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Birthday boy Laurent Mendy the hero as Macclesfield FC win the derby against Congleton Town

Two goals from birthday boy Laurent Mendy ensured that Macclesfield won derby day as they beat Congleton Town at Crewe Alexandra’s Gresty Road.

The Macclesfield captain scored two delightful goals in the second half to ensure the travelling Silkmen, who packed out the main stand at Gresty Road, went home happy as their side made it 14 games unbeaten, Macclesfield’s last defeat came at home to Wythenshawe Town back in early January.

However, the Silkmen didn’t have it all their own way as the Bears of Congleton took an early lead through a Darren Chadwick penalty after Lee Jackson fouled Ollie Putnam in the area.

After the ugly scenes, we saw at the Leasing.com stadium back in August. It was decided that the game should be played at Crewe Alexandra’s stadium. It was a great decision to move the game as it made for a fantastic occasion for both sides. Particularly with the Macclesfield fans in the main stand as they made their voices heard, especially as they took the opportunity to remind Congleton fans that they were the champions of the North West Counties Football League.

The Silkmen fans also aimed plenty of songs at Congleton Town captain Tom Pope and the former Port Vale forward was to have the first chance of the afternoon after just two minutes of play as he headed a cross from Shakeel Jones-Griffiths over Sam Ashton’s crossbar.

It got even better for the side managed by Richard Duffy as they won a penalty on three minutes when one time Leek Town man Ollie Putnam was fouled in the area by Jackson. The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot despite the game being less than 180 seconds old. Former Leek Town captain Chadwick, who was always calm and collected from 12 yards out for Leek, stepped up and sent Sam Ashton the wrong way to open the scoring.

It could have been 2-0 to the Bears shortly afterwards as Jones-Griffiths had a chance from around 20 yards out, but his effort was to fly over the bar and into the empty stand behind Ashton’s goal.

Macclesfield’s first real chance on Dave Parton’s goal saw them get the equaliser when James Berry-McNally smashed an effort in from 25-yards out. It was a stunning goal from the former Hull City man, who will be one to watch next year as Macclesfield move up to the Northern Premier League.

Congleton felt they should have had another penalty on 25 minutes when a corner from Peter Williams seemingly struck the hand of a Macclesfield player on the goal line. However, referee Justin Walton waved away the appeals from player-manager Richard Duffy.

Harry Freedman was lucky not to be sent off on 32 minutes when he jumped into a tackle on Will Buckley. The Congleton forward tried to run off the injury but clearly couldn’t as he pulled up again just six minutes later and was taken off for reserve team player Ryan Reed.

The final chance of the first half fell to Freedman as he was on the end of a neat passing move shown by Macclesfield. However, the winger dragged his shot wide of Parton’s goal.

The second half started like the first half did, with Pope having the first effort. Pope turned Lewis Fensome before shooting at goal. However, the chance was straight down the throat of Ashton, who had no problem in saving the effort.

From there, the Silkmen took control, and they took the lead on the hour mark when Mendy and Tom Clare linked up on the edge of the Congleton area, which saw the former roll the ball past Parton, who was left flat-footed, as the ball hit the back of the net.

Clare could have got himself a goal just a couple of minutes later when he headed a cross straight into the hands of Parton from point-blank range.

Macclesfield did get their third goal of the afternoon with 13 minutes to go. A cross from Alex Kiwomya found Mendy on the edge of the area. The Silkmen captain fired a half-volley past Parton to score his 4th goal of the season, but more importantly, to wrap up all three points for the visitors.

Pope had two good chances late on to pull a goal back for the Bears, including one which looped up and bounced off the crossbar, but in the end, it would have done little to the result.

Both teams complete their league campaigns next Saturday at home. Congleton are back at Booth street, where they entertain Longridge Town. Meanwhile, Macclesfield will host AFC Liverpool, and after that match, they will be presented with the NWCFL Premier Division trophy.

After the game, I spoke with both managers. First up you can hear from Congleton Town player-manager Richard Duffy.

Meanwhile, you can hear what Macclesfield manager Danny Whitaker had to say.

Congleton Town: Parton, Faulkner, Nsaka, Williams, Duffy, Chadwick, Putnam, Jones-Griffiths (Johnson, 68), Pope, Buckley (Reed, 16) and Needham.
Unused subs: Booth, Johns and Morton.

Macclesfield: Ashton, Hanson, Lee, Jackson, Fensome, Mendhy, Freedman (Kiwomya, 56), West (McDonnell, 56), Clare (Beca, 83), Duffy and Berry-McNally.
Unused subs: Sanogo-Fofana and Bardsley-Rowe.

Richard Scott
Richard Scott
Sports Reporter

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