Harry Smith’s second goal in consecutive friendlies helped Macclesfield Town finish pre-season with a draw at Stockport County.
The new 6ft 5in signing rose highest to head home Michael Rose’s out-swinging corner in a crowded penalty area, breaking the deadlock in the 19th minute.
Smith’s fourth goal of the pre-season campaign heightened the tempo of the match, which turned out to be a well-contested draw between the two Cheshire sides.
However, as Macc grew with confidence, the hosts equalised with their first corner. Sam Walker’s cross evaded everyone other than centre-half Ash Taylor, who’s header back across goal squirmed over the line.
This sparked a positive spell for the hosts, but in keeping with the first 30 minutes, the Silkmen held resolute. And it wasn’t long before momentum swung into the Silkmen’s favour once again, who were on top for the game’s majority.
Before the goals however, it was Scott Wilson who almost gave Macc a reward for their early dominance. Danny Whitaker won the ball deep in the Macc half and fed Wilson down the left, who ran at Chris Smalley before testing the keeper from outside the area.
Rose, who made a return to Edgeley Park after a spell with County between 2006 and 2010, set the pace with Whitaker in the midfield and his left-footed effort from distance was saved by Ben Hinchliffe early on.
Following the interval, the match picked up from where it left off. The Silkmen continued to dictate play, repeatedly winning the ball in the Hatters’ half with fast pressing.
However, it was the hosts who forced the first clear-cut chance of the half. A well-worked cross eluded Frank Mulhern in the area and fell to Palmer who couldn’t find the target for a second time.
Mulhern created a chance for himself soon after, smashing the bar with a spectacular effort after being forced to shoot from distance.
With the Silkmen looking to break the deadlock themselves, Danny Whitaker took aim from outside the area and dragged his right-footed shot narrowly wide in the 70th minute.
With just over 10 minutes remaining, Macc’s patience started to get its reward, as David Fitzpatrick’s close-range shot was tipped over the bar following a fantastic spell in possession.
The resulting corner fell to substitute Tyrone Marsh, who’s instinctive effort in a crowd of bodies was smothered by Hinchliffe.
Macc continued in the ascendency and had County pinned in their own half until the final whistle, however shots from Fiacre Kelleher and Marsh couldn’t muster a winner.
Macclesfield Town (4-4-2): Taylor, Hodgkiss (C), Fitzpatrick, Kelleher, Grimes, Wilson (Blissett, 63), Smith (Evans, 70), Welch-Hayes (Marsh, 63), Arthur, Whitaker, Rose
Subs: Marsh, Blissett, Stephens, Pearson, Trialist, Lowe, Evans
Stockport (4-2-3-1): Hinchliffe, Cowan, Duxbury, Keane, Palmer, Smalley, Minihan, Turnbull (C), Mulhern, Warburton, Walker
By Matt Bates