Macclesfield 2 Exeter 3

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Ryan Bowman scored a late winner for Exeter City to break Macclesfield hearts, as the Silkmen lost a thrilling game at Moss Rose.

City were 2-0 up after little over 15 minutes thanks to first-half goals from Nicky Ajose and Pierce Sweeney.

Connor Kirby pulled one back for Town before the break and the comeback was complete when captain Fiacre Kelleher headed home with half an hour of the match to go.

The hosts started the match well with Danny Whitehead’s shot being saved by Lewis Ward after just two minutes and Fraser Horsfall almost scoring from the resulting corner.

In the 10th minute, Kelleher headed just wide as the Silkmen piled on the pressure in the awful windy and rainy conditions.

Just sixty seconds later though, Ajose finished off a lovely team move to put Exeter ahead against the run of play.

Two minutes later, the visitors got away with one when Aaron Martin brought Joe Ironside down when he closed in on goal but was only booked.

The Grecians doubled their lead in the 17th minute, when Sweeney met an Ajose cross with a stunning half-volley that flew into the net.

Bowman should have made it three just moments afterwards, but his shot was straight at home goalkeeper Jonathan Mitchell.

For the next quarter of an hour, Exeter dominated the encounter with Matt Jay squandering a couple of chances as Macclesfield looked nervous.

Then, five minutes before half-time, Macc were handed a lifeline when a free-kick hit an Exeter defender and bounced into the net off Kirby.

On the stroke of the interval, Shilow Tracey, who replaced Donovan Wilson earlier in the half, flashed a shot just wide of goal meaning that his team went into the break still trailing.

Chances were at a premium in the second half due to the weather worsening but Mark Kennedy’s side kept probing.

Their hard work was rewarded in the 63rd minute when Kelleher rose highest to meet a corner and his bullet header drew the home team level.

With twenty minutes remaining, Jacob Blyth replaced Ironside for Macc and almost made an immediate impact but he blazed his shot wide from a promising position.

But it was Mark Taylor’s side that had the last laugh when Bowman tapped in with five minutes to go from a Randell Williams cross to give Exeter the three points.

The win, along with Crewe’s defeat lifts them to second in the League Two table while Macclesfield remain 23rd in the standings.

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