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On This Day: Macclesfield Town 2 v 0 Dagenham & Redbridge

28 April 2020

After claiming the National League title seven days earlier, John Askey's illustrious Macclesfield Town side returned to the Moss Rose in order to bring the curtain down on what proved to be an historic season.

Our opponents on that historic afternoon were Dagenham & Redbridge and as the two sides entered the field to a proud and emotional reception, the visitors formed a guard of honour for a side who had defied all the odds in the most inspiring way imaginable.

4.201 supporters packed into the ground that day, with the vast majority of them determined to give our blue and white heroes the tribute that they so richly deserved.

Throughout the previous nine months, that very special group of players had made us all believe in our dreams - though sheer hard-work, unwavering determination and the sort of defiance which will live on in all our hearts and minds forevermore.

What made the achievement all the more poignant of course, was the fact that it had been masterminded by someone who will always be one of our own - John Askey.

As a player, his record remains unparalleled and the fact that one of our true club legends in every sense of the term should complete the fairytale season was incredibly moving and befitting for such a monumental feat.

The match itself was of secondary concern to many of the Silkmen faithful, as they used every single second to pay tribute to their idols.

In actual fact, the first half struggled to spark into life with neither side creating that much in the way of clear-cut chances.

Perhaps the one one to write home about was just before the interval, when Mitch Hancox's teasing ball into the box was met by Keith Lowe and despite him steering it into the back of the net, the linesman ruled that he had drifted marginally offside.

The second period saw the champions rejuvenated and ready to end their phenomenal season with another three-point haul.

Tyrone Marsh fizzed a venomous drive just wide of the far post minutes after play resumed and this was followed by David Fitzpatrick's blistering effort which sailed fractionally over the ball two minutes later.

The visitors then temporarily threatened to gate-crash the party, as Ben Nunn headed towards goal in the 64th minute - yet Shwan Jalal nullified the threat with consummate ease.

"Sir" John then introduced leading-scorer Scott Wilson into the action and this proved to be a decision which unquestionably changed the dynamics of the contest.

Five minutes after the change, Wilson struck to break the deadlock and send the Silkmen faithful into raptures once more.

Seizing on a left-wing assist from Mitch Hancox, Wilson clinically converted in front of the Star Lane End to claim his thirteenth goal of the season.

His fourteenth goal of that glorious campaign followed just three minutes later, as he squeezed the ball inside the near post to end the game as a contest.

Then the party could really begin, with our record Conference attendance all awaiting the final whistle to signal the end of our mind-blowing story.

The celebrations which followed will remain with us all for as long as we shall live. 

This was no ordinary title, it was an achievement which each and every one of us could take an infinite amount of pride from - because we all had played such a valuable part in securing it.

Here are the match highlights - 

Macclesfield Town: Jalal; Hodgkiss, Lowe, Kennedy, Fitzpatrick, Marsh, Whitehead (Pilkington 86), Evans (Burgess 65), Whitaker, Hancox, Blissett (Wilson 74).

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