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Feature

Silkmen Set To Contest 750th Football League Fixture

18 October 2019

Saturday afternoon's Sky Bet League Two clash at Boundary Park will be Macclesfield Town's 750th Football League encounter and ahead of the game, we take a look back at some of the previous milestone fixtures.
 
1st Game - Macclesfield Town 2 v 1 Torquay United. 9th August 1997.
 
It was a match that even the most ardent Silkmen fans thought that they would never see.
 
Two years after being cruelly denied our place in the Football League, Sammy McIlroy's heroic side defiantly secured their rightful place in the elite 92 against all the odds.
 
Our first-ever Football League clash saw us take on Torquay United, on what proved to be a blisteringly hot August afternoon back in 1997.
 
Although there were a few nerves ahead of the game, they were settled just seven minutes in when Efe Sodje iconically rose to meet Colin Rose's corner and head home our first-ever Football League goal.
 
Andy Gurney would restore parity shortly however - yet this proved to be a mere consolation as Richard Landon's 56th minute strike handed Sammy's men an inaugural victory and in doing so, started the next phase of one of the most captivating and inspirational journey's that this club has ever seen.
 
 
100th Game - Lincoln City 1 v 1 Macclesfield Town. 18th September 1999.
 
Our 100th Football League match came at Sincil Bank, as we faced a Lincoln City side who had also suffered relegation from the third tier at the end of the 1998/99 season.
 
Kieran Durkan also celebrated his 150th career appearance that afternoon and he did so in style - by providing a visionary assist in the 58th minute, from which Richie Barker fired Macc into a deserved lead.
 
Full-back Terry Fleming was then dismissed for the hosts as The Silkmen pushed for a second goal - yet we were to suffer heartbreak eight minutes from time when Dave Barnett restored parity for The Imps and this ensured that the points were shared.
 
 
200th Game - York City 1 v 0 Macclesfield Town. 27th October 2001.
 
The next centennial milestone came at a wet and windy Bootham Crescent back in 2001.
 
The Silkmen fans who had made the journey north to follow the side were housed in an open-ended terrace and exposed to the inclement weather that afternoon - yet for the most part, they witnessed a defiant performance from Kevin Keen's side.
 
Macc were hoping to secure the victory which would result in our ascension from the bottom of the league table and ironically, we would move up a spot courtesy of goal difference - despite suffering a 1 - 0 defeat at the hands of The Minstermen.
 
Steve Wilson had saved a penalty from Michael Proctor in the 58th minute, yet the York striker would have the last laugh as he struck deep into injury-time to hand the hosts victory.
 
The match was also notable due to the fact that it was officiated by future Premier League and international referee, Mark Clattenburg.
 
 
300th Game - Macclesfield Town 1 v 1 Mansfield Town. 28th December 2003.
 
Our 200th Football League encounter saw us entertain Mansfield Town in a festive fixture back in 2003.
 
Once again, the elements were not kind to us as John Askey oversaw a competitive game against the play-off-seeking Stags.
 
Despite coming under copious amounts of pressure, it took until the 71st minute for the deadlock to be broken - as Iyseden Christie seized on a loose ball, before firing past Steve Wilson in the Macc goal.
 
This catalysed the home side into a period of sustained pressure and we would get our reward right on the stroke of full time when Matthew Tipton emphatically fired the ball home to claim a share of the spoils.
 
 
400th Game - Oxford United 1 v 1 Macclesfield Town. 15th February 2006.
 
The Silkmen made the journey down to the Kassam Stadium to contest our 400th Football League encounter back in February 2006.
 
The game was sparked into life in the 16th minute, when full-back Kevin Sandwith opened the scoring with a breathtaking 25-yard free-kick.
 
The lead would last just ten minutes however, as Mark E'Beyer fired home the equaliser for the hosts.
 
Goalkeeper Tommy Lee made his Silkmen debut that evening, whilst Dutchman Clyde Wijnhard made his 200th career appearance in English football.
 
 
500th Game - Macclesfield Town 3 v 0 Barnet. 24th March 2008.
 
Our 500th Football League encounter saw Keith Alexander's side complete a convincing 3 - 0 victory over Barnet.
 
Danny Thomas opened the scoring in the 31st minute with a perfectly-placed header and our lead was to be doubled ten minutes later courtesy of a Neil Ashton free-kick.
 
Macc continued to dominate proceedings after the interval and were it not for a string of miraculous saves from the visiting 'keeper would have added more to our tally other than Francis Green's pulsating twenty-yard strike three minutes after the re-start.
 
The match also saw Wayne Rooney's brother John make his Silkmen debut that afternoon.
 
 
600th Game - Macclesfield Town 0 v 1 Shrewsbury Town. 14th August 2010.
 
Gary Simpson's Macclesfield Town suffered a 1 - 0 home reversal during our 600th Football League contest back in August 2010.
 
Matt Harold scored the only goal of the game that afternoon, as Macc were limited to just two shots on target throughout the ninety minutes.
 
The match also saw the previous President's Bar opened for the first time under the new title of Keith's Bar - in memory of former manager Keith Alexander.
 
 
700th Game - Macclesfield Town 1 v 1 Forest Green Rovers. 29th September 2018.
 
Our 700th Football League encounter came back in September 2018, as unbeaten Forest Green Rovers visited the Moss Rose as part of our first season back in the Football League following a six-year absence.
 
Despite the fact that Mark Yates' side began the game unquestionably in the ascendancy, the visitors would take the lead three minutes after the interval when Darryl Grubb's free-kick sailed past Kieran O'Hara and into the back of the net.
 
Seeking an immediate reaction to the perceived injustice, Macc were spurred into action.
 
Our reward came just seven minutes later when Scott Wilson broke free, before calmly slotting home what represented a deserved equaliser.
 
* With special thanks to Geoff Knights for his kind help in compiling this feature.

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