Mark Kennedy’s Macclesfield Town need to start picking up points fast if they are to avoid a return to the Vanarama National League and Saturday’s derby game against Salford City is an ideal place to start.
Languishing in the relegation zone, the Silkmen need to bounce back from a disappointing Cheshire derby performance against Crewe last weekend after which the former Liverpool and Wolves player said: “We have handed that to them today, the goals we gave away was poor.
“We had a couple of good chances and that’s a tough one to take. I expected it to be hard, but they were catastrophic errors”.
With a Baker’s dozen games to go Kennedy must demand a response and seek to replicate their top showing when they held high flying Plymouth Argyle to a 1-1 draw at Moss Rose less than a fortnight ago.
The visitors, co-owned by ex- Manchester United stars Ryan Giggs, Gary and Phil Neville, David Beckham, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes are enjoying their first ever season in League football after their meteoric rise. They were in the Northern Premier League as recently as 2014. They won the National League North in 2016 and won promotion to England’s fourth tier via a play off win against AFC Fylde last May. Clearly the investment from the Class of ’92 is paying off.
Together with copper fastening their status in the SkyBet League 2, the Salford players have an added incentive for impressing manager Graham Alexander. They have a Wembley Cup Final to look forward to against Portsmouth on April 5th in the EFL Leasing.com Trophy.
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s game the former Burnley and Scotland international defender said: “For me we just have to go out and express ourselves, show what we can do and take the game to Macc”.
Macclesfield’s six point deduction imposed by the English Football League for non-payment payment of players wages on time and failure to fulfil a fixture against Crewe on the 7th of December is a millstone that the team’s performances did not merit this season having had a reasonable first half to the season under the now departed coach Daryll McMahon.
Form would suggest that the visitors have the upper hand despite the sides drawing 0-0 in Manchester in November. In the last six games Salford have won two, drawn two and lost two whilst the home team have drawn two and lost four. The Ammies lost at home last weekend to Colchester United.
If the Moss Rose outfit are to get something from the game, they will require strong performances from Nathan Cameron and Fiacre Kelleher at the back and up front from Shilow Tracey, a loan signing from Spurs in the recent transfer window.
Danny Whitehead misses the game as he is on loan at Moss Rose from Saturday’s opponents and not permitted to play against his parent club. He has been ever present since his arrival under Kennedy.