York out to repli­cate re­sults

Macclesfield Express - - SPORT - MICHAEL HALE

MAC­CLES­FIELD Town may have fin­ished 12 places above their FA Tro­phy fi­nal op­po­nents – but York City will still take con­fi­dence from the sea­son’s record go­ing into the game.

The Silk­men fin­ished off in a re­spectable 9th place, while the Min­ster­men suf­fered rel­e­ga­tion to the Con­fer­ence North de­spite pick­ing up a point against now pro­moted For­est Green Rovers on the fi­nal day.

But in the two games be­tween the teams in the league sea­son, York have come out on top – here we re­flect on how they did the dou­ble over Macc: TUES­DAY, August 9: York 1-0 Mac­cles­field

You have to back to York’s home de­but to find the first time that these two came to­gether in the Con­fer­ence.

Re­cently-rel­e­gated York came out on top but it was a game where Town could have come away with a point or more.

Matt Fry scored the de­ci­sive goal in the match, but he knew very lit­tle about it as an at­tempted clearance can­noned off him and into the net early in the sec­ond half.

Danny Rowe, Danny Whi­taker and Jack Samp­son all could’ve given the Silk­men the lead in the first half.

John McCombe came close to equal­is­ing in the sec­ond half against his for­mer club but hav­ing beaten the goal­keeper, he was de­nied by the post.

Chris Hol­royd and Jack Mack­reth couldn’t get past York ‘keeper Scott Flin­ders late on be­fore Si­mon Hes­lop nearly added what would’ve been a cruel sec­ond in stop­page time. TUES­DAY, March 28: Mac­cles­field 1-3 York

While August’s re­sult against York was slightly harsh on Mac­cles­field, the re­turn leg loss at Moss Rose could leave them with no com­plaints.

Hes­lop put the vis­i­tors in front early on with a sen­sa­tional strike from 25-yards.

York were 2-0 up within 15 min­utes as Vadaine Oliver got in on the act. Macc were given a life­line in the sec­ond half when a penalty was slot­ted by Whi­taker, but a long throw was scram­bled in by Jon Parkin.

KINGS­LEY James will be hop­ing to lift the FA Tro­phy for the sec­ond sea­son run­ning af­ter he en­joyed suc­cess in the com­pe­ti­tion last year.

James was part of the Hal­i­fax side that beat Grimsby 1-0 in the 2015/16 fi­nal, be­fore then mak­ing the switch to Mac­cles­field in July.

Last year’s fi­nal was mem­o­rable to James for sev­eral rea­sons, and he’s des­per­ate to come out on top once again.

“It was a great achieve­ment last sea­son. It came the day af­ter m y wed­ding day so it was a great week­end,” James told the Mac­cles­field Ex­press. “Un­for­tu­nately I didn’t start the game and in­stead just played the last 30 min­utes, which I was dis­ap­pointed with as I’d prac­ti­cally played ev­ery minute of ev­ery game up to that point. “This year’s match has fell on my an­niver­sary so my wife will be join­ing me at Wem­b­ley. I’m ex­cited to be in the fi­nal again and we’re go­ing down there to win it.” It was a mixed cam­paign fo r James’ Hal­i­fax side last sea­son, as while they may have lifted the FA Tro­phy, they suf­fered rel­e­ga­tion from the Na­tional League. It’s the same sce­nario that Mac­cles­field’s op­po­nents, York City, find them­selves in this week­end, with the team al­ready pre­par­ing for life in the Na­tional League North af­ter fin­ish­ing in the drop zone. With that in mind, James be­lieves he has a good idea how the York play­ers will be feel­ing ahead of the game at Wem­b­ley. “It can go one way or the other. You can be re­ally down and dis­ap­pointed and come with no energy and be lethar­gic or you can come and not care what hap­pens and just en­joy the oc­ca­sion,” he said.

“It worked in our favour last year as we went and en­joyed it and we lifted the tro­phy. It was over­whelm­ing as the sta­dium was a lot big­ger than I thought it would be but the at­mos­phere was re­ally good.

“Go­ing in and see­ing the sta­dium the day be­fore and tak­ing it all in will ben­e­fit you. I wasn’t able to do that last year as I had my wed­ding but the other lads took it in and it led to us win­ning.”

James’ ex­pe­ri­ence at Wem­b­ley could prove cru­cial to Mac­cles­field in the game, and he has revealed that some of his team-mates have been quizzing him on what to ex­pect.

“They’ve asked a few ques­tions but there’s not much I can say to pre­pare them as it is just so over­whelm­ing,” he said.

“Ev­ery­body will un­der­es­ti­mate how big it is and the at­mos­phere and the pitch, so they’ll for­get ev­ery­thing I’ve said by the time we’ve stepped out.

“We just need to call on the ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers to lead by ex­am­ple. The likes of Danny Whi­taker, Ge­orge Pilk­ing­ton, John McCombe and Scott Flin­ders have all played at a higher level so are used to the big crowds, big sta­di­ums and big at­mos­pheres.

“I think with their ex­pe­ri­ence they will help the other play­ers around them re­lax and find their feet a bit. Danny Whi­taker’s ex­pe­ri­ence will es­pe­cially come in handy as he’s an­cient so he’s prob­a­bly played at the old Wem­b­ley!

“We’ll need ev­ery­body in the team per­form­ing though. All 11 play­ers that are out there will need to work hard as a group to win us the tro­phy, it won’t be one in­di­vid­ual that will win it.

“When we’ve games com­fort­ably won this sea­son it’s when we’ve all worked hard and put ev­ery­thing in, so we need to do that again.”

Mac­cles­field have an im­pres­sive his­tory in the FA Tro­phy, hav­ing won the tro­phy on two pre­vi­ous oc­ca­sions in 1970 and 1996.

They were also beaten fi­nal­ists in 1989, with cur­rent man­ager John Askey part of those squads in 1989 and 1996.

James is well aware of the Silk­men’s pre­vi­ous suc­cesses in the com­pe­ti­tion, and he hopes to make it an­other mem­o­rable day this week­end.

“We know all about the club’s his­tory in the FA Tro­phy, so it’s im­por­tant for us to re­alise that in years to come peo­ple will still be talk­ing about this mo­ment if we bring it back,” he said.

“It means a lot to the club and the play­ers and it’s go­ing to be a great day for ev­ery­body in­volved.

“The fans de­serve it and peo­ple at the club de­serve it too as there are some great peo­ple here.

“We’ve all worked re­ally hard this sea­son to get to this point. It’s been in­tense and we’ve played a lot of games be­cause of the cup runs we’ve had, so it’s go­ing to be a good way to end the sea­son.”

Mac­cles­field had to bat­tle hard to reach the fi­nal of the FA Tro­phy, beat­ing the likes of For­est Green and Tran­mere along the way, but James has revealed the win against lower league side Dul­wich Ham­let was just as sat­is­fy­ing.

“The Dul­wich game was a tough fix­ture. They’ve got some good play­ers and it was hard go­ing down there,” he said.

“It was re­ally windy and they had a good crowd so to get through that and get them back at the Moss Rose made it a big game.

“When we played Tran­mere in the semi-fi­nals I thought both games against them we de­served to win.

“Even in the first game I thought we de­served to win. They got a du­bi­ous penalty that got them off to a great start but I thought we con­trolled the game from then on.”

Along with their FA Tro­phy run, Mac­cles­field also had a de­cent sea­son on the league front, hav­ing fin­ished in ninth place.

One of their fi­nal league matches of the sea­son came against cham­pi­ons Lin­coln City at Sin­cil Bank, with more than 10,000 fans in at­ten­dance.

Conor Mol­loy

Mid­field star Kings­ley James in action for Mac­cles­field

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