THE Mariners travel to deepest, darkest Cheshire on the very edge of the Peak District for their Tuesday night game against a Macclesfield side who aren't fairing much better in the league then ourselves.
One of the smallest clubs in the league seem to avoid relegation on a yearly basis just like Town did back in Division One, ahhhhh memories. Last season the Silkmen finished just 8 points ahead of the relegation zone and a few results either way would have seen them demoted to a league which some say may suit their attendances better then League Two but then again we know how much fun it is to be the fly in the ointment. Back in 2004/05 Macclesfield came so close to their greatest ever achievement, only a narrow defeat to Lincoln ironically against their now manager perennial hoofball lover the former Mariner Keith Alexander (left). (A drum roll would have really added suspense there.) Since that successful year the team from Cheshire have managed to avoid relegation time and again and just being 7 points ahead of ourselves hardly speaks of a team which will change that trend this year but then again I still think we’ll make the play-offs (God this absinthe is good!)
The Mariner that is Keith Alexander though famous for unleashing a shoal of inflatables back at Plough Lane in year dot also loves a simple game of Oi Gritton! Run after that hoof! Asides from the young strikers who have grown up at Moss Rose from wee baby footballers, Big Keith decided it was better that he didn't bother looking at other forwards then ones from Lincoln. Gritton, Yeo, Green and even the on loan Nat Brown (Wrexham) played down the road from that big church at one time or another. Nevertheless a partnership of Green, Gritton and Tony O’Neil (That reference is extremely vague only those who saw Oasis at the Old Wembley for their Standing On the Shoulder of Giants tour will get that. God they were good even if they did let Sky broadcast the Saturday night, or was it the Sunday?) Anyway it’s a trio of experience and some pace and a damn lot better then what we have at the moment, but who would have Gritton back really? Macclesfield are undefeated in their last 3 matches: a draw away at Rochdale, Saturday's win at Barnet and a win against Harlow in the FA Cup, though the last is hardly worth a note at least they're in the next round where they will meet local rivals Port Vale a team who they recorded their best win of the year so far (4-1) and it was at their place. So a team that can turn it on sometimes but not enough at the moment: the win at Vale Park was impressive but the heavy defeats to Shrewsbury (4-0), Darlington (6-0), Exeter (4-1) and Crewe (3-0). Pre Season saw four players all leave on free, two of which arrived in the city of dreaming spires, the remaining two found positions in this league: Folo Onibuji went north to Accrington and Tommy Lee skipped across the pretty hills to the town of a wonky spire. This year a team which Keith is slowly installing seems to follow his mantra of old: a strong hardworking team who stick to a rigorous game plan to bully and press for everything available and as at Lincoln it will be highly successful in this league when all the pieces are in place. Which is just not yet.
One to Watch
Simon Yeo. The striker once keenly sort by Town has found his feet in Macclesfield since joining in the summer and has hit the ground running with six goals already this season. Yeo has managed to jump to leading goal scorer at Moss Rose. Two Goals in the demolition of Port Vale helped his cause but Yeo’s impressive goal tally hasn't helped in much and hasn't scored in the last 5 games. Prior to that Yeo managed 5 in 6 games so lets not count him out just yet.
Town won the corresponding fixture last season just 9 months ago, which was also on a Tuesday night. Jamie Clarke won the game with one of his trademark volleys, after Danny North had given Town an early lead.
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