An injury time winner from Andy Owens, after goalkeeper Tom Booth let a corner slip from his grasp, gave Macclesfield Town a 2-1 victory in our second pre-season friendly. Owens made his presence known and forced the ball over the line in the 96th minute after Booth couldn't quite hold on to a high ball. It was harsh on Booth who had made some good saves over the 90 plus minutes and even harsher on Alex Morris' young side who grew into the game and were actually finishing the stronger.
A well taken finish from young substitute, Max Woodcock, had drawn Crewe level just after the hour mark but the young XI couldn’t quite hold out for what would have been a deserved draw. The home side conjured up the better of the chances in the first half and their outstanding player on the night, James Berry, fired them into a 37th minute with a fine finish.
Woodcock, who had come on at the interval, slotted home the equaliser with a tidy shot across goal, but sadly his own night would end in a worrying head injury after he collided with the advertising board in his determination to cross for his team. Woodcock left the field of play on a stretcher and was later transfered to hospital for checks.
Alex Morris utilised his squad for our short trip to Macclesfield for our second friendly encounter of the pre-season.
With another fixture at Kidsgrove to contend with on Wednesday evening, the Crewe Alexandra manager named four trialists in his starting XI. Tom Booth started in goal with the likes of Lewis Billington, Billy Sass-Davis and Connor O’Riordan starting ahead of him. Young midfielders, Owen Lunt and Matus Holicek, who played the second half at Nantwich on Saturday started at the Leasing.com Stadium.
Crewe were camped in the home side’s half of the pitch early on and the first opening saw one of the midfield trialists hit an accurate cross field pass to find Holicek and after the ball was played into Lunt inside the box, his lay off allowed Holicek to fire over the top of Marcelo Pitaluga’s crossbar.
Macclesfield’s first opportunity came moments later and after good approach play from Alex Curran, he found James Berry in behind and the winger was so unlucky to see his well struck shot clip the top of Booth’s bar as it flew over.
Booth was then kept busy again when Berry’s free-kick on the edge of the box was on target, but the young Crewe goalkeeper kept his eye firmly on the effort to push it out and it was eventually hacked away of danger.
The Alex goalkeeper was called upon again to deny Mark Duffy in a one-on-one situation after the Macclesfield midfielder broke the offside trap with too much comfort. Berry turned provider this time to find him in space inside the Crewe box, but Booth was quick off his line to smother the ball at his feet as he feinted to take it beyond him. It was another alert save.
Moments later, Berry sliced wide after another promising move from the home side.
The outstanding player of the half, Berry eventually fired Macclesfield into a 37th lead. He collected a fantastic long ball before having the conviction to head to goal and his accurate shot had enough bend on it to give Booth no chance.
Max Woodcock came on for the second half for Zac Kempster-Down. Trialist Sang had an early shot blocked on the edge of the Macclesfield box before Andy Owens missed a glorious chance at the far post. His downward header lacked the accuracy to test Booth.
After Macclesfield had a second goal chalked off for offside, the tenacious nature of Woodcock paid off in the 62nd minute. Following a ball from Lunt, the diminutive youngster managed to shift the ball out of his feet and his low drive defeated Pitaluga for the equaliser.
Owens volleyed a touch wide for Macclesfield before a flurry of substitutes’ were made by Danny Whitaker.
Booth made a fantastic save to deny Tre Pemberton from close range. His firm header from Brandon Lee’s cross looked destined to restore the home side’s advantage but the Crewe goalkeeper stretched to keep it out and Owens couldn’t keep it out.
Moments later, a counter attack from the Alex saw Holicek feed Woodcock and his desire to try and keep it in resulted in Woodcock unable to halt his run and he clattered into the advertising hoarding. It was certainly a worrying sight as the youngster was treated for a head injury by the paramedics. There was understandably a long delay, as the Crewe player was thoroughly checked over. He left the field on a stretcher and was replaced by Charlie Finney. It was a major concern and put a damper on the night.
Due to Woodcock’s injury there were six minutes of stoppage time and Macclesfield took full advantage with Owens forcing home that late winner following Booth’s late slip up at the corner.
Crewe: T. Booth, Kempster-Down (Woodcock), Billington, Sass-Davies, O'Riordan, Trialist A, Trialist B, Lunt, Holicek, Trialist C, Trialist D