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On This Day: Macclesfield Town 1 v 1 Cambridge United

4 May 2020

We continue our "On This Day" series of articles by featuring our dramatic final day encounter against Cambridge United back on 4th May 2019.

Shortly after the game, we received the below report from 14-year-old Christopher Ainley, which we think sums up the day perfectly -

Sol Campbell’s Silkmen retained their EFL status with a draw against fellow strugglers Cambridge United on Saturday 4th May. A second-half Elliott Durrell strike gave the Silkmen the point they needed to stay ahead of 23rd placed Notts County, who suffered relegation from the Football League for the first time in their history.

The game began nervously with no real chances in the first ten minutes. From then Macclesfield really started to dominate the game and Harry Smith squandered a good chance to put the Silkmen one goal to the good.

However, the boys in blue kept pushing for that breakthrough goal to put some daylight between them and the relegation zone. The Silkmen fans thought that their team’s domination had paid off, as Ben Stephens latched onto a deflected Durrell shot in the box only to put this golden opportunity wide of Dimitar Mitov’s left post.

Following this, Cambridge were starting to get a foothold on the match and it was lucky for Macc that Hayden Coulsen slipped at the pivotal point and his header looped over Kieran O’Hara’s crossbar and away to safety.

Then, Cambridge broke from a failed Macclesfield attack and Paul Lewis – an ex Silkmen, put the U’s ahead from a deflected shot that wrong footed Kieran O’Hara sending the boys from the south in at half-time with smiles on their faces.

The dynamic of the game changed, as early into the second half news seeped through to the players that Notts County had taken the lead at Swindon, meaning that as it stood Macc were destined for another season of non-league football.

The players pressed for a goal with the Silkmen managing to break through the Cambridge defence again - this time with an end product. Brice Ntambwe’s chipped ball over the top to Elliott Durrell who calmly finished into the U’s goal sent the loyal Silkmen fans into ecstasy. A cacophony of noise erupted from the ground, because they knew that all they needed was one point.

The Macc fans where soon cheering again when news of Swindon’s goal against Notts County reached the terraces. The Star Lane End became like a party – everybody was singing and dancing like they had just won the league. The creative spark that Cambridge had shown much of in the closing period of the first half had all but disappeared, with the visitors creating very little in the second period.

When the six minutes of added time was over, the relief on the faces of the blue and white clad warriors was tangible. The relief and joy of the players was reciprocated in the stands - or more precisely on the pitch, as hundreds of the Macclesfield fans in attendance flooded onto the pitch to celebrate with the heroes of the hour.

From being seven points from safety when Sol Campbell took over at the end of November, to finishing the season three points adrift of the relegation zone was a magnificent feat.

A miracle perhaps.

Here are the match highlights -

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