The week we have asked a Macclesfield Town fan to give us the lowdown on what the second Trotters v Silkmen cup game of the season means to him. There’s no doubt that the Cheshire club is taking it seriously; they’ve produced a commemorative scarf! But what of the humble Macc Town fan? Here’s our old friend Pete to give you the view from across the battlefield.
It’s a funny old game as you know and – for me – nothing sums this up than the often strange coincidences that cup draws always seem to throw up.
Macclesfield Town overcame two non-league teams from Essex in their first and second FA Cup rounds and as one of the smallest clubs in the football league we of course hoped to be paired with a footballing giant as the names were drawn from the third round pot.
Perhaps a Premier League outfit? We had already faced Bolton Wanderers in the league cup second round earlier this season when the Silkmen were despatched off to the Reebok Stadium so this time around it’d be great to face perhaps, er, Bolton Wanderers – what, again?
If you are a betting man you will know that the odds of these two teams being paired together in two cup draws in one seasons are long. I am too lazy to research exactly how long, but I bet there’s lots of zeroes.
Despite that something in the back of my mind told me that when it comes to the FA Cup third round everything is likely – just look at the Manchester derby.
And so we face Bolton again. The team we gave a good old scare to way back in 2011. We were 1-0 up at half-time, playing smooth passing football reminiscent of the 1970s Brazil team. Macclesfield often remind people of such things.
Emile Sinclair, our quick and talented winger/striker/midfielder (I actually don’t know where he normally plays – he just runs about a lot) had given us the lead before half-time and we had held on until around 60 minutes I think (I am too lazy to research exactly how long) when Bolton got the goal they deserved. Extra time loomed but tired legs set in and we gave away another to lose 2-1.
Almost one of our greatest giant killings. Well kind of almost. Our greatest giant killing arguably was a 3-2 win over, er, Bolton Wanderers in 2000. On Aggregate. We won 3-1 at the Reebok. Although worryingly you won 1-0 at our place.
Earlier this season, many were surprised that we gave Premier League Bolton such a good game. I wasn’t. We always give good games in the cup against Championship or Premier League opposition (don’t mention the 7-0 defeats against Walsall. Er and Coventry).
We have knocked Stoke City out of the League Cup in years gone by and in 2001, Bradford came to the Moss Rose and were taken into extra time – only winning 2-1 thanks to a Stuart McCall strike. Sheffield United also overcame Macclesfield 2-1 in 2003 in the same competition.
I should admit now that when appearing on the Men in White podcast in the run-up to our League Cup tie this season I said that Macclesfield always lose 2-1 to higher league opposition in the cups, and usually after having taken the lead. Actually, this has only happened twice (I have researched this now, although when I say researched I mean Googled).
Despite this, one listener took me foolishly at my word and placed a bet on 1-0 to Macclesfield at half time and 2-1 to Bolton at full time. He won £90. My share has not arrived yet.
But seriously we do give higher league opposition good games. We have ended your league cup dreams as I have mentioned. As we have done with Blackpool and Hull.
But you’ll be glad to know that often some of our best performances don’t end up in wins. Everton 1 Macclesfield 0 (Third round FA Cup 2008/09) and Leicester 4 Macclesfield 3 (League Cup Second Round
2010/11) being notable examples.
So don’t count your chickens Boltonians, but maybe roughly estimate how many you have. You should win. But it’ll be close. And I think it’ll be level at half-time (0-0) and a pulsating second half will see Bolton win the match with the final score being – you guessed it – 2-1!
Place your bets.