puddy into making miraculous saves to thwart the hosts, but the custodian couldn’t prevent a nasty deflection from creeping into the bottom corner in the 84th minute to condemn Salisbury to a sixth away defeat.
“I'm gutted we haven't come away with a point and a clean sheet, which I thought Puddy deserved,” expressed Harris.
“The boys dug in and worked hard knowing how good Macclesfield have been at home. We came with a game plan and it was working until we succumbed in the last ten minutes. “Preparation was difficult because the amount of players we lost coming into the game.
“I'm disappointed with the manner of the goal but I can't fault the lads' work ethic.”
Salisbury are back in Skrill Premier action on Saturday as they host Southport (3pm).
Salisbury (3-4-1-2): Puddy, MacDonald, Wilson (c), Hart, Lewis, McPhee (Wright, 91) Brett, Frear (White, 41), S.Sinclair, Harvey (Feeney, 74), Fitchett.
Subs not used: Flint, Bittner.
Referee: Martin Coy.
Star man: Will Puddy.