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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
11:52 12th December 2011

Ross in action against Peterborough

MACCLESFIELD 0-0 GILLINGHAM

The Gills stretched their unbeaten run to seven games after being held to a 0-0 draw at a cold Moss Rose.


It could have been different for the Gills but for two fine saves by home keeper Jose Veiga early in the second half of a poor encounter.


Veiga first kept out Curtis Weston's well-struck volley, and his next save from Danny Jackman's low shot was even better.


At the other end, Ross Flitney was largely untroubled as the Gills made it three clean sheets in a row - and stayed in the play-off spots.


The Gills made one change from the side which won 1-0 at Leyton Orient in the FA Cup second round, with Jo Kuffour replacing Stefan Payne, who dropped to the bench.


He was joined there by the returning Chris Whelpdale, Frank Nouble and Matt Lawrence, as Gills boss Andy Hessenthaler stuck with the same midfield quartet which shone at the Matchroom Stadium.


Macclesfield, beaten just twice at Moss Rose this season before kick-off, also made a solitary change from their FA Cup line-up, Carl Tremarco in for Arnaud Mendy from the side held at non-league Chelmsford.


The Gills were on the front foot in a slow start, with the movement and presence of Kuffour and Danny Kedwell causing moderate concern to the home side.


Macclesfield did look dangerous going forward, and Jack Payne did well to block Matt Hamshaw's shot as the midfielder cut in from the left.


Some neat trickery from Kuffour on the edge of the box almost played in Weston, but the opening 25 minutes will not live long in the memory.


The home side then caused alarm in the Gills box twice in the same attack, firstly Joe Martin blocking George Donnelly's goalbound effort, before Lee just got in front of the same player to clear as the ball was returned to the area.


Nat Brown then got in the way of a long-range Curtis Weston effort, and Kuffour then saw his shot from 12 yards blocked as the Gills tried to press.


Tremarco was causing a few problems with his long throws, one of which was flicked on to Brown, but he lifted it well over the top.


Lee was the first man in the book with 35 minutes gone for a late tackle on Tremarco as the left-back looked to get down the wing.


Kedwell was putting in his usual fine shift and his cross-cum-shot from the right called Jose Veiga into the game's first save of note - in the 39th minute.


Macclesfield then came closest of all in the first half as Shaun Brisley's header from Colin Daniel's cross looked to be heading goalwards, but Andy Frampton got there to hack clear just in front of the post.


The Gills were straight on the attack in the second half when Joe Martin's long ball into the box was headed down by Kedwell but Weston's venomous volley was well kept out by Veiga.


Gills went close again as Kuffour lost his footing after being played in by Lee, but the ball was cleared as far as Jackman, whose low shot was saved by Veiga, and Weston's first effort from a tight angle from the rebound was also saved, and his second - a lofted attempt - nodded behind by Tremarco.


Lee was replaced by Lawrence in the 61st minute, slightly hobbling as his afternoon came to an end.


Donnelly shot wide from 20 yards as Macclesfield had a rare sight of goal, before the home crowd - and bench - became animated as they believed Flitney's punch from a long ball over the top had been outside his area.


Vinny Mukendi was replaced by Waide Fairhurst with 17 minutes remaining as the Silkmen freshened up their attack - and the Gills followed suit with Nouble on for Kuffour.


The final throw of the dice for Hessenthaler saw Whelpdale come on for Weston with just two minutes to go, and he at least mustered a shot on goal, but the home defence saved Veiga from any more work.


Three minutes of stoppage time were not enough for the breakthrough, but the Gills go into next weekend's game with Bristol Rovers still in good form.


Att: 1,724 (253 Gills fans)


Macclesfield:Veiga, Bateson, Tremarco, Brown, Donnelly, Mukendi (Fairhurst 74), Daniel, Diagne, Brisley, Wedgbury, Hamshaw.

Subs: Morgan, Mendy, Boden, Thomas.


Gills: Flitney, Lee (Lawrence 62), Frampton, Richards, Martin, Weston (Whelpdale 88), J Payne, Montrose, Jackman, Kedwell, Kuffour (Nouble 78).

Subs: S Payne, Gazzaniga.

    QUICK FACTS

    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.