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On This Day: Burnley 4 v 3 Macclesfield Town

28 March 2020

Despite our near proximity in terms of mileage, encounters with The Clarets have proved to be few and far between – over recent years especially.

But as we look back twenty-one years, we take you back to March 1999 when Sammy McIlroy’s side played out a seven goal thriller at Turf Moor.

At that time Macc resided at the foot of Nationwide League Division Two – yet our survival hopes had been bolstered by a run of three consecutive victories coming into the game.

On a crisp Sunday lunchtime, an army of Silkmen followers made the relatively short journey over to Lancashire and after just nine minutes their loyalty was rewarded when Macc silenced our illustrious hosts by taking the lead.

A mix up within the Burnley defence presented Kieran Durkan with an opportunity to strike at goal and the midfielder took it with both hands, as he majestically lobbed the ball over Paul Crichton to send the travelling contingent wild.

Five minutes later our lead was doubled as Crichton’s parry fell at the feet of John Askey, who sent the Silkmen faithful into a state of delirium as he fired home from close range.

2 – 0 up at the home of one of the most respected teams in the country – it didn’t seem real, but the cacophony of noise elicited from the away end made everyone aware that Macclesfield Town were not a club to be overawed by the occasion.

Buoyed by a large and expectant crowd, Stan Ternent’s side were always going to rally and they reduced the deficit shortly after – albeit in fortuitous circumstances.

Macc ‘keeper Ryan Price failed to claim Graham Branch’s inauspicious cross and the ball broke kindly for Glen Little, who finished from close range.

McIlroy’s side then gallantly repelled the copious amount of pressure which Burnley threw at us, yet parity was restored on 57 minutes when Cowan acrobatically fired past Price from ten yards out.

A lesser side would have been content to preserve their point – yet not Macc, as they defiantly searched for their third goal of the game.

This duly came on 63 minutes, as Askey’s header rattled the bar and fell to Durkan who smashed home his second goal of the game.
The former Stockport County winger could well have ended the game as a contest moments later, when Crichton produced a phenomenal point-blank save to deny him the match ball.

Andy Payton then fired Burnley’s level, before our hearts were broke when Micky Mellon’s corner was headed home by Steve Davis with barely a minute left on the clock.

Despite suffering a cruel defeat, the game is still fondly remembered by everyone who was present at Turf Moof as it exemplified the pride, passion and defiance which infiltrates so much of our history.

Macclesfield Town: Price, Tinson (Ingram 43), Hitchen, Payne, Sedgemore, Sodje, Askey, Sorvel, Landon (Matias 55), Wood (Soley 82), Durkan.

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