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Feature

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

19 June 2019

Ahead of the eagerly anticipated fixture release tomorrow morning, we conclude our look at the season's opening games over the course of the last twenty-five years.

The 2010/11 season began with a trip to our Conference rivals Stevenage, as we played our part in an historic occasion for the Hertfordshire outfit - who were hosting their first ever Football League match.

Buoyed by an expectant home crowd, Peter Vincenti would score Stevenage's first ever Football League goal in the 7th minute, when he headed home Charlie Griffin's assist.

Their lead was to last just five minutes however, as Nat Brown restored parity with a close range header.

Both sides went on to have guilt-edged chances to add to the scoring, yet it wasn't until the 53rd minute that Tyrone Barnett gave Macc the lead with a fizzing drive which flew past Chris Day in the Stevenage goal.

The hosts fought back however and claimed a share of the spoils with just a minute left on the clock when Griffin slotted home past Jose Veiga.

Gary Simpson's Silkmen side started the 2011/12 season by welcoming Dagenham and Redbridge to the Moss Rose in what proved to be our first home fixture on the opening day for eight years.

It was a day to forget however, as Medy Elito's close range strike proved to be the difference between the two sides.

Following our relegation from the Football League in 2012, we began our quest to return to the elite 92 with a televised trip to Hereford United.

In what proved to be an enthralling game, Sean Canham gave The Bulls an early lead as he headed home Andy Gallinagh's teasing cross and this was cancelled out in the 59th minute when debutant Matthew Barnes-Homer converted from the penalty spot.

Shortly after, Marlon Jackson hit a fine effort from the edge of the area and this proved to be enough to hand the hosts maximum points.

The 2013/14 campaign began with a home fixture against Nuneaton Town and we were to suffer an early defeat that day, as Louis Moult's header mid-way through the second half proved to be decisive.

John Askey's Silkmen side were handed another home opener twelve months later, as Braintree Town made the long journey up to the Moss Rose on 9th August 2014.

Chris Holroyd's clinical 15th minute strike was enough to hand the Silkmen victory that day, as we got off to the perfect start with a 1 - 0 win.

The following season saw us make the journey down to Torquay United on the opening day and despite the memorable weekend that was enjoyed by many of the travelling contingent, the game proved to be less memorable as Alex Fisher's 61st minute strike proved to be the difference between the two sides.

In what was a repeat of our first EFL game nineteen years earlier, The Gulls of Torquay United then returned to the Moss Rose to open the 2016/17 season. Goals either side of half-time from Ollie Norburn and Chris Holroyd helped to secure a 2 - 0 victory for John Askey's side that day.

Our 2017/18 National League championship-winning season began with a trip across the Welsh border, as we were paired with Wrexham on the opening day.

In front of a large and vociferous crowd, we made the perfect start to the new season as Noe Baba's emphatic 12th minute strike helped to secure consecutive opening day victories and set the tone for what proved to be a captivating year.

Our return to the EFL saw us start with a trip to Swindon Town twelve months ago and Mark Yates' side would take the lead shortly after the interval thanks to a majestic Koby Arthur strike.

Michael Doughty would restore parity just two minutes later, yet Arthur was on hand again on 55 minutes when his innovate strike handed us the lead for a second time.

That was how things remained until deep into second half injury time, when the hosts were awarded two penalties to claim victory from the jaws of defeat.

Find out our complete 2019/20 fixture list first, by visiting www.mtfc.co.uk from 09:00 tomorrow morning!


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