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National League gems 17/18

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To many people, non-league is an abyss, a wasteland of over the hill cloggers and youngsters who didn’t quite make the grade higher up the food chain. And whilst (Macc aside!) there weren’t any outstanding teams in the National League this season, there are some fine players who could certainly make it at a higher level.

Here are five of the players that stood out for me when I saw them play against Macc this season:

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Recreation Ground – Aldershot Town

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New Ground number 139

First visit = 19/11/16 Aldershot 1-2 Macclesfield (National League)

A ground I have had somehow managed to miss over the last few years, but I finally managed to make the trip to do commentary on this league game, with both sides fighting for a play-off place.

Soccer - Tickets go on sale for Aldershot v Manchester United - The EBB Stadium
The Recreation Ground – copyright whoateallthepies.tv 

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Meadow Park – Boreham Wood

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New Ground number 143
First Visit – 1st April 2017 – Boreham Wood 2-4 Macclesfield (National League)

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The main covered stand at Boreham Wood

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Gander Green Lane – Sutton United

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Ground Number 144
First Visit – 15/8/17 – Sutton 2 – 1 Macclesfield (Vanarama National League)

Gander Green Lane is the home of Sutton United, AFC Wimbledon Ladies, and Sutton Common Rovers.

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Solihull 0-1 Macclesfield (9-9-17)

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Another stint on commentary for this trip to the Midlands – and the first win I have called this season. Not a classic game by any means, but a big three points after the disappointment against Woking last week.

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Penalty to Solihull for this challenge, but justice was done as Jalal saved from Carter

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Buxton 0-2 Shaw Lane (22-8-17)

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The first trip out to a neutral game of the season – with a short drive over the hills to Buxton, as they hosted Shaw Lane in this midweek encounter

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Macc Town player ratings 2016/17

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A strange season, which saw us within touching distance of the play-offs for much of the season, without ever looking likely to break into the top 5. A ninth place finish was not a disaster by any means though.

The FA Trophy run was a bright spark, with a battling victory over Tranmere in the semi-final the high point. The Wembley showpiece was a step too far, as a Jon Parkin inspired York took home the trophy after a 3-2 win.

Rhys Browne celebrates scoring the Silkmen’s opener                                                               Image – Copyright Chelsie Wilson 2017

These are my thoughts on how each player performed in 2016/17 – all players started the season as a 5/10.

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Manchester United Ruined My Life – Shindler

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An excellent book and one that might not be imitated in future. This is the story of growing up in the time before the transformation of Manchester City, in the 50s and early 60s with a dominant United –

It is a tale that reveals what it is like to be on the outside looking in, with his nose pressed up against the sweet shop window watching the United supporters take all the wine gums.

It has a snazzy new cover now it has been re-published, well worth a read though, even if you happen to have an affiliation with the red side of Manchester.

colin s

Leek 2-1 Loughborough (4-3-17)

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Game 45 of the 16/17 season

Ten point ‘match report’

Somewhere a bit more local after the long trip to Dulwich to watch Macc the week before, and a first trip to Leek since pre-season.

leek v lough
picture from Leek Town Website

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Champion Hill – Dulwich Hamlet

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Ground number 141

First visit – 25/2/17 (Dulwich Hamlet 2-2 Macclesfield – FA Trophy Quarter Final)

Dulwich Hamlet v VCD Athletic, Ryman Premier Division
Copyright – Keith Gillard (2015)

FA Trophy final quarter final day and the draw had thrown up a tricky encounter at Dulwich Hamlet. Another in the category of may not get chance to watch Macc here again – so best go just in case.

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