Macclesfield Town Under 19’s emerged as EFL Cefa Cup North champions this afternoon, after a 3 – 1 victory over Derby County.
After a slow start to the game, it was the visitors who claimed the early ascendancy and began to dominate possession.
The first real chance of the contest came in the 11th minute, when a flowing move resulted in Tyler James seeing his drilled attempt well saved by the Derby ‘keeper.
The Rams responded and two minutes later, they themselves carved out an opportunity to break the deadlock when Oscar rifled the ball goalwards from distance – only to see it fly marginally over the bar.
Macc began to settle into the free-flowing, attacking style of play which they are now becoming renowned for and on 17 minutes were unlucky not to open the scoring when Lewis Price saw his venomous effort blocked at the last second.
James then forced the Derby ‘keeper into another fine save, before Liam Logan seized on a mix-up in the Rams defence – only to see his goalbound attempt saved.
A plethora of further chances all went begging for the visitors during the remaining period of the first-half – as the two sides headed into the interval all-square.
The second period began in much the same vein as the first had ended – with Paul McGuire’s side controlling proceedings and looking to make their superiority count on the scoresheet
The deadlock was finally broken on 62 minutes, when Lewis Price’s tantalising corner was met by James who made no mistake from close-range.
Our lead was doubled ten minutes later, as James found the back of the net once more. Price was unleashed down the left, before his pinpoint assist was calmly finished by James to give the young Silkmen side a two goal cushion.
Three minutes later, James claimed his hat-trick and effectively ended the game as a contest. Josh Clegg was the provider, as James confidently claimed the match-ball with another devastating finish.
To their credit, Derby fought until the bitter end and claimed a consolation goal right on the stroke of full-time in order to reduce the arrears.
Yet there was no denying Macc their deserved piece of silverwear, as we now take our place in the National Final to be held at St George’s Park.
Macclesfield Town Under 19s: Stockton, Kyobe, Fregapane, Beck, Lukatome, Austin, Logan, Soares, James, Clegg, Price. Subs: Box, Manning, Ronan.