STAGSNET`S STATISTICAL PREVIEW
After convincingly having disposed of Wrexham to a 3-0 scoreline last Saturday, the Stags now travel across the Peak District to rock-bottom Macclesfield.
And the Silkmen, still without a League win and having endured their worst winless spell in their 10-year league history, have only just recently installed a new manager. The name is Paul Ince, who earlier this season had a short playing spell at promotion contenders Swindon. And just the poor start of the season cost experienced Brian Horton the job as Macclesfield manager. After the 0-1 defeat at Hereford, the side Macclesfield replaced on promotion to the then Division 3 in 1997-98, on September 30, Brian Horton was sacked. Ian Brightwell was caretaker manager after Horton's demise until the appointment of Ince, the latter now having named former Tranmere stalwart Ray Mathias as number two.
And Macclesfield were, like Kidderminster, another side which first was refused entry to the FL due to ground regulations, then a couple of seasons later, finally gained entry to the league (The Silkmen won the Conf in 1994-95 and then in 1996-97). On joining the League, the Silkmen were the fifth side to gain further promotion in their first FL season in 1997-98 (the others being Peterborough in 1960-61, Hereford in 1972-73, Darlington in 1990-91 on immediate league return after being relegated in 1988-89 and Wycombe in 1993-94) in second position being unbeaten at home, behind Notts County – and that under the guidance of Sammy McIlroy, later Northern Ireland national team manager. But the Macc had up to the Field Mill fixture on September 6, 2003 only once scored at the Mill and that was when the teams shared eight goals apiece in a 4-4 draw on August 28, 2000 – the first game at the new-look Field Mill in front of 3360.
The teams also faced each other in 2001-02 when the lowest home crowd of that promotion season, just 2681, and just a few Stags FL home league games since then have seen a crowd below 3000 - saw the Stags stuff the Silkmen 4-0 with the help of two strikes from Disley and one apiece from Greenacre and White. Needless to say that this is the up-to-date highest Stags win against the Macc. Incidentally, one of Macclesfield's up to date highest league wins was in a home game against the Stags on November 2, 1999 – 5-2 to the Silkmen. This was bettered by the Silkmen on December 13, 2003, when Huddersfield were mauled 4-0 at Moss Rose, even bettered when the Silkmen stuffed Notts County 5-0 at their place last season. (Now bettered when the Silkmen stuffed Stockport 6-0 at home on Boxing Day, 2005, editor's note). All other league games between the clubs being won by either side so far with the exemption of the 2001-02 league Field Mill fixture and the one from 2004-05 at Macclesfield have been decided by the only goal of the game – the most important one being an injury-time Tankard header at Moss Rose on December 29, 2001 in front of 2550, of whom about a third, 771, took the relative short trip across the Peak District to Silkmen Country. In 2000-01, the Stags also won by the only goal of the game at Moss Rose. On January 14, 2001, Mark Blake hit the winner 34 minutes into that tie. On November 6, 2004, when the Stagsnet statistical previewer did the Stagsnet report of the Field Mill game, Sheron hit the only goal of the game for the Silkmen's first-ever league victory in Stagsland. That game was also Keith Curle's last game as Stags manager as he a few days later was controversially suspended by a certain person at the top. And the away fixture in Silkmen Country, which was the last but one that season, was lost as well to a 3-1 scoreline. One of the Macc scorers then, Matthew Tipton, often scoring against the Stags, had a brief spell at the Stags at the very beginning of last term, Tipton now currently on loan to the Silkmen from Bury, the side Tipton joined after leaving the Stags.
The teams faced prior to the League game in Mansfield on November 6, 2004, each other in a cup tie for the first time – but that was at Moss Rose on November 2, 2004, when a youthful Stags side crashed out of the LDV Vans Trophy to a 4-0 scoreline. But both teams have had FA Cup home games against West Ham. In Macclesfield's case, this happened only the week after Tankard's injury time winner. The Hammers won the 3rd round FA Cup 2001-02 tie with the same scoreline as with which the Stags kayoed West Ham in 1968-69 – 3-0! And both sides reached the FA Cup 3rd round in 2003-04 – the Silkmen for the third year running. Macclesfield also did that in 1967-68 – as a non-league side which nearly accounted for then First Division Fulham away before losing 4-2 – and in 1987-88, when the subsequent Spurs killers Port Vale won a home tie 1-0.
The 2004-05 season was the Silkmen's best following relegation in 1998-99, finishing inside the playoff positions under the guidance of the experienced Brian Horton, who the season before passed the 1000-game milestone as a manager, a feat also been achieved by Crewe's Dario Gradi. .
Last season's fixtures both ended 1-1. The draw at Moss Rose on September 27, 2005, was the first Stags league point gained under the management of Peter Shirtliff, then in the caretaker role following Carlton Palmer's resignation at Rochdale ten days earlier. And before the 1-1 Field Mill home fixture on February 4, 2006, there was a protest march in Stagsland widely focused in national media, enough written on that. But the Macclesfield home fixture was to be the first in an eight-match unbeaten League run, the Stags' best last term, of which the previewer watched two, both being away games.
Played for both sides: Colin Askey, Richie Barker, Len Butt, Syd Carter, Lee Glover, David Goodwin, Kevin Lampkin, Colin Little, Neil MacKenzie, Neil Moore, Nathan Peel, Allan Russell, Ben Sedgemore, Matthew Tipton, Michael Walker.
Ben Sedgemore played for the Stags against the Silkmen in both games of the 1997-98 and was red-carded in the first-ever league fixture between the clubs at Moss Rose on October 18, 1997, but starred for Macc on November 2, 1999 at Moss Rose, scoring once in the Silkmen's 5-2 victory. He also scored once in the 4-4 game at Field Mill on August 28, 2000 – but played last season for then Conf side Canvey Island.
Home games: P 7, W 4, D 2, L 1, GF 14, GA 8
Away games: P 7, W 2, D 2, L 3, GF 7, GA 11
Season Home Date Away Date
1997-98 1-0 1998-02-24 0-1 1997-10-18 Div 3
1999-2000 1-0 2000-03-11 2-5 1999-11-02 Div 3
2000-01 4-4 2000-08-28 1-0 2001-01-14 Div 3
2001-02 4-0 2001-08-27 1-0 2001-12-29 Div 3
2003-04 3-2 2003-09-06 1-1 2003-12-28 Div 3
2004-05 0-1 2004-11-06 1-3 2005-04-23 League Two
2005-06 1-1 2006-02-04 1-1 2005-09-27 League Two
2004-05 0-4 2004-11-02 (at Moss Rose, Macclesfield in the LDV Vans Trophy)
Svante Bernhard aka Sweden Stag (pictured, above right)