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Match Report: Ashton United 0-2 Macclesfield

Ashton were brought back down to earth as the visitors completed a deserved league double at Hurst Cross under former manager Michael Clegg.

The home side were without influential winger Alex Byrne and his replacement Bernardo Couto won a early free kick out wide which was cleared by the Macclesfield defence.

On 5 minutes Paul Cooper needed to be alert to collect an effort from distance by Luke Duffy but on 17 minutes Duffy's free kick from almost halfway was allowed to drop in the area where it was guided into the corner of the goal by Sam Heathcote. Sam Baird then made a vital block on Tunde Owolabi before fellow forward Kane Drummond fired the loose ball over the top and 11 minutes before the break Sam Perry picked up a loose ball and turned past several defenders before steering a left foot effort unerringly into the corner.

Luke Burke then won a free kick which saw Couto's delivery headed over by Dan Cowan and a loose ball fell to Kielen Adams who cut inside before blazing over. The silkmen could have extended their advantage at the start of the second half as Pemberton's right wing cross was fired wide from a great position by Drummond and Cooper had to be quickly off his line to beat Owolabi to a long ball.

On the hour the visitors were down to 10 men as goalkeeper Joe Hilton saw red for taken down Adams as he chased Nathan Lowe's through ball, Lowe hitting the resulting free kick over the bar and failing to test the stand in keeper Paul Dawson.

The visitors' 2 forwards then made a lightning break which finished with Owolabi firing over close in and a melee then resulted in sub Mitch Rose being booked and Macc coach Nicky Hunt being dismissed. WIth 13 minutes remaining Cooper got lucky as he hit Burke's backpass straight at Owolabi from where it rebounded narrowly past the post and Hardy's layoff then led to another shot too high this time from Adams.

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