Macclesfield Town report and photos
Match report by Jamie Cutteridge, photos by Simon Roe
Choose Kingstonian. Choose still getting excited for the first qualifying round draw. Choose seaside defeats to Margate, Hastings and Poole. Choose going all out for a winner against Eastbourne and losing the game. Choose Adam Thompson in centre midfield against Brackley. Choose Michael Gordon’s Wembley Arch haircut. Choose Stefan Freund’s son knocking us out at VCD. Choose believing every September that this is out year. Choose every other club having their day in the sun. Choose leaving your family for a 5-1 defeat at Dulwich on Boxing Day. Choose buying the lead and ending up in a relegation scrap. Choose Kingsmeadow.
Kingstonian have had some rubbish in the FA Cup. We can list them all off the top of our heads. And it gets to you. Over the years you get less and less excited about the prospect. You see other teams get all the fun and attention and you begin to wonder if it’s ever going to be your turn.
Choose Hayden Bird. Choosing an inkling of hope. Choose the promise of attractive football. Choose Walton,
Grays March Town and Weston Super Mare. Choose Weston’s late equaliser and battering them at their place. Choose 3 goals in the opening 40 minutes at Dartford. Choose holding on. Choose Hayden’s maniacal grin and never-ending bundles. Choose Rob Tolfrey wiping a tear away.
When the draw against Macclesfield came through, it felt like a free hit – away to a league two side in a game we were never expected to win. And then the news starts dripping through: unpaid players, strikes being threatened, game under threat. Typical Kingstonian, we just can’t have anything nice. And by the time the game kicks off Macclesfield Town have named a team consisting mainly of youth team players and suddenly Ks, despite playing three tiers lower, kick off as favourites. And while the win is the priority, Ks know more than the most the pain of an iffy owner and financial problems, and so players strike and fans boycott. A complicated afternoon, tonnes of emotions and suddenly it’s a not a free hit anymore…
Choose Sunday lunchtime on the BBC. Choose not knowing if the game was going to happen. Choose rumours of a youth team. Choose Mick Sullivan’s interviews on the luxury coach. Choose bus and train loads. Choose taking over the northern pubs. Choose titter tatter and flags. Choose an early goal, two early goals! Choose knocking it around at the back like we’re the bigger team. Choose a 2-0 lead at half time. Choose songs in solidarity with a struggling club. Choose a sigh of relief. Choose two more goals early in the second half. Choose an unbelievably comfortable last half an hour. Choose scenes. Choose limbs. Choose Bird conducting the fans before being given the bumps by his won players. Choose disbelief.
Not for a second did the fuss look to have affected Ks as they went two up within 11 minutes. Dan Hector opened the scoring, and fittingly it was Rob Tolfrey, almost 10 years to the day since his first Ks appearance, who created the goal. A textbook Tolfs side kick sent Hector away before the winger calmly beat the keeper from inside the area. Hector then turned provider, his cross from midway inside the Silkmen’s half found Louie Theophanous’ chest. The striker’s first touch on his chest was good, his second touch, firing a bouncing ball into the roof of the net was better. In truth, Louie could have had a hat trick, as one of the few senior pros in the host’s side twice denied him before half time, first rushing out to smother the ball once Louie got in behind the backline, before pulling off a stunning one-handed save to claw away the frontman’s header from Dan Bennett’s cross.
Within minutes of the second half any hope of a fightback from Macclesfield was over. A goalmouth scramble eventually fell to Louie, his shot took a big deflection, bounced back off the post and gave Bennett a simple tap-in to make it 3-0. All that was left was for Louie to grab his second, poking the ball past Evans from Reece Hall’s perfect pass, before slotting home from the angle. Ks saw the game out, knocking out it around like the more experienced, better side that they were.
Choose… belief? Choose being in the hat for the second round. Choose one game from Anfield, Villa Park, Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford. Choose Monday night BBC primetime Hayden. Choose Kingstonian.
Macclesfield Town: 1 - Owen Evans, 2 - Jamie Osipitan, 3 - Eddie Clarke, 4 - Ryan Mealing, 5 - Connor Seymour, 6 - Sean Holland, 9 - Virgil Gomis, 10 - Tyler James, 11 - Rocco Fregapane, 14 - Connor Kirby, 16 - Corey O'Keeffe.
Subs: 7 - Lewis Price (for Tyler James, 83m), 8 - Connor Austin, 12 - Joshua Clegg (for Sean Holland, 83m), 13 - Ben Jupp, 15 - Trevor Kyobe (for Jamie Osipitan, 28m), 17 - Liam Loban, 18 - Joe Cobey.
Kingstonian: 1 - Rob Tolfrey, 2 - Sean Clohessy, 28 - Fabio Saraiva, 26 - Simon Cooper, 5 - Ollie Cook, 6 - Tom Kavanagh, 7 - Dan Bennett, 8 - Kenny Beaney, 9 - Louie Theophanous, 10 - Reece Hall, 11 - Dan Hector.