STAGSNET`S STATISTICAL PREVIEW
Putting runs together have played a major part in the fortunes of several clubs in League Two this current campaign. Just look at Hartlepool and Stockport in the playoff zone and above, and at Torquay, rock-bottom now under former Stags manager Keith Curle (all registering club records in some way or another this term). And in Macclesfield's case, the Silkmen started the current campaign with nineteen winless games, looking doomed at the end of November 2006. That run also cost the experienced Brian Horton the job as Macclesfield manager after the Silkmen's first-ever league game against Hereford on September 30, 2006. In came Paul Ince. After the winless sequence was broken against Rochdale on December 5, 2006, the ice was broken, too, for the Silkmen. The victory against Rochdale was followed by five more and a high-scoring home draw against Accrington Stanley tucked in between. And by the start of the New Year, Macclesfield had left the drop zone. But the Silkmen are not out of danger yet, and gained a 1-1 draw at Bury last Saturday thanks to a converted 90th minute McIntyre penalty.
And a 90th minute penalty also settled the tie between the Stags and the Silkmen at Moss Rose on October 28, 2006. In that game, Macclesfield were just ten minutes away from registering their first League win, leading 2-1. Then, Barker equalized, and in the final minute, he converted a penalty to gain the Stags their first 2006-07 away League win. At that time, the Stags were mid-table, just like now. But since then, a certain Keith Haslam did play a major part in managerial and player changes. Peter Shirtliff, manager in October, was axed (?) by Mr. Haslam just before Christmas. One reason may be the opposition of selling Richard Barker to Hartlepool at that time. By removing Shirtliff, got rid of an opponent to the sale of King Barker. Enough written.
But the Stags played poorly in their latest home game, and lost last Saturday to Boston, one of Macclesfield's opponents in escaping the dreaded drop. Surely one of the worst performances since Billy Dearden came back, yet before the Boston game, the Stags had in a five-match unbeaten run beaten Wycombe at home as having accounted for Lincoln away, and may be sitting comfortably in mid-table..
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.
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 8, W 3, D 2, L 3, GF 10, GA 13
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
2006-07 (at Moss Rose) 3-2 2006-10-28 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)
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