Come on you Silkmen
April 13, 2018 7:43 AM   Subscribe

While most attention this English football season has been focused on oil-fuelled Manchester City's inevitable Premier League triumph, a far more unlikely and remarkable story has been quietly unfolding just 20 miles down the road at the other end of the Football League pyramid. Macclesfield Town, who ply their trade in front of crowds of barely 1,500 people at their Moss Rose ground in Cheshire, are currently 12 points clear at the top of football's so-called 'non league' system and about to re-take their place in England's historic Football League.

Their season hasn't been without its trials. The club are largely penniless, ran out of money to pay players' salaries just after Christmas, and came close to starting the season without even a full squad of players. But manager John Askey, who has never appeared for or managed another club in a 35-year footballing career, his team of largely unknown players and the donations and support of dedicated Maxonians have kept the club treading water for the past year.

Now the Silkmen, so-called because of Macclesfield's historic (and current) connections to the silk industry, are on the verge of pulling off a Hollywood-style miracle. Only an unlikely set of results from now until the end of the season can prevent 'Macc' from clinching the title.
posted by winterhill (6 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Boy, first Leicester City, now this.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:33 AM on April 13, 2018

I saw Macc play Stockport at home about 5 years ago in a non-league game. There was about 800 people there. At half-time a significant proportion of the crowd changed ends. I normally follow a bigger team so I'd never seen that before.
posted by devious truculent and unreliable at 10:53 AM on April 13, 2018 [1 favorite]

It's also worth following last year's National League winners, Lincoln City. No shock FA Cup wins like their record-setting run last year, but they're solidly in the League Two promotion playoff spots. A playoff shouldn't bother them too much; they proved their knockout mettle not just on the FA Cup run, but also on this year's EFL Trophy competition, which they won, 1-0 against Shrewsbury Town. A pretty good first appearance at Wembley.
posted by suckerpunch at 10:56 AM on April 13, 2018 [1 favorite]

Oh, by the way, here's Macclesfield Town's last gasp winner vs. Woking from a few weeks ago. You won't see a goal like this in the top leagues...
posted by suckerpunch at 11:04 AM on April 13, 2018 [4 favorites]

This is great, and just serves to remind me what a miserable season its been for Southampton supporters. Looks like I'll be checking off "Experienced relegation as a soccer fan" on my bucket list. Must be a fantastic ride for the Macclesfield Town fans though.
posted by COD at 11:30 AM on April 13, 2018

Ok I’ll be nice. Congratulations to the silkmen on a job well done.

And now less nice! As a fan of a team in the same division we would *love* to get 1500 fans per home game. Macclesfield are not alone in financial troubles in the division - Chester, Dagenham and Hartlepool have been in dire trouble as well.

There’s also the point that macclesfields main rivals were threatened with relegation if they won the division and failed to rip up their 3g pitch - suspiciously Sutton’s results have dropped off recently as the 3G pitch was their main source of income.

I went to Moss Rose as an away fan 2 months ago (went to see Jodrell Bank too )and can’t say I was particularly impressed with the team - unlike Lincoln who were just awesome last season.

Good luck - you’ll need it in league two
posted by BigCalm at 3:26 PM on April 13, 2018 [1 favorite]

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