Saturday 29 April 2006 | Coca-Cola League Two | Moss Rose | 3,849
RUSSELL Slade’s Grimsby Town side let their chances of automatic promotion slip from their grasp after a disappointing 1-1 draw at relegation-threatened Macclesfield Town.
Over 2,500 travelling supporters made the journey from North East Lincolnshire to Cheshire, full of anticipation for this League Two fixture, knowing that if their favourites picked up the three points and Leyton Orient slipped up at home to Peterborough then the Mariners would be playing League One football the following term.
But the hosts were desperate for the points themselves and Town were not at full strength. The Silkmen started the game well with Alan Navarro testing Steve Mildenhall from 30 yards.
Town were struggling to get their rhythm going on a warm, tense afternoon and it looked like set pieces would be their best outlet, Rob Jones heading narrowly wide from a Marc Goodfellow corner on 21 minutes.
By this time Orient were already 1-0 up in their home game against Posh thanks to a Matt Lockwood penalty but they had also been reduced to ten men after the dismissal of Paul Connor.
But the Mariners were not having the best of days. Rob Jones left the fray after 27 minutes through injury and was replaced by Ben Futcher, whilst Alan Fettis kept out a Justin Whittle header.
The Silkmen broke well on the half-hour and Mildenhall had to be at his best to deny John Miles.
Slade’s men did find the breakthrough five minutes before the interval. Goodfellow got in down the left-hand side and crossed for Gary Jones to rise and loop a header beyond Fettis and spark pandemonium on the Moss Rose terrace.
That lead lasted just two minutes though. Former Mariner Paul Harsley squeezing in a cross that ex-Town trialist Marcus Richardson nodded beyond the dive of Mildenhall.
And try as they might the Mariners couldn’t force the breakthrough in a one-sided second half. Fettis twice denied Gary Jones, who headed over when well-placed late on.
Over at Brisbane Road, Orient added a second through Wayne Corden and even a late Lloyd Opara goal couldn’t rattle the nerves in East London. The afternoon’s results had firmly put the O’s in pole position for a place in League One.
Silkmen: Fettis; Morley, Brightwell, McIntyre, Swailes; Harsley, Whitaker, Miles (Bullock 59), Navarro; Richardson, McNeil. Subs not used: Deasy, Teague, Smart, Townson
Mariners: Mildenhall; Cohen, R Jones (Futcher 27), Whittle, Croft; Parkinson, Bolland, Woodhouse, Goodfellow (Toner 79); Jones, Reddy (Mendes 69). Subs not used: Downey, Kalala