Macclesfield 0 Lincoln City 1

Last updated : 26 December 2002 By Footymad Previewer

Macclesfield boss David Moss denied his side were facing a Christmas crisis after they slumped to a sixth home league defeat courtesy of a stunning late Peter Gain strike.

The under-fire manager said: “It is no crisis, it is a scrap and a battle but we have 23 games left to play and 69 points available.

“I need to get three, four, or maybe five new players into the squad as soon as possible.

“I only had 14 or 15 fit players and today I had an apprentice who earns only £90 pounds a week in a key position in central midfield.” Lincoln boss Keith Alexander, however, had time to joke: “It was a poor first half when clearly my players had too much turkey,” he said.

“In the second half we changed it and got the ball forward more quickly by pushing a man forward and an extra player wide and for the last half hour we were the best side.

“We came here to win and had four forwards at the end of the game.” Alexander then paid tribute to inspirational midfielder Gain, who crowned a classy display with a firecracker 30-yard drive in the 83rd minute.

The Imps boss said: “Gain is a former Irish under-21 international and is far too good to be playing at this level. His strike was magnificent and he has always had the quality to change a game.” Macclesfield squandered a succession of chances in the first half with the best of them wasted by former Everton youngster David Eaton who scuffed his shot horribly wide on 32 minutes with only the keeper to beat.

The Imps dominated the second half and might have scored in the 79th minute when after a mazy 40-yard run, Gain picked out Richard Butcher who forced an acrobatic save from Steve Wilson.

The goalkeeper, however, could do nothing when Gain scored the winner itself just four minutes later.