Improved performance but Reds suffer another home loss

A much improved performance by Alfreton Town from the previous home game against Woking could not prevent a seventh home defeat in the Blue Square Bet Premier on Saturday.

The same starting line-up that had won so convincingly at Cambridge United in midweek began the game brightly, but Macclesfield won it with goals from Thierry Audel and Waide Fairhurst on 31 and 58 minutes respectively.

Paul Clayton registered his 13th league goal and his 17th in total this season with a 36th minute equaliser as the Reds’ frustrating home form continued, with four defeats at the Impact Arena already in 2013.

Early action saw Clayton’s fourth minute shot saved by keeper Rhys Taylor’s legs from a Leigh Franks’s pass, then in the eighth minute Steven Hewitt took a return pass from Daniel Meadows before seeing his shot spin off Audel to be clutched by Taylor.

The build-up to the opening goal stemmed from Fairhurst’s swift break that necessitated an accurate tackle by Franks to concede the first corner of the game, but Audel was left unmarked at the near post for a simple header.

The Silkmen’s lead lasted five minutes as Josh Law’s superb free-kick picked out Clayton at the back post, where the striker slid the ball in from five yards. The winner came when Murtagh smashed a free-kick against the post and Fairhurst followed up with a diving header from close range.