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On This Day: Macclesfield Town 1 v 1 Notts County

5 May 2020

Paul Ince's Macclesfield Town preserved our Football League status back on 5th May 2007, as we claimed the point we needed to remain in League Two courtesy of a one-all draw with Notts County.

On a tense and dramatic day at the Moss Rose, the former Manchester United and England midfielder knew that should we claim a share of the spoils, then whatever transpired in the Boston United vs Wrexham game would be purely academic.

Ince had transformed the fortunes of the Club after taking the reins from Brian Horton the previous October and as well as guiding The Silkmen to within a point of safety, he had masterminded an FA Cup run which saw us take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Yet it was league survival which was the ultimate prize and as such, over four thousand Silkmen fans crammed into the Moss Rose - all eager to witness the anticipated completion of yet another great escape act.

Despite the fact that nerves were undoubtedly prevalent, it was the home side who started the game firmly in the ascendancy and we were able to breathe a collective sigh of relief in the sixth minute when the deadlock was broken.

A sliced clearance fell sweetly to John Miles and after surging forward, he unleashed a clinical finish which flew past Kevin Pilkington and into the back of the net.

In games such as this, one goal cushions often prove to be not enough and as such, Ince's men proceeded to search for a second in order to extend our lead.

Matty McNeil, Jamie Tolley and Martin Bullock all went agonisingly close to finding what would have been a deserved second goal, yet they were to be foiled by an amalgamation of desperate defending and the agility of Pilkington.

The frustration elicited with those near misses was compounded five minutes before the interval - as completely against the run of play, Notts County were to equalise.

Defender Andy Hunt launched a long ball forward and after evading skipper Dave Morley, it was seized upon by Andy Parkinson who smashed the ball home - despite Tommy Lee managing to get a glove on his venomous low drive.

The nerves which had dissipated for much of the half had returned with a vengeance and as Ince retuned to the dressing room to deliver his words of wisdom, our fate remained in the balance - particularly due to the fact that Boston United were winning against Wrexham.

Macc came out for the second period determined to secure their own fate - yet just after John Murphy's powerful header had forced Pilkington into a smart save, news broke that Wrexham had equalised against Boston United.

Both sides had speculative efforts to take the lead in the ensuing period, yet it wasn't too long before news filtered through that Wrexham had gone on to take the lead against The Pilgrims.

This prompted widespread jubilation amongst the Moss Rose faithful and prompted saviour Ince to begin warming-up ahead of what would represent a final appearance at the end of a long and illustrious career.

With five minutes left on the clock and following Wrexham's third goal against Boston United, Ince replaced Alan Navarro determined to put his stamp on proceedings.

He did just that by getting himself booked and claiming the Man of the Match award, before the party could start in earnest!

Macclesfield Town: Lee, Regan, Morley, Swailes, McIntyre, Bullock (Tipton 70), Navarro (Ince 85), Tolley, Miles, Murphy (Scott 89), McNeil.

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