CHESTER CITY’S three-game winning Coca Cola League Two run came to a halt yesterday, when they lost a scrappy Cheshire derby match to a resurgent Macclesfield Town at the Deva Stadium.
Both sides played with 10 men in the second period, after City’s Lawrence Wilson and Town’s Jamie Tolley were dismissed after picking up two bookings apiece.
Chester manager Mark Wright didn’t disguise his annoyance at his side’s performance following the match.
“I thought Macclesfield deserved to win, they took their chances well,” he said. “However, I am boiling and angry because after good wins against Boston, Lincoln City and Peterborough, we didn’t perform to our usual levels in this game.
“I was disappointed, particularly with the first two goals we conceded, the defending was poor and our awareness of the situations was also poor.
“They are on a good run at the moment, but we still should have dealt better with certain aspects of the game.”
Macclesfield, who are now managed by the former Liverpool and Manchester United midfielder Paul Ince, have turned their fortunes around in the past two months and a seven-game unbeaten run has given them a realistic chance of avoiding relegation, that looked well beyond them back in the Autumn.
Chester, who have been in impressive form themselves in recent weeks, are becoming something of a Jekyll and Hyde team because this performance fell well short of the high standards they have set lately.
The flow of the game wasn’t helped by an inconsistent performance by referee Nigel Miller.
The visitors took the lead after 10 minutes. A quick free-kick from Myles split the City defence and Matthew Tipton took the ball on before firing low past the stranded Danby.
After 39 minutes Wilson clumsily challenged Bullock on the halfway line and was immediately shown a second yellow cardl.
Chester felt aggrieved four minutes from the break when Walters had a clear run on goal and he was brought down from behind by Morley. However referee Miller amazingly waved play on much to the annoyance of the Chester player.
In injury time in the first half Tolley clattered into Blundell and earned himself a second booking, which meant that both sides faced the secondhalf with 10 men.
Macclesfield had a couple of half-chances at the beginning of the second period, Navarro and Tipton both firing in efforts that were dealt with competently by Danby.
Macclesfield doubled their advantage after 70 minutes. A free-kick on the right was taken by former Chester player Kevin McIntyre, his low effort squirmed through the City defenders and ended up in the back of the net, but Danby in the City goal will feel disappointed that he didn’t get a hand to the effort.
Walters could have reduced City’s deficit after 72 minutes, but he rattled the visitors’ bar with an effort from 15 yards.
The visitors wrapped up the points 12 minutes from time when another former Chester player, John Murphy, took advantage of some poor defending and hammered a low effort into the corner of the net from 18 yards.
Chester are next in action on Saturday when they entertain Milton Keynes Dons at the Deva Stadium.
CHESTER CITY: Danby, Hessey (Semple 75), Vaughan, Westwood, Linwood, Bolland, Hand, Martinez, Wilson, Blundell (Steele 62), Walters. Subs: Artell, Sandwith, Marples.
MACCLESFIELD TOWN: Lee, Regan, Morley, Swailes, Bullock (Reid 62), Navarro, Myles (Hadfield 46), Tolley, Tipton (McNeil 75), McIntyre, Murphy. Subs: Heath, Jennings.
REFEREE: Mr Nigel Miller (County Durham).