Askey’s sights set on Wembley
MACCLESFIELD Town manager John Askey is dreaming of a trip to Wembley as his side prepares for their FA Trophy semi-final second leg against Tranmere Rovers this weekend. The two teams are all-square at 1-1 after the first leg at the Moss Rose on Saturday, with Ollie Norburn’s second half equaliser cancelling out Jeff Hughes’ controversial penalty for Tranmere.
While the Silkmen will be seen as the underdogs heading into the game at Prenton Park, Askey is confident that his side have what it takes to reach the final.
“We know when we play well, that we can compete with anybody in the league, and that was the case in the first leg,” he said.
“It sets it up nicely for the next game and we’re looking forward to it. Hopefully the whole of Macclesfield can go to Tranmere and spur us on.
“I was pleased with how we played in the first leg and over the 90 minutes I think we produced the better football, but we were unlucky with a few of our chances.”
Macc put in a hardfought performance against Tranmere when the two teams met at Prenton Park in the league earlier this season, narrowly losing the game 1-0 after conceding a late goal.
While they may have come up short in that game, Askey believes a similar performance could see his side earn the win this weekend.
“We did really well when we played them at their place over Christmas but a dubious decision was made and they got the win,” he said.
“We’ll go there full of confidence though and the match will start all square, so it’s a great chance for us to get to play at Wembley.
“The players just need to roll their sleeves up and have a go and then we will see where it takes us.”
Tranmere manager Micky Mellon is just as confident of progressing as Askey, and believes his side are in the driving seat.
“There’s still work to be done, but we’re pleased that we’re taking it back to our place all square,” Mellon said. “We look forward to getting it on now and I’m certainly satisfied with the first leg result as I didn’t think we were anywhere near what we know we can do.
“When it’s over two legs, you’ve got to be professional and if you’re not playing great, like the football you’d normally see from us, you’ve just got to make sure you do what we did and see it through.”
If Macc are victorious against Tranmere in the semi-final this weekend, they will set-up a match against either National League leaders Lincoln City or York City in the final at Wembley.
Luke Summerfield and Andy Halls celebrate with goalscorer Ollie Norburn