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Macclesfield Preview

By: Richard Hubbert
Date: 24/12/2004

MACCLESFIELD Town visit Blundell Park for the first time in their history for this Boxing Day clash where the Mariners will seek to preserve their good home form against a Macclesfield side who have done well on their travels this season.

Home > 2004-2005 Season > Previews > Macclesfield (h)

The Opposition

The "Silkmen", as Macclesfield are known - have been enjoying a good season so far under the leadership of former Man City and Hull boss, Brian Horton (left). Horton saved the club from relegation last season, and this term have been in and around the play off area most of the time. Currently occupying the final place in the play offs, Macc have had some decent wins this season - notably an away success at Yeovil - Gary Johnson's only loss at Huish Park in the league this season. Therefore there is a great deal of hope and expectancy for Macclesfield to reach the play offs come May.

Their Squad
It has been a good season for Macclesfield, but some of their fans feel that it could have been better, had it not been for the loss of three key defenders. Tony Barrass, Mark Bailey and returning hero Steve Payne have all been missing for long spells this season. Payne returned to the club where he won the Conference Championship and promotion to the old second division in the late 1990s, in March of this year. He made 13 appearances at the end of last season but hasn't appeared this season due to injury. This means that the likes of Matt Carragher, formerly of Port Vale, veteran Ian Brightwell and Michael Welch have featured heavily of late. In midfield are two former Town players - former record signing Tommy Widdrington (left), who played under Horton at Port Vale, and ex-Halifax and Scunthorpe midfielder Paul Harsley - who netted against Town in the reverse fixture in September. In attack Jonathan Parkin has got 14 goals in all competitions. The former York and Barnsley forward standing at 6 foot 4, joined the club in February. He is assisted in attack by the likes of former Crewe striker John Milesand Matthew Tipton.

Key Player
Mike Sheron was brought in by Brian Horton during the summer after a spell with Blackpool last season. Commanding transfers fees during his career totalling £5.3 million, Sheron has added a touch of class up front for Macclesfield this season, and despite not netting many goals, has been key to the Silkmen's success.

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Team News


  • A few players have been absent from training this week due to a virus - the latest victim is Ashley Sestanovich who missed training on Thursday. Similarly John McDermott missed training earlier this week, but is training again now so should start.

  • Meanwhile, Colin Cramb is a major doubt after limping off injured on Friday night in the draw with Oxford. He tried to train on Tuesday, but couldn't - meaning that Ashley Sestanovich, Michael Reddy and Darren Mansaram will be vying for his place in attack. With Sestanovich not 100% due to illness and Mansaram not particularly impressing on Friday, it could well be that Reddy gets a start.

  • Russell Slade was unhappy with Town's defending last Friday and could be tempted to make changes with Simon Ramsden nearing full fitness. Although he may not make changes for Boxing Day, with several fixtures during the next week, he could make changes.

  • New signing Martin Gritton is likely to feature at some point during the game.
  • Neil MacKenzie, Mark Bailey, Steve Payne and Tony Barras remain on the sidelines through injury. Barras has started training again, but will not be fit to travel with the squad.

  • Greg Strong, on loan from Boston, could be in line for a starting spot in place of player/coach Ian Brightwell. Brightwell was brought in as a coach, only to play in emergencies, and after several starts of late, the 36 year old could be rested.

  • Danny Whitakerwas rested for the home defeat against Northampton last week, but will be hopeful of a recall.
  • Probable Teams


    1Anthony Williams
    2John McDermott
    16Ronnie Bull
    6Justin Whittle
    28Terrell Forbes
    8Jason Crowe
    17Thomas Pinault
    15Terry Fleming
    24Dean Gordon
    10Andy Parkinson
    TBAMartin Gritton
    13Steve Wilson
    28Andrew Teague
    4Matthew Carragher
    15Michael Welch
    26Greg Strong
    3Graham Potter
    11Tommy Widdrington
    7Paul Harsley
    29Alan Navarro
    14Mike Sheron
    8Jon Parkin



    11Stacy Coldicott
    9Michael Reddy
    4Simon Ramsden
    12Graham Hockless
    18Rob Jones
    24Ian Brightwell
    12Danny Whitaker
    9 Matthew Tipton
    10John Miles
    1Alan Fettis

    Head to Head

    Well, the head to head record between Macclesfield and the Mariners is fairly simple having only met once - earlier this season. However, more interesting is perhaps Town's poor form in recent years on Boxing Day. The last time Town won at home on Boxing Day was back in the 1992/93 season in a 4-2 win over Barnsley at Blundell Park. Since then, they have lost to Coventry, Bolton and Barnsley and drawn with Stockport and Oldham. Even worse, however, is the Mariners away form on Boxing Day where the 3-1 win at Derby two seasons ago was the first away win on Boxing Day since 1974 when they won at Peterborough by the same scoreline. Therefore, below is Town's record on Boxing Day in their last 20 fixtures….

    P 20 W 3 D 8 L 9 F 23 A 34


  • Goalkeepers are the main connection between the two clubs - with Anthony Williams and Alan Fettis (left) playing between the sticks for both clubs. Williams had two loan spells with Macc, whilst Fettis made 11 appearances for Town last season when he was on loan from Hull.

  • Rob Jones had a loan spell with the Moss Rose club last season when he made just one appearance before injury curtailed his loan spell.

  • Former Mariners record signing Tommy Widdrington is a player Town fans know all about. Widdrington was signed in 1996 for £300,000 and was at BP for three seasons before a move to Port Vale.

  • Paul Harsley started his career with Town, but never made a first team appearance. He left to join Scunthorpe and has since played his trade at both Halifax and Northampton before a move in February to Macclesfield.

  • Last Meeting

    The last time the two sides met in September was an all to familiar away day trip for Mariners fans, as Town let a 1-0 lead slip to eventually lose 3-1. Town took the lead against the run of play when Jason Crowe capitalised on a mix up in the Macclesfield defence to put Town ahead. But a second half capitulation from Town saw all three points go to Macclesfield, with goals from Paul Harsley, John Miles and Graham Potter sending Town fans home disheartened. Loanees Paul Robinson, who is now with York, and Chris Williams, made their only starts for Town in this game.

    Grimsby Team: Williams ,McDermott ,Young ,Whittle ,Gordon ,Parkinson ,Chris Williams (Reddy, 65 ) ,Pinault ,Fleming (Coldicott, 85 ) ,Crowe ,Robinson
    Subs: (not used) Bull, Sestanovich, Hockless,

    Macclesfield Team: Wilson ,Barras ,Welch ,Briscoe ,Bailey ,Widdrington ,Whitaker (Harsley 66, ) ,Potter ,Sheron (Miles,66 ) ,Parkin ,Tipton
    Subs: (not used) Fettis, Carr, Swadi Fayadh,

    Attendance: 2.128    Report


    A reversal of the meeting in September - 3-1 to the Mariners!


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