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Harriers edged out at Macclesfield
5:03pm Saturday 19th January 2013 in News
Macclesfield 1, Harriers 0
HARRIERS boss Steve Burr made a losing return to Moss Rose as the Aggborough outfit were edged out in an entertaining Blue Square Bet Premier clash.
Wade Fairhurst's goal proved to be the difference as Harriers struggled to find their best form.
The home side dominated for long periods and the visitors were indebted to Danny Lewis, who made a host of fine saves.
But the away side stepped it up after going behind in the second half and were given extra encouragement when Pablo Mills was sent off for a foul on Lee Vaughan.
But in the end, the Reds could not find a way through as they suffered their first away league loss since October, much to the disappointment of Burr, who is a goal-scoring legend for Macclesfield.
Despite snow and cold temperatures, Macclesfield managed to get the game on thanks to the efforts of groundstaff and a small army of volunteers.
It was the home side who stated well and keeper Danny Lewis was called into action in the fifth minute.
John Paul Kissock found Wade Fairhurst, who lashed in a fine shot but a diving keeper got a hand to it.
Kieran Murtagh saw an effort blocked by Chey Dunkley and another effort fly over the bar.
Lewis kept the scores level in the 11th minute, pushing away a far post header from Kissock.
But Harriers were struggling to mount any attacks of their own, with Ryan Rowe steering a weak effort wide.
Marvin Johnson was also guilty of wasting passes in promising attacks.
Kyle Storer, who was making some important tackles in midfield, was booked as he brought down Kissock as the Silkmen's playmaker drove forward.
The away side had their first real effort on target in the 36th minute. Johnson broke free down the left and delivered a good cross but Rowe, who had cleverly broke free, headed towards keeper Lance Cronin.
Anthony Malbon nearly found the net but was a fraction late as he slid into meet Johnson's tantalising low ball.
But Macclesfield still looked dangerous and Jack Mackreth saw an effort fly over the bar, while it needed a good challenge by Storer to win the ball off Nat Brown as he sped into the box.
The home team continued to dictate the match in the second half and opened the scoring in the 58th minute, when Fairhurst dived to meet a Mackreth cross and headed home.
But Burr brought on substitutes Nathan Blissett and Danny Pilkington to try and inject some extra cutting edge into his team.
It paid off as Pilkngton found Johnson, who clipped the bar with an audacious flick, while Chey Dunkley missed the follow up.
Harriers were boosted when Mills was dismissed for a lunge on defender Lee Vaughan as Macclesfield were reduced to ten men in the 70th minute. Moments later, Silkmen boss Steve King was sent to the dressing room for dissent.
Lewis ensured his side were still in the game with two stops to deny Matthew Barnes-Homer.
He dived down to block the former Harriers striker's low effort and moments later, stretched out a hand to deny him at the near post.
Harriers nearly found an equaliser when Pilkington delivered a fine cross but keeper Lance Cronin tipped over Rowe's header in the 82nd minute.
Harriers: Lewis, Vaughan, Demetriou, Storer, Rowe, Malbon, Johnson, Gittings (Blissett, 59), Briggs (Pilkington 66), Dunkley, Gowling.
Subs: Williams, N Vaughan.
Macclesfield: Cronin, Brown, Mackreth (Diagne, 72), Murtagh, Barnes-Homer, Wedpdgbury, Kissock (Winn, 72), Fairhurst, Braham-Barrett, Audel, Mills.
Subs not used: Jackson, Morgan-Smith, Henry.
Referee: S Stockbridge.