Dario was surprisingly chipper following tonight’s 1-1 draw with Macclesfield. Despite the Alex needing a last gasp winner from substitute AJ Leitch-Smith, Dario says that he’s delighted with his players!
It was arguably the poorest performance of the season against a rather defensive Macclesfield side who were happy to sit and wait for the counter attack. Clayton Donaldson and Joel Grant both had poor games with the latter hauled off at half time to make way for Nick Powell.
The attack in general continued where it had left off on Saturday, Donaldson looking like he wouldn’t have scored if he was still playing come Wednesday morning and Shaun Miller equally as guilty for poor choices in the final third.
Despite having the majority of play, we seemed intent on trying to walk the ball over the like. It’s in stark contrast with Macclesfield’s effective fast, powerful counter attacks that saw them create the better chances, most of which Rhys Taylor had to be equal to.
The Silkmen’s goal came from a soft corner, given away when Rhys Taylor was forced into palming away a Clayton Donaldson header at his own goal, and we’re still breathing a sigh of relief after Macclesfield had a second headed goal, from a second set piece, chalked off not long after for a foul, presumably.
Our complete lack of potency up front gave you the feeling that it was heading for our first defeat in six. That was until up popped young AJ Leitch-Smith who did what no other player in the side on the night could do and shoot on sight, that after taking advantage of good play from Nick Powell.
You left the ground feeling relieved in one way but feeling we could have won it – with a goalscorer. In other words, no different to the five other 1-1 draws this season!
Dario, though, was happy with it. Brushing over the lack-of-a-goalscorer issue, Dario thought the players put on a good show. Telling the official website:
‘The players played very well in the first half and the football was outstanding, the players looked confident and fit, the only thing missing was goals. We made some terrific chances in the second half, Westy and Shaun had great chances too.
‘Rhys made a great save to keep us in it, but I’m not taking anything away from them. They will be pleased with that I think, but I think they will feel that we have the better players.
‘I’m delighted with players, we won’t win all the games but we have looked the better side. In some games I have thought that we have lost two points, but as Dave Artell has been quick to point out one point at the end of the season can make all the difference as well.’
Needless to say, I’m quite disappointed with Dario’s reaction. I don’t think it’s the time to be coming out with quotes such as ‘we won’t win all the games’ as if we are losing the odd point here or there. No-one expects us to win all the games, definitely not, but we certainly need to be winning some of the games right now.
We’re seven games unbeaten, which is fantastic – when was the last time we’ve held such a run? – but the gloss is taken off it with the five 1-1 draws, three of them in the last three games. They are all 2 points lost than 1 point gained in my opinion and look where those 10 points that have gone begging would have put us in the table*.
It’s vital we sort out this strike force if we’re going to do anything this season because it’s costing us with every passing game.
*In second place, one point behind the Vale.