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On This Day: Halifax Town 3 v 3 Macclesfield Town

30 April 2020

Twenty-three years ago, Sammy McIlroy's Macclesfield Town side travelled to West Yorkshire, knowing that victory over Halifax Town would secure our second Vauxhall Conference championship and promotion to the Football League.

An army of travelling supporters congregated behind the goal, all hoping to witness history being made and even an hour before kick-off, fans were starting to arrive in order to secure their vantage points.

The two sides emerged to a rousing reception and it was the visitors who started the contest firmly in the ascendancy.

John Askey had already warmed the gloves of Andy Woods in the Halifax goal, before the deadlock was broken with just three minutes on the clock.

After great work by Phil Power down the left-hand side, his pinpoint cross was volleyed home by Chris Byrne from twelve yards out to send the overlooking travelling faithful into raptures.

Askey then forced Woods into another fine save, before our lead was doubled in the 23rd minute. Chris Byrne was fouled thirty-yards from goal and his quick-thinking teed up Neil Sorvel - who fired the ball into the bottom corner of the net from range.

The party had really started by this point, as the Silkmen fans bellowed out the names of their heroes with passion and pride.

Yet, our advantage was halved before the interval in rather bizarre circumstanced. A corner from the left was headed towards goal by Jamie Murphy and despite the fact that Askey was on the line ready to clear, the referee signalled that the ball had crossed the line.

The second period began as a slightly subdued affair, with both sides conscious of making a mistake which would allow the other to seize the initiative.

The war of attrition that ensued lasted until the 79th minute, when Peter Davenport seized on a defensive lapse within the Halifax ranks and poked the ball past Woods to restore our two-goal cushion.

The Shaymen hit back three minutes later, when a long ball upfield sent striker Geoff Horsfield free and he guided the ball past Ryan Price to set-up a grandstand finish.

Buoyed by their resurgence, the hosts looked the more dangerous in the latter stages and duly restored parity three minutes from time when former Silkmen midfielder Kevin Hulme tapped the ball in at the back post.

So the champagne was back on ice for a few more days at least, as our attention then turned to the season finale at Rockingham Road the following Saturday.

You can watch highlights of the game below -

Macclesfield Town: Price, Tinson, Edey, Payne, Howarth, Sorvel, Askey, Wood, Davenport, Power, Byrne.

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