Macclesfield Town boss Gary Simpson devotes FA Cup draw to late duo

Gary Simpson
Simpson was assistant to Alexander when he died in 2010

Macclesfield boss Gary Simpson said his side's 2-2 FA Cup third round draw with Bolton was a fitting tribute to the memory of midfielder Richard Butcher and former manager Keith Alexander.

The tie marked the first anniversary of the death of Butcher, 29, from a heart condition, while Alexander died in 2010 after suffering a brain aneurysm.

"Butch and the gaffer were a big part of this football club," said Simpson.

"It was a fitting way the lads went out and performed."

Simpson, who had been assistant to Alexander when he died aged 53, added: "Nobody would have been more proud of them than the gaffer and Butch."

Ivan Klasnic gave Bolton an early lead at Moss Rose on Saturday, before Colin Daniel fired Macclesfield level.

Arnaud Mendy's spectacular volley gave the Silkmen hope of an upset and a place in the fourth round but David Wheater's late header rescued Bolton.

Simpson added: "It was a good effort by us against the cream of our country - a team from the Premier League.

"We conceded early but we kept playing and took the game to them and got our rewards.

"It was a fantastic goal by Mendy - I didn't know he had that in his locker. What a great strike it was.

"He hasn't played a lot but I always thought that the kid would come to the fore.

"We hoped we could hold out but they are big, strong, and put the ball in the right area and always cause you a problem at set-pieces."

Bolton boss Coyle said he would not begrudge Macclesfield having a replay.

"All credit to Macclesfield, they are a decent side and they scored a truly magnificent goal," he said.

"I've been on the other side many times as a giantkiller and you think 'that's a typical FA Cup moment'.

"But credit to the boys, they kept going and it became waves of attack and we could easily have won, but I don't, and I don't think anyone would, begrudge Macclesfield being given another go at it."

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