For the first time in five seasons, the Stags face Saturday’s opponents, Macclesfield Town, in a competitive fixture. And this is also the second leg of the Stags’ double-header against FL comeback sides, as the Stags had a goal-less draw at Tranmere Rovers last Tuesday, a draw which had everything but goals.
This time around, it will be the Stags’ first visit to Macclesfield since the 2012-13 BSP promotion campaign. Then, on the original date at Moss Rose in September 2012, the fixture was rained off. Incredible, as weather postponements at Macclesfield had been very rare on the other side of the Peak District, from Mansfield travelling.
And when the game at Macclesfield finally was played in November 2012, it proved to be the pointer for the remainder of the 2012-13 BSP season for the Stags. At that time, the Stags were upper mid-table after drawing five out of nine, the most previous then a 2-2 home draw at Luton. On the other hand, Macclesfield had a few months earlier been relegated from League after fifteen seasons, one of those above the basement playing sides like Stoke, Manchester City, Bournemouth and Fulham at third level. The second half of the Silkmen relegation season was a complete disaster, not winning any of the final 23 games after a 2-1 home victory against Port Vale on December 31, 2011 in a fixture which saw two ex-Stags feature for the Silkmen, Matt Hamshaw and Sam Wedgbury, while John McCombe, later to feature for the Stags as well as for the Silkmen, starred for Port Vale. At Moss Rose in November 2012, the Stags completely routed the Silkmen to a convincing 3-0 scoreline. And the later-to-be successful assault on the playoffs, realistic then, and the title had begun.
For Macclesfield, it turned out to be the first out a couple of mid-table campaigns before returning to the FL a few months ago, promotion secured at Eastleigh to a 2-0 scoreline with a game to spare, then following it up with a 2-0 home victory against Dagenham & Redbridge in front of over 4000 at Moss Rose on the final day of last season.
But the Silkmen have yet to win in the FL after their return. Three straight defeats were followed by a 1-1 home draw against Cheltenham last Tuesday.
And when the Stags played Macclesfield at home in April 2013, the Silkmen had just axed their manager Steve King. He was replaced by John Askey, a former Silkmen player. He was later to be the manager who steered Macclesfield back into League Two after six seasons.
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.
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.
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 – but have also played for former Conf side Canvey Island. Of the latest ones, Matt Hamshaw and Emile Sinclair may be mentioned.
One Macclesfield player who played at Field Mill in front of the previewer in November 2004, is still around. The name: Danny Whittaker, scorer against Cheltenham last Tuesday. 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, Michael Walker, Luke Waterfall, Sam Wedgbury.
Home games: P 10, W 6, D 2, L 2, GF 23, GA 11
Away games: P 10, W 4, D 3, 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
2004-05 0-4 2004-11-02 (at Moss Rose, Macclesfield in the LDV Vans Trophy)
Come on Mansfield!
Stockholm, July 4, 2008, 15.00 GMT. Good news came, K.H. gone. March 1, 2012. Ground purchased.