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Feature

First Day Fixtures Over The Last Twenty-Five Years: Part Two

18 June 2019

Ahead of the eagerly anticipated fixture release this coming Thursday, we continue our look at the season's opening games over the course of the last twenty-five years.

David Moss' Silkmen side were handed a home fixture against The Minstermen of York City to raise the curtain on the 2002/03 season and would get off to the perfect start by registering a 1 - 0 victory.

Matthew Tipton's 18th minute strike proved to be the difference between the two sides that afternoon and despite a barrage of pressure being thrown at us in the latter exchanges, Macc claimed an opening day win for the first time in three attempts.

The following season saw Boston United make the journey up from Lincolnshire to contest the first match of the 2003/04 campaign.

On a blisteringly hot August afternoon, the two sides could not break each others defences and the match ended goalless.

For the first time in eleven years, Macc were handed an away fixture to start the season in 2004, as we travelled to the capital to face Leyton Orient.

Brian Horton's men took the lead five minutes before the interval, as Matthew Tipton delicately lifted the ball over the Orient 'keeper and into the vacant net.

Jon Parkin then added two further strikes within a devastating eight minute period, before Wayne Porter added a consolation goal for the hosts at the death.

Strangely, Macc were handed exactly the same opening fixture twelve months later. The O's would claim revenge that day, as Paul Harsley's 57th minute strike was not enough to prevent a 2 - 1 defeat being suffered.

The 2006/07 season started with a trip to the impressive Reynolds Arena to face Darlington. It proved to be a day to forget however, as a Barry Conlon hat-trick coupled with Gaetano Giallanza's opener handed The Quakers a comprehensive 4 - 0 victory.

Ian Brightwell's Silkmen side travelled to Valley Parade on the first day of the 2007/08 season and the vociferous away contingent saw Francis Green open the scoring in the 9th minute with a clinical strike.

The Bantams would restore parity right on the stroke of half-time, when Guylain Ndumbu-Nsungu's penalty was saved by Tommy Lee and Barry Conlon continues his rich vein of form against us by finishing the rebound.

Despite both sides having opportunities to claim victory in the second period, the game would ultimately end with the spoils shared in what represented a credible opening point.

The 2008/09 curtain-raiser saw Keith Alexander's side make the relatively short journey to The New Meadow, as we faced early promotion-favourites Shrewsbury Town.

The Shrews certainly showed why they were the bookies favourites for the title that afternoon, as goals from Shane Cansdell-Sherriff, Grant Holt, Graham Coughlan and Dave Hibbert saw them storm to a 4 - 0 victory.

We were on our travels again in 2009, as the new season began with a trip to Northampton Town.

On another gloriously hot afternoon, both teams proved to cancel each other out and ultimately, the deadlock was not broken by either side.


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