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On This Day: Macclesfield Town 3 v 1 Northwich Victoria

19 May 2020

Wembley Stadium welcomed an army of Silkmen fans back on Sunday 19th May 1996, as we contested an all-Cheshire FA Trophy Final encounter with Northwich Victoria.

After a cagey start from both sides, Sammy McIlroy's side broke the deadlock in the 19th minute and they did so in clinical style.

Mark Gardiner's tantalising free-kick into the heart of the Northwich penalty area was met by Steve Payne, who timed his run to perfection before directing his powerful header beyond the outstretched Dean Greygoose.

Macc were buoyed by the opening goal and settled into their rhythm as they looked to increase the margin of our lead at the earliest opportunity.

This duly came in the 28th minute, as a result of a devastating counter-attack. Steve Wood majestically swept the ball across the hallowed Wembley turf to unleash Marc Coates. He surged towards goal and delivered a perfectly placed low drive into the box which dissected Greygoose and covering defender, Dave Burgess.

With Phil Power ready to tap the ball in at the far post, Burgess had to act. Yet his desperate, last minute interception took the ball beyond Greygoose and into the back of the net.

The Vics knew that they had to strike back quickly if they had any chance of completing an unlikely comeback and to their credit, our second goal did catalyse our Cheshire neighbours somewhat in the immediate aftermath.

Indeed, future Silkman Carwyn Williams was to halve their deficit early in the second half when he slid the ball past Ryan Price from the edge of the area to set up a grandstand finish.

Both sides had opportunities to add to the scoring, yet one moment of pure magic would settle proceedings.

With just nine minutes left on the clock, Tony Hemmings picked up the ball within the Macc half and began to run at the Northwich rearguard.

Building up both pace and momentum, Hemmings reached the edge of the area before firing the ball home - despite pressure from Vics defenders.

Running away in celebration, every Macc fan knew that that job was now done and as Neil Howarth walked up those famous Wembley steps, another piece of our glorious history was written.

Here are highlights of the game, courtesy of Gary Jackson -


Macclesfield Town: Price, Edey, Gardiner, Payne, Howarth, Sorvel, Lyons, Wood (Hulme), Coates, Power, Hemmings (Cavell).

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