ELLIOTT Romain’s first goal for United was enough to clinch a point against National League leaders Macclesfield Town.
United need wins on the board but they will take a point and the confidence from matching a side that could be the league champions this season.
TUFC head coach Gary Owers made two changes from the side that lost 4-0 against Bromely seven days ago. Aaron Barnes made his first appearance for United. Josh Gowling returned to 1st team duty after recovering from a knee injury. Brett Williams took a place on the bench after joining the Club on Friday. Ex-Gulls Tyrone Marsh and Callum Evans started for the Silkmen, with Nathan Blissett having to settle with a place on the bench.
Gary Owers said before kick-off that Brett Williams would have started the match if it wasn’t for his late arrival into the squad. Negotiations to bring Williams back to the Club started on Thursday and a lot of work went into getting him signed on Friday before the 5pm deadline.
United reverted to the 3-5-1-2 formation that has served them well at points this season. Josh Gowling slotted back into the back three. Aaron Barnes played his first game for United playing as a defensive midfielder. Michee Efete moved to the right wing-back position and Elliott Romain continued up front with Jamie Reid.
Both sides exchanged blows in the first half. The Silkmen had the edge in possession during the first half but that isn’t to say that United didn’t have some good chances to take the lead.
United took advantage of some Macclesfield hesitancy in the 18th when Jamie Reid got through on goal. Unfortunately his finish caught the far post but it was evidence that United could cause Macclesfield problems.
A minute later United took advantage of another mix-up from the Silkmen. Luke Young stole the ball from Kieran Kennedy to test Macclesfield Town ‘keeper Schwan Jalal. The ball popped out to him but the Silkmen got enough pressure and men back to stop United taking the lead.
Aaron Barnes was impressing on his debut for the Club. Naturally a full-back but also capable of playing in midfield, Barnes did an admirable job of protecting United’s back line. He used the ball well, and disrupted Macclesfield’s rhythm.
Josh Gowling used all of his experience in the 30th minute to keep Macclesfield out. He brought down former United loan player Callum Evans on the edge of his box to stop a dangerous counter attack.
An injury to Ryan Clarke meant Vincent Dorel taking the field for the second half. Clarke had contributed in the first half pulling off a clever save to keep United on level terms.
United were competitive, but were lacking a cutting edge in the second half. Returning striker Brett Williams started his second spell with the Club in the 63rd minute when he replaced Jamie Reid.
United went behind in the 72nd minute, and Macclesfield midfielder Danny Whitehead won’t have struck the ball any sweeter. His 25-yard screamer found the back of the net and United could do little to avoid going behind.
Substitute goalkeeper Vincent Dorel made a very important save just a minute after Macclesfield took the lead. He somehow got a hand to stop Scott Wilson’s effort finding the net.
United heads did not drop. The chances that they had already created gave them belief that they could get something from the game. When Schwan Jalal collided with one of his own defenders trying to claim a ball into the box from Aaron Barnes, it fell for Elliott Romain to prod the ball home.
In truth, United didn’t create much more than that after scoring the equalizer. Macclesfield did create more opportunities, but United’s defence always did enough to keep them at bay.
The team make a small but valuable gain in our battle for survival. We’ll need the full support from the Yellow Army to push on in seven days time against Barrow AFC at Plainmoor.
MTFC: 1 Schwan Jalal, 3 David Fitzpatrick, 4 Keith Lowe, 7 Elliott Durrell [16 Mitch Hancox 85′], 8 Tyrone Marsh [12 Nathan Blissett 63′], 9 Scott Wilson, 11 Ryan Lloyd, 15 Kieran Kennedy, 17 Callum Evans [5 George Pilkington 77′], 18 Danny Whitehead, 23 Danny Whitaker (c) Subs Not Used: 12 Sam Ramsbottom (GK), 20 Scott Burgess
TUFC: 1 Clarke (GK) [HT 30 Vincent Dorel], 2 Michee Efete, 3 Liam Davis, 5 Sean McGinty (c), 6 Josh Gowling, 8 Luke Young, 19 Jamie Reid [39 Brett Williams 63′], 21 Aaron Barnes, 22 Elliott Romain, 24 George Dowling [17 Tommy O’Sullivan 74′], 26 Conrad Balatoni Substitutes Not Used: 10 Ruairi Keating, 18 Yan Klukowski,
Booked: McGinty 41′, Gowling, Balatoni 77′
Attendance: 1, 510
Referee: Matt Donohue