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Manchester City - Twenty Years On

11 September 2018

Twenty years ago today Macclesfield Town welcomed Manchester City to the Moss Rose as footballing equals, as the two sides locked horns to contest a Nationwide League Division Two fixture.

Just two years before The Silkmen were a non-league outfit, whilst our Manchester neighbours plied their trade with the country's elite in the Premier League.

City's decline to the third tier of the game coincided with Macc's meteoric rise through the divisions to set up the fixture - which gained worldwide interest as the ultimate David v Goliath battle.

A jam-packed Moss Rose witnessed history been made, as Sammy McIlroy's blue and white clad heroes took the field intent on causing what would have been a monumental upset.

Despite the inclement weather, the home side looked to stamp their authority on the game right from the first whistle as they gallantly looked to make the breakthrough.

Martin McDonald, Neil Sorvel and Kieran Durkan all had chances to open the scoring, yet as the first half developed City's class began to shine through as they laid siege to Ryan Price's goal

The Silkmen stood defiant however with the defensive quartet of Rae Ingram, Darren Tinson, Steve Payne and Efe Sodje repelling copious amounts of danger which were being thrown their way.

The second half was played out in much the same vein as the first - with Macc having guilt-edged chances to take the lead and City looking potent on the counter attack.

As the clock ticked down, many of the Silkmen faithful were beginning to believe that a share of the spoils would be gained. Yet our hearts were to be broken four minutes from time when Shaun Goater raced through to send all three points back to Maine Road.

It was a cruel ending to an encapsulating contest.

Yet for all of those who were present, the game remains one of the most iconic of recent times as what it symbolised was infinitely more important than the result itself.

Courtesy of Silkmen Archives, you can view images from the game in the gallery above.

Macclesfield Town: Price, Tinson, Ingram (Howarth 55), Payne, McDonald, Sodje, Askey, Wood, Barclay, Sorvel (Sedgemore 68), Durkan (Whittaker 72)

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