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On This Day: Macclesfield Town 2 v 0 Telford United

2 May 2020

Fifty years ago today, Macclesfield Town lifted the first-ever FA Trophy at Wembley Stadium in front of 28,000 fans.

It was to be an historic day not only for Frank Beaumont's illustrious side, but also for football in general - as we became the inaugural winners of the competition courtesy of a 2 - 0 victory over Telford United.

Over one hundred coaches made the journey to the Twin Towers, together with two special trains and countless cars as the whole town got behind our very special team.

That meant that as Beaumont proudly led his blue and white clad warriors out on to the hallowed Wembley turf, they were given a rousing reception by over 15,000 Maxonians - all of whom were convinced that their journey would be rewarded with the ultimate prize.

With the sense of anticipation infiltrating every corner of Wembley Stadium, it would have been easy to have been overawed by the occasion - certainly whilst they acclimatised to it at the very least. Yet, this was nothing further from the truth as The Silkmen settled almost instantly - occasion meant nothing, for every single one of the players and their adoring supporters unwaveringly believed that it was their destiny to reign victorious.

It took just ten minutes for the magic to begin, as Dave Roberts picked up the ball deep in our own half, before mesmerisingly striding through the Telford ranks like a hot knife through butter. After nonchalantly beating three opponents, he laid the ball off for Merrick Corfield whose tantalising cross into the Telford area agonisingly evaded Dick Young at the back post.

The deadlock may well have still been in tact - yet a vehement sign of intention had already been made.

This unquestionably elicited much confidence within Beaumont's ranks, as Macc swept the ball across the Wembley turf in a manner which Telford could barely answer.

Central to our offensive prowess was forward Brian Fidler, who orchestrated pretty much every move in a way which rendered each attack as a potent threat. Whether it was innovative link-up play with Dave Lyon, a deft turn of pace which sparked fear in the Telford defence or setting his sights on goal - this was his natural stage and it was only a matter of time before he would gloriously write his name into the history books once more.

When our opponents did threaten during the opening exchanges, this was quickly nullified by the gallant Silkmen rearguard. Our hearts were pounding in the 24th minute however, when Geoff Croft sent a fortuitous lob towards goal - the trajectory of which was taking the ball under the crossbar and into the net.

For a split second, time stood still as we all prayed for a miracle and this duly arrived in the form of John Cooke's outstretched arm, as he fabulously tipped the ball onto the roof of the net in what represented a remarkable feat of agility.

That scare unquestionably catalysed Beaumont's side and just sixty seconds later, we took full advantage of Cooke's heroics by breaking the deadlock at the other end of the pitch.

Corfield was once again in the thick of the action, as his menacing run culminated in him sending a fierce delivery into the Telford area - from which Dave Lyon emphatically fired past three defender and 'keeper Booby Irvine to the delirious reaction of the Silkmen contingent.

That historic strike merely galvanised the team into looking for more with Young, Lyon and Fidler all coming close to doubling our lead in the immediate aftermath.

As it was, our slender advantage remained as the Referee signalled for half-time - despite the fact that our desire, ingenuity and belief had warranted a much more substantial cushion.

There is little doubt that the Southern League side were second-best in every department at that stage, as Ron Flowers (a member of England's 1966 World Cup winning side) tried to alter the dynamics of the game with his words of wisdom during the interlude.

Initially, this seemed to have made a tangible impact as The Bucks resumed the contest with renewed vigour and purpose. Indeed, they arguably created their best chance of the game within sixty seconds of the restart when Flowers' cross from the right was seized upon by Jack Bentley and his header was dramatically cleared off the line by John Bennett - to be claimed by the cat-like reflexes of the irrepressible Cooke.

With Telford looking a different proposition compared to that of the first half, Macc knew that a second goal would help stave off their efforts and confirm our belief that destiny would prevail.

That came on the hour mark - when on the greatest stage, our glorious "Showman" choreographed the perfect scene in typically devastating fashion.

The move began on the edge of the Macc penalty area, as Collins and Bentley contested a high ball which saw it strike the hand of the Silkmen defender - albeit due to a blatant push that he had suffered. The Referee waved play on, as Beaumont's side swept forward with copious skill and intent.

Lyon's then played Fidler through on goal with an inch-perfect assist and as Irvine raced to meet him, Fidler lofted the ball over the Telford 'keeper from fully thirty-yards out which eventually dropped into the vacant net.

The celebrations that ensued were as evocative as memories of the strike itself, as Brian raced to his adoring masses in order to blow them kisses and revel in what everyone knew was history being made in front of their very eyes.

In many ways, that second goal forced Telford into committing more and more men forward as they looked for a way back into the contest. Yet no matter what they could muster, Cooke could not be beaten as he launched a series of world-class saves to preserve his clean-sheet.

One save alone stood out, as Cooke dived full-stretch to his right-hand side in order to catch a fizzing Micky Fudge drive from just ten yards out - that in itself convinced everyone that victory would undoubtedly be sealed.

As Telford continued to press in vain, gaps started to appear within their defence and Macc could well have extended our margin of victory - with Brian Fidler, Dennis Fidler and Lyons all going close within the closing stages.

The sheer outpouring of emotion which greeted the final whistle told it's own story and as Frank Beaumont lifted the trophy for the first time in it's history, tears of joy swept around the national stadium.

Speaking to the Macclesfield Express shortly after, Beaumont stated -

"Lord Harewood and the FA officials said something to me, but I didn't hear.

"The tears were flowing, I was in some joyous trance.

"It was the greatest moment of my life when I lifted that trophy."

The sentiments of this are still mirrored amongst many of Frank's teammates and idolising supporters - it was an achievement, a team and a feeling which nobody present will ever forget.

The pride which engulfed the town remains as vibrant today as it was fifty years ago and no matter how many years pass, that will never, every change.

Macclesfield Town: Cooke, Sievwright, Bennett, Beaumont, Collins, Roberts, Lyon, Fidler B, Young, Corfield, Fidler D.

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