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On This Day: Macclesfield Town 4 v 1 Dartford

15 April 2020

Thirty-one years ago today, Peter Wragg's Macclesfield Town side gloriously booked their place in the 1989 FA Trophy Final at Wembley Stadium with a resounding 4 - 1 victory against Dartford.

The first leg of the semi-final had ended in a goalless draw and Macc were odds-on to return to the Twin Towers for the first time in nineteen years against our Southern League opponents.

Despite this, it was the visitors who started the game in the ascendancy as they looked to cause a shock upset. A number of speculative efforts were fired toward's Alan Zelem's goal, before the deadlock was broken when the visitors hammered home from close-range to silence the vast majority of the 4,000 Moss Rose faithful.

Yet this only served to galvanise Wragg's side, who were determined to overturn the deficit in the timeliest of manners.

John Askey, Steve Burr and Steve Hanlon all had chances to equalise in quick succession, yet for a time the ball would just simply not go in.

Then in the 39th minute, parity was restored when skipper Elfyn Edwards floated a corner from the left towards the back post and Burr was on hand to head home from three yards out.

"The Legend" as he is affectionately known is well-remembered for some of his more flamboyant strikes, yet that tap-in was probably one of the most important goals that he scored for us during his long and illustrious time at the Moss Rose.

Macc clearly had the momentum by this point and would take the lead a matter of minutes later. Mike Hardman played the ball down the left wing to Burr and after cutting inside, he found Hanlon in the area. His shot was magnificently saved by the Dartford 'keeper, yet he could only direct the ball into the path of Askey who confidently slotted the ball home.

Scenes of jubilation consumed the home dugout - yet everyone had seen enough from the Southern League side to suggest that the tie was still far from won.

Yet that notion was to change just before the interval, as another Edwards corner proved to decisive. After being caressed into the area, the ball was met by Graham Tobin - whose header caused a short melee in the six yard box before Burr pounced to slam home from point-blank range.

Macc would go on to claim a fourth to end the game as a contest mid-way through the second period, when John Timmons' looping header found it's way into the far corner of the net.

Memorable seasons followed at the full-time whistle as Peter Wragg sed the singing on the Moss Rose pitch, yet despite our historic victory the celebrations paled into insignificance as news broke of the cataclysmic tragedy unfolding at Hillsborough.

Although footage from the game isn't as good as we are used to today, we have managed to locate the below which shows all four Silkmen goals from that day -


Macclesfield Town: Zelem, Roberts, Hardman, Edwards, Tobin, Hanlon, Askey, Timmons, Kendall, Burr, Imrie.

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