For the second Saturday running, the Stags face a league come-back side at headquarters. Last Saturday, a disappointing Tranmere outfit were stuffed to a comprehensive 3-0 scoreline at One Call. Yet, the forthcoming Saturday, last season’s BSP Champions Macclesfield Town travel across the Peak District to One Call Stadium.
This will also mark Macclesfield’s first visit to Mansfield since the very end of the 2012-13 BSP Championship campaign. Prior to that fixture, the Silkmen had got rid of manager Steve King following a string of poor results following the Macclesfield relegation in 2012. King was replaced by former Macc stalwart John Askey, who was to be Macclesfield manager for the remainder of the Silkmen’s most recent National League tenure.
Fact is, that Macclesfield could become the first side ever to go straight down to the National League following promotion to the EFL. The Silkmen endured the worst-ever start of any side being promoted to the EFL, and did not win any of their first thirteen games, yielding just four points, one of those against the Stags to a 1-1 draw in late August. John Askey’s successor, Mark Yates (who has just returned to Kidderminster) was axed in early October last year. Long-serving player Danny Whitaker took over for a while before Sol Campbell was appointed at Moss Rose. An upturn in results have followed at Macclesfield who have won half of their last twelve fixtures and were briefly above the drop zone last Saturday when leading 2-0 at Cheltenham. But a red card, later rescinded, proved costly as Cheltenham turned the deficit into a 2-0 victory.
But Macclesfield have survived long winless runs before. In 2006-07, the Silkmen did not win any of their first nineteen League Two fixtures, yet managed to steer clear of the drop zone.
In the 1990's, Macclesfield were a side which first were refused entry to the FL due to ground regulations, then a couple of seasons later, finally gained entry to the league (The Silkmen won the Conf in 1994-95 and then in 1996-97). On joining the League, the Silkmen were to be the fifth side to gain further promotion in their first-ever FL season, being in 1997-98 (the previous being Peterborough in 1960-61, Hereford in 1972-73, Stevenage in 2010-11, the latest Crawley) in second position being unbeaten at home, behind Notts County, that under the guidance of Sammy McIlroy, later Northern Ireland national team manager and successfully at Morecambe.
The teams also faced each other in 2001-02 when the lowest home crowd of that promotion season, just 2681, saw the Stags stuff the Silkmen 4-0 with the help of two strikes from Disley and one apiece from Greenacre and White. Needless to say that this was up to November 3, 2007, the highest Stags win against the Macc. Incidentally, one of Macclesfield’s early highest league wins was in a home game against the Stags on November 2, 1999 – 5-2 to the Silkmen. This was bettered by the Silkmen on December 13, 2003, when Huddersfield were mauled 4-0 at Moss Rose, even bettered when the Silkmen stuffed Notts County 5-0 at their place in 2004-05 (Now bettered when the Silkmen stuffed Stockport 6-0 at home on Boxing Day, 2005, editor’s note). Many other league games between the clubs being won by either side so far with the exemption of a few games, i.e. the 2001-02 league Field Mill fixture and the one from 2004-05 at Macclesfield have been decided by the only goal of the game, the most important one being an injury-time Tankard header at Moss Rose on December 29, 2001 in front of 2550, of whom about a third, 771, took the relative short trip across the Peak District to Silkmen Country. In 2000-01, the Stags also won by the only goal of the game at Moss Rose. On January 14, 2001, Mark Blake hit the winner 34 minutes into that tie. On November 6, 2004, when the Stagsnet statistical previewer did the Stagsnet report of the Field Mill game, Sheron hit the only goal of the game for the Silkmen’s first-ever league victory in Stagsland. That game was also Keith Curle’s last game as Stags manager as he a few days later was controversially suspended.
The teams faced, prior to the League game in Mansfield on November 6, 2004, each other in a cup tie for the first time, but that was at Moss Rose on November 2, 2004, when a youthful Stags side crashed out of the LDV Vans Trophy to a 4-0 scoreline. But both teams have had FA Cup home games against West Ham. In Macclesfield’s case, this happened only the week after Tankard’s injury time winner. The Hammers won the 3rd round FA Cup 2001-02 tie with the same scoreline as with which the Stags kayoed West Ham in 1968-69, 3-0! And both sides reached the FA Cup 3rd round in 2003-04. The Silkmen for the third year running. Macclesfield also did that in 1967-68 as a non-league side which nearly accounted for then First Division Fulham away before losing 4-2, and in 1987-88, when the subsequent Spurs killers Port Vale won a home tie 1-0. Only one previous game between the Stags and the Silkmen has finished goal-less, and that happened in April 2008 at Moss Rose.
The latest EFL fixture at Mansfield between the sides on November 3, 2007, could be billed as the Simon Brown show. Three goals inside the first 22 minutes contributed to a 5-0 rout of a Macclesfield side which included FOUR players with Stags experience: Luke Dimech, Adam Murray, Jamie Tolley and Martin Gritton.
During the 2012-13 season, the Stags as well as the Silkmen much more than held their own in the FA Cup against PL opposition. While Liverpool became the FA Cup terminus for the Stags in the third round, the Silkmen reached further than ever before after kayoeing sides like Swindon (away) and Cardiff at home. The reward for the slaying of Cardiff was a home tie against Wigan, who needed an early penalty to dispose of the Silkmen.
While Macclesfield fight for survival, the Stags are chasing promotion. The Tranmere victory was followed by a good 1-1 away draw against Forest Green last Tuesday. And the Stags have lost just three league games so far. Only one other Stags side have managed their first 30 league fixtures with just three defeats. That was the 1974-75 Division Four Championship side.
Quite a few players have appeared for both sides. To name a few: Richie Barker, Martin Gritton and Luke Dimech. Ben Sedgemore played for the Stags against the Silkmen in both games of the 1997-98 and was red-carded in the first-ever league fixture between the clubs at Moss Rose on October 18, 1997, but starred for Macc on November 2, 1999 at Moss Rose, scoring once in the Silkmen’s 5-2 victory. He also scored once in the 4-4 game at Field Mill on August 28, 2000, and have also played for former Conf side Canvey Island.
One Macclesfield player who played at Field Mill in front of the previewer in November 2004, is still around. The name: Danny Whitaker, scorer against Cheltenham in the home fixture prior to the one against the Stags earlier this season. His goal then was his century one in a career which started at Macclesfield in the 2000-01 season. He returned to the Silkmen after the 2012-13 season following stints at Port Vale, Oldham and Chesterfield, mostly at League One level. Also starring for Macclesfield at Field Mill in November 2004: Graham Potter, now Swansea manager following an extremely successful spell at Östersunds FK in Sweden.
Played for both sides: Colin Askey, Richie Barker, Lee Bell, Paul Bolland, Len Butt, Syd Carter, Colin Daniel, Luke Dimech, Ben Futcher, Lee Glover, David Goodwin, Martin Gritton, Matt Hamshaw, James Jennings, Kevin Lampkin, Colin Little, Neil MacKenzie, John McCombe, Lindon Meikle, Kieran Murtagh, Neil Moore, Adam Murray, Nathan Peel, George Pilkington, Allan Russell, Kevin Sandwith, Ben Sedgemore, Emile Sinclair, Matthew Tipton, Jamie Tolley, Peter Vincenti, Michael Walker, Luke Waterfall, Sam Wedgbury.
Home games: P 10, W 6, D 2, L 2, GF 23, GA 11
Away games: P 11, W 4, D 4, L 3, GF 13, GA 13
Season Home Date Away Date
1997-98 1-0 1998-02-24 0-1 1997-10-18 Div 3
1999-2000 1-0 2000-03-11 2-5 1999-11-02 Div 3
2000-01 4-4 2000-08-28 1-0 2001-01-14 Div 3
2001-02 4-0 2001-08-27 1-0 2001-12-29 Div 3
2003-04 3-2 2003-09-06 1-1 2003-12-28 Div 3
2004-05 0-1 2004-11-06 1-3 2005-04-23 League Two
2005-06 1-1 2006-02-04 1-1 2005-09-27 League Two
2006-07 1-2 2007-03-23 3-2 2006-10-28 League Two
2007-08 5-0 2007-11-03 0-0 2008-04-12 League Two
2012-13 3-1 2013-04-09 3-0 2012-11-20 BSP
2018-19 (at Macclesfield) 1-1 2018-08-25 League Two
2004-05 0-4 2004-11-02 (at Moss Rose, Macclesfield in the LDV Vans Trophy)
Expect an interesting fixture on Saturday, Come on Mansfield!
Stockholm, July 4, 2008, 15.00 GMT. Good news came, K.H. gone. March 1, 2012. Ground purchased.