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Feature

The Emirates FA Cup First Round: Our Recent History

9 November 2018

Macclesfield Town have participated in the Emirates FA Cup First Round in twenty three of the last twenty six seasons – winning eight times and losing on seven occasions - with eight ties needing a replay.

We start our look back at all of these ties in November 1992, when Peter Wragg’s Vauxhall Conference side came up against Chesterfield at the Moss Rose.

On a cold and wet afternoon, Macc held the League side to a goalless draw to set up a replay at Saltergate eleven days later.

The match proved to be a historic one as The Silkmen became the first Non League side to beat a Football League side on penalties – largely thanks three wonderful Steve Farrelly saves.

The following season saw Sammy McIlroy lead Macclesfield Town in the Emirates FA Cup for the first time.

The former Cup winner with Manchester United could not have been happier with his side’s First Round exploits, as a Neil Sorvel header and Martin McDonald thunderbolt saw Macc dispose of Football League side, Hartlepool United.

The following two seasons saw Macc eliminated from the competition in the Fourth Qualifying Round, yet we were to progress to the First Round again in November 1996 when Rochdale visited the Moss Rose.

The reigning FA Trophy winners fancied their chances against their illustrious Lancashire neighbours, yet we were to face a goalkeeping crisis in the lead up to the match.

Regular ‘keeper Ryan Price had suffered multiple fractures to his cheekbone as a result of colliding with Darren Tinson at Southport the week before, so Sammy needed to draft in chicken farmer Andrew Oakes for the match.

The debutant did not embarrass himself in the least, yet Macc were knocked out of the competition after suffering a narrow 1 – 0 defeat.

As part of our promotion to the Football League in 1997, we enjoyed the added bonus of not having to contest qualifying rounds in the competition.

Our first tie as a Football League club saw Sammy’s side paired with Hartlepool once more – yet this time at their Victoria Park ground.

Four second half goals saw The Silkmen storm through to the Second Round, with both Steve Wood and Stuart Whitaker scoring twice in a 4 – 2 victory.

Despite a second successive promotion to Division Two in 1998, Macc struggled to overcome non league Slough Town in the First Round of the following season’s competition.

Late goals from Graeme Tomlinson and Efe Sodje saw the match finish as a 2 – 2 draw, taking the game to a replay.

Ben Sedgemore’s 7th minute strike gave Macc the lead, but The Rebels fought back to take the tie into extra time. No further goals were scored, yet Sammy McIlroy’s side progressed 9 – 8 on penalties.

In November 1999 Macc were drawn to play Hull City at the Moss Rose. The match would finish as a 0 – 0 draw, yet The Tigers stormed to a 4 – 0 victory in the replay to send them through to Round Two.

The first Emirates FA Cup clash of the new millennium saw The Silkmen entertain Oxford United at the Moss Rose.

Having gone a goal down, the home side were given a golden opportunity to restore parity in the second half when they were awarded a penalty kick.

So incensed were the travelling fans behind the goal that they proceeded to pull the netting down and delay the kick for some considerable time!

Their plan seemed to have worked however, as when the kick was eventually taken Lee Glover’s shot was saved and Macc were eliminated.

Back in 2001, The Silkmen were paired with the upcoming Forest Green Rovers as our First Round opponents.

The Football League side hung on to record a 2 – 2 draw in the first match, largely thanks to a brace from future England star Rickie Lambert - yet the tie will always be remembered for the epic replay.

Kevin Keen cancelled out Mark Cooper’s first half free kick, as the match went to a record breaking penalty shootout which Macc eventually won 11 -10.

The following season saw a trip up to the KC Stadium to renew our rivalry with Hull City.

First half strikes from Matthew Tipton and Kyle Lightbourne were added to by Danny Whitaker fourteen minutes from time, as Macc cruised to an impressive 3 – 0 victory.

The Silkmen were to sail through to the Second Round by the same scoreline the following season too, as they brushed aside Boston United at the Moss Rose.

Martin Carruthers grabbed a brace and Colin Little struck on the stroke of full time to send The Pilgrims out of the competition.

In November 2004 The Silkmen made the journey to Alfreton Town to contest a First Round tie, where a late Danny Whitaker strike salvaged a draw for the League Two side and brought the tie back to the Moss Rose.

The replay saw Jon Parkin and Mike Sheron both hit second half goals, as Macc comfortably secured a 2 – 0 victory.

The following season Yeovil Town made the long trip up to Cheshire on a dark and dreary day at the Moss Rose.

Former Silkman Efe Sodje turned out for The Glovers that afternoon and he saw his side claim a one all draw, after Clyde Wijnhard has scored for the hosts just after half time.

Yeovil would comfortably win the replay by four goals to nil at Huish Park, to ensure that it was they who progressed to Round Two.

Macc’s next FA Cup tie was broadcast on Sky Sports as we faced Walsall in the First Round of the competition.

The game itself was a pretty eventless 0 – 0 draw, but will forever be remembered for a barrage of football flying over the Star Lane End onto the pitch.

Jimmy McNulty hit an 83rd minute winner for Paul Ince’s side in the replay and set them on their way to an eventual Third Round match at Stamford Bridge.

The glamour of facing Jose Mourinho’s side did not carry over to the following season however, as Macc were dumped out of the FA Cup at the First Round stage by Rushden and Diamonds.

Martin Gritton scored a late consolation for The Silkmen, as the hosts ran out 3 – 1 winnings at Nene Park.

In 2008 Macc travelled down to London to face Harlow Town in the First Round and after a worryingly even first half, goals from Shaun Brisley and Terry Dunfield saw the visitors record a 2 -0 victory.

A less than romantic 1 – 0 defeat at MK Dons ensued the following season, before Macc faced a home tie with Southend United back in 2010.

Colin Daniel and Nat Brown struck at the Moss Rose to salvage a 2 – 2 draw, before the same score was to be repeated at Roots Hall courtesy of strikes from Sinclair and Nsiala.

The Silkmen carried on their record of never having been beaten in a penalty shootout however, as we emerged 5 – 3 victors down in Essex.

Although Macc would suffer relegation from the Football League the following season, we did manage to secure a 3 – 0 First Round win over East Thurrock United in November 2011.

Goals from Carl Tremarco, Matthew Hamshaw and George Donnelly sent the visitors comfortably through to the Second Round.

The Silkmen then faced Swindon Town twice in successive years in the First Round of the Emirates FA Cup.

On November 3rd 2012, Steve King’s side ran out 2 – 0 winners at the County Ground, thanks to a Tony Diagne thunderbolt and a last minute own goal.

It got better for John Askey’s side in 2013 however, as Macc cruised to a 4 – 0 victory at the Moss Rose thanks to a brace from Connor Jennings as well as strikes from Scott Boden and Peter Winn.

After missing out on a First Round place in 2014, Macc returned to the competition proper in November 2015 when a 15th minute Kristian Dennis strike proved not to be enough as Portsmouth ran out 2 – 1 winners at Fratton Park.

In November 2016 Macc were back in giant killing mood once again, as we overcame Walsall at the Bescot Stadium thanks to a first half strike by John McCoombe.

Last season, the champions-elect secured a passage to the First Round after a convincing 5 - 0 victory at Stourbridge, yet our journey ended when a first half Christian Doidge strike proved to be enough for Forest Green Rovers to take their place in the Second Round.


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