Former Nottingham forest youngster Hamza Bencherif condemned the Brewers to another miserable away day with both goals in a 2-1 victory for the Silkmen at Moss Rose. Goals either side of half time left the Brewers with a mountain to climb and although loan striker James Collins scored for the second game in a row it proved to be insufficient to get Albion even a share of the points.
After last weekend's 3-0 home victory against Bradford City Brewers boss Paul Peschisolido was able to name an unchanged side for the visit to Macclesfield Town. Aaron Webster failed to shake off a calf strain meaning an unchanged midfield whilst the Albion manager opted for the same defence as well despite the availability again of summer signing Nathan Stanton who had to settle for a place on the bench last week following motorway delays in getting to the game.
The only change for the Brewers was on the substitutes bench where Kevin Poole returned having missed last weekend's match.
The Silkmen got off to a bright start with Tyrone Barnett heading an early chance over the bar but it was Burton who had the first clear cut chance in the 6th minute. When James Collins was hauled back on the halfway line it gave Ryan Austin the chance to launch the ball into the penalty area. Shaun Harrad did well to bring the ball down but on the turn blasted his shot over the crossbar from just eight yards out.
Lewis Young had a chance to open his Burton account in the tenth minute as Harrad and strike partner James Collins began to cause problems for the Macc defence. the two striker worked the ball from left to right to fing Young in space but from just outside the box the former Watford man dragged his shot wide of the target. Collins was closer still moments later after a bustling run took him to the edge of the area where he forced a save low down by former Tamworth keeper Jose Veiga.
The Brewers continued to look dangerous as Scott Malone raided forward setting up a chance for Jacques Maghoma that was blocked but the play quickly switched to the other end when Tyrone Barnett cut inside from the right and fired a left foot shot wide of the post.
Albion were inches away from grabbing the lead in the 21st minute. Scott Malone's free kick found Harrad in the box and his lay off fell nicely for John McGrath to curl in a teasing cross that James Collins was just unable to connect with in front of goal.
Macclesfield were busy appealing for a handball as part of a scramble in the penalty area when Albion broke away again, Lewis Young sprinting to the edge of the Macclesfield penalty area before sliding the ball to Harrad who disappointingly fired straight at Veiga with a first time shot.
Albion were made to pay for missing their chances in the 29th minute as Macclesfield scored what can only be described as a scruffy goal. The ball was launched into the box from the Macc right hand side by Lewis Chalmers and although Vinny Mukendi failed to connect at the far post his team mate Hamza BENCHERIF looped a header over the stranded Adam Legzdins for his fourth goal of the season.
The Brewers continued to press forward despite the setback and were frustrated again as first Collins headed over and then Maghoma fired a twenty five yard shot just wide of the post.
The first half finished with no further chances for either side but the Brewers would have been wondering how they were behind having had so many decent chances to beat Veiga in the Macclesfield goal.
Half time - Macclesfield Town 1-0 Burton Albion
Three minutes into the second half and it was 2-0 to the Silkmen. Ross Draper was brought down just outside the box by Ryan Austin and when the ball was knocked short to BENCHERIF the Algerian blasted a low shot just inside Legzdins' right hand post.
Bencherif spurned a glorious chance to claim his hat-trick in the 59th minute when he timed his run superbly onto Lewis Chalmers angled cross but with the goal at his mercy he headed across goal and wide of the post.
The Brewers were forced into a change on the hour mark with Russell Penn replacing Lewis Young. The winger had been struggling for a few minutes following a challenge from Carl Tremarco and finally had to come off having failed to run off what appeared to be a dead leg.
The disappointment was tempered two minutes later when James COLLINS halved the Brewers deficit. sterling work on the left from Penn and Scott Malone engineered the chance for a cross which ran through to Collins who drilled home an unstoppable twelve yard shot.
the game was brought to life by the goal and although Macclesfield had a couple of half chances it was Albion pressing strongly for a possible equaliser. Adam Bolder was denied a first Albion goal by a smart save from Veiga and from the resulting corner the former Ramsman saw his back post header also scrambled clear.
Collins had a chance to double his afternoon's tally in the 75th minute but well placed he guided a fifteen yard header wide of the target from Andy Corbett's cross.
Peschisolido's second change came with ten minutes to go with the fresh legs of Jimmy Phillips brought on to replace Jacques Maghoma down the left hand side.
Macclesfield began to come strong again and the lively Mukendi was not far away with a header that flashed over the Brewers crossbar with little more than eight minutes to play.
Albion opted to finish the game with three in attack as Greg Pearson was thrown on in a last ditch effort to salvage the game with John McGrath making way for the experienced midfielder.
The Brewers squandered a gilt edged chance as the game entered stoppage time. Substitute Pearson and leading scorer Harrad tried to capitalise on a scramble in the box and when they worked the ball to the far post Collins sliced his effort to guarantee a share of the spoils. A late corner allowed Legzdins the chance to venture forwards but it was all to no avail as Macclesfield held on for a victory that took them back above the Brewers in the table.
MACCLESFIELD: Veiga, Reid, Tremarco, Bencherif, Brown, Chalmers, Draper, Nsiala, Bolland, Barnett, Mukendi. Substitutes: Cudworth, Daniel, Wedgbury, Lowe, Hamshaw, Roberts, Sappleton.
BREWERS: Legzdins; Corbett, Austin, Moore, Malone; Young (Penn, 60), Bolder, McGrath, Maghoma; Harrad, Collins. Substitutes: Poole, Stanton, Walker, Phillips, Pearson, Dyer.
Referee: Mr. A.Penn (West Midlands)
GOALS: Macclesfield - Bencherif (29, 48), Albion - Collins (62)
Attendance - 1,791 (473 away)