Peter Tonge tells the story of Northwich Victoria’s 2-1 defeat at North West Counties League Premier Division leaders Macclesfield…

VICS started the game at a pace with quick passing and good movement and allowing Macclesfield no time to settle.

Ryan Winder had Vics’ first effort after just three minutes but he sliced his shot well wide.

It wasn't until the 10th minute that Macclesfield troubled Chris Cheetham in the Vics net, but Mendy put his shot wide of the goal and Vics quickly replied with a Luke Sephton effort which Ashton could only grab at the second attempt.

Macclesfield thought they had scored in the 16th minute as Maieco's cross was headed down goalwards by Neil Danns, but a combination of Cheetham and the post somehow kept the ball from crossing the line.

The match was settling down a bit now with the Silkmen coming back into it more, but Vics took the lead in the 30th minute as a set piece eventually fell to Luke Sephton to the right of the goal and he hammed in a close range drive high into the back of the net.

Macclesfield now had most of the ball now but were creating little, although Mendy should have done better with a header wide of the post when well placed. Macclesfield started the second half pushing forward but again their final ball was poor and Cheetham remained relatively untested.

Danns had a shot straight at him in the 55th minute while a minute later, the same player headed just wide from a tantalising Mendy cross.

Carl Grimshaw broke with pace for Vics in the 58th minute but was denied by some resolute defending and blocks as he attempted to increase Vics' lead, but it was Macclesfield who restored parity in the 64th with a stunning strike into the far corner by Aaron Dwyer as he turned on the edge of the area.

Vics were then stunned two minutes later as Jacob Hanson was allowed to cut in from the right and drill a shot past the fingertips of Cheetham into the left corner of the net – a devastating blow.

The match then became a midfield battle for 10 minutes before Vics started pressing for an equaliser.

Grimshaw got into the penalty area in the 80th minute but couldn’t get his shot away and a few minutes later, Brad Lynch collected the ball on the edge of the area, turned well but his shot was straight at Ashton in the Silkmen’s net.

There was drama in the 90th minute as substitute Matty Birchall darted into the Macc penalty area from the right and appeared to be brought down, but the referee said no and Macc held on for the win.