Preview: Macclesfield vs Exeter City

City finally demonstrated a ruthless cutting edge in taking advantage of Oldham’s red card to record a 5-1 win that provided a timely boost to their goal difference. Matt Taylor was able to recall Jake Taylor to the bench but for the third straight match had to make an early substitution as Tom Parkes was under the weather. Assuming Parkes’ illness was short-lived he should be ready to resume on Saturday with Dean Moxey waiting in the wings should he be required. Gary Warren returned from his loan at Torquay and could slot in on the bench should Parkes miss out. Should Nicky Law be fit to return he may only make the bench as Matt Jay has seized his chance since deputising.

Since their return to the EFL Macclesfield have been a proper “soap opera” club – on the one hand unable to pay the staff their wages while on the other employing Sol Campbell on a megabucks contract (he is reportedly suing the club for £180k in unpaid wages). All the while, and despite a 6-point deduction for failing to fulfil a fixture (with potential further penalties for being forced to postpone another match before Christmas), the Silkmen look likely to avoid dropping back into non-league although a defeat on Tuesday night to resurgent Morecambe saw them drop to second from bottom albeit seven points ahead of seemingly doomed Stevenage. Mark Kennedy is the latest name on the manager’s door, with former City player and assistant manager Danny Butterfield alongside him. Another familiar face will be lining up on Saturday in the shape of Donovan Wilson. Wilson spent the second half of last season on loan at City before departing Wolves for Spain only to sign for Macclesfield last week in time to set up their equaliser against Leyton Orient. Macclesfield have been draw specialists this season with 14, the most in the division, perhaps symptomatic of a side that looks to keep it tight and has only scored 29 goals (just Newport and Stevenage have scored fewer). Their top scorer, Joe Ironside, has just six league goals to his name.

City were expected to record a comfortable victory on the opening day albeit against a side that managed to do the double against them last season. Instead Macclesfield would have counted themselves very unlucky to go down to Ryan Bowman’s 88th minute strike. Last season’s fixture had to be rescheduled due to a waterlogged pitch and saw Macclesfield boost their survival hopes at the expense of City’s promotion ambitions with a 3-2 win. Bowman opened the scoring to finally notch his first since joining City, then added his second either side of Smith’s equaliser before Rose restored parity on the stroke of half time from the spot. It looked like that would be it before Troy Brown’s unfortunate own goal five minutes from time. There is absolutely nothing to choose between the sides in terms of head to heads, with five wins apiece as well as five draws! Details of those 15 games cane be found at

The match officials for this game are:

Referee: Thomas Bramall
Assistant Referees: Natalie Aspinall and Barry Gordon
Fourth Official : Alix Pashley

Bramall has taken charge of three games,


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