Tyler James’s first half hat-trick set Macclesfield Town Under 19s A team on their way to an emphatic 7 – 0 victory over Crewe Alexandra in the EFL CEFA Cup (Northern Section) this afternoon.
Paul McGuire’s side started the game in the ascendancy and stamped their authority on proceedings within the early exchanges.
The first chance of note came in the 10th minute, when Josh Clegg’s driven free-kick into the Crewe penalty area was caught on the half-volley by James – yet he could only direct the ball wide of the far post.
Two minutes later, James was in the thick of the action once more. Rocco Fragapane’s long diagonal ball from the left was hammered first-time towards goal, yet it flew marginally wide,
The visitors were committed to the intricate, passing game for which they are renowned and for a time, the game developed in a largely equal fashion.
Despite this, the deadlock was to be broken on 19 minutes, when Liam Logan showed an impressive turn of pace to break free down the left and his pin-point cross was coolly despatched by James from six yards out.
Four minutes later, our lead was doubled as the Logan-James partnership flourished once more.
The left-winger once again launched a menacing assault down the left, before his cross found James on the edge of the area and after some nimble footwork, he emphatically fired home the second goal of the game.
It would be unfair on the visitors to suggest that it was all one way traffic at this point, yet Macc were unquestionably carving out the most potent chances in front of goal.
On 27 minutes a long ball was launched upfield and after tenaciously battling to control the ball under pressure, James took it over the advancing Lewis Dawson – yet it dipped fractionally too late to extend the scoring once more.
After Dawson had then made a smart save from James in the 33rd minute, the forward secured his second hat-trick in as many games three minutes later.
The ball was drilled into him on the edge of the penalty area and with his back to goal, James majestically turned his man before firing the ball into the top corner of the net.
Crewe’s best chance of the first period came five minutes before the interval, when Jamie Dawson drove through the midfield before forcing Aaron Stockton into a fine save low down to his right.
The second half largely proved to be an extension of the first – with the home side looking to add to their tally at every opportunity.
Liam Logan, Ivan Teixeria and Josh Clegg all had opportunities to extend our lead in the opening exchanges of the second period, before manager Paul McGuire made five changes to the side just after the hour mark.
This served to rejuvenate the lads and within a minute, Jamie Osipitan launched a surging run down the left, before his tantalising cross was headed agonisingly wide by Zach Box.
Sixty seconds later, Macc gained the reward that their dominance unquestionably deserved when a corner from the left broke to Trevor Kyobe and he confidently despatched from close range.
Immediately after the re-start, Clegg drove through the Crewe midfield before rifling an unstoppable drive from the edge of the area to claim Macc’s fifth goal.
The barrage of pressure did not end there either, as on 67 minutes Lewis Price finished a flowing Silkmen move by effortlessly finishing from ten yards out.
Macc continue to press and after a short lull in proceedings, managed to extend their lead for one final time.
Zach Box proved to be a nuisance within the Crewe ranks and he laid the ball off to Price who made no mistake from six yards out.
Both Box and Clegg had opportunities to claim an eighth and that in itself exemplifies the dominance which our youngsters enjoyed this afternoon.
Macclesfield Town U19s A Team: Stockton, Osipitan, Fragapane, Mealing, Seymour, Holland, Savi, Clegg, James, Teixeira, Logan.
Subs: Price, Manning, Beck, Box, Kyobe.