The Harriers got their first win for Gary Whild under their belts tonight with a hard worked but, at times, un-inspiring win over fellow play-off hopefuls Macclesfield Town tonight with a stunning opening goal from Callum Gittings. Sadly that was as stunning as it got with Macclesfield showing us how to pass the ball round fluidly although once they got near our goal they did very little with all the possession they were having. Former Macc man Amari Morgan-Smith scored our second goal of the evening before half time and Danny Whitaker reduced the arrears two minutes later.
We started the game with one enforced change following Kyle Storers tenth yellow card of the season on Saturday. Josh O'Keefe took over for him while on the bench was our newest? signing, Nick Wright. For Macclesfield Danny Andrew was returning to his old stomping ground.
In front of another sparse crowd of just under 1,600 the Harriers stormed into the lead in under a minute for the second home game in a row. Last time at home AMS scored in the first minute of the game in the 2-0 win against Woking but this time Gittings took fractionally less time to spot the Macc keeper off his line and send a dipping shot over his head from some thirty five yards out.
It could have been double that scoreline just a few minutes later when Adrian Cieslewicz played the ball in to the area but Anthony Malbons shot hit a defender and was cleared away but only as far as Mickey Demetriou who then struck a thunderous volley against the crossbar from well outside the area. The rebound was in the right place for Malbon again but this time he sent it skying over the bar.
On our next attack Cieslewicz chased the ball towards the goal but with Rhys Taylor also coming for it they collided and Cieslewicz came off the worst. He tried to continue following lengthy treatment but couldn't and Marvin Johnson came on to take over from him.
Maccs first sniff of goal came on twenty minutes when they were awarded a free kick following a push on Chris Holroyd from Danny Jackman. Paul Turnbull took it but it went just the wrong side of the goal and rippled the side netting.
The game hit a bit of a quiet patch then with the noticeable passing skills of Macclesfield while we chased around trying to get the ball off them and when we did manage to do so we failed to keep it but handed it straight back to them. This lack of ball retention is worrying and really does need to be addressed.
Six minutes before the break we moved into a short lived 2-0 lead. Marvin Johnson made a great run down the left and played the ball into AMS who then seemed to stumble slightly before poking the ball goalwards and then crossed his fingers as it went under the keeper and then bobbled slowly into the net with two Macclesfield defenders racing back to stop it.
Sadly we couldn't hold onto the two goal difference and we allowed the visitors back into the game two minutes later.
Town again produced a slick passing move to bring the ball towards our goal until Scott Boden slipped Danny Whitaker in to strike a well taken shot beyond the grasp of Danny Lewis. The goal could be said to be down to our defenders backing off too much but it was no more than Macclesfield deserved.