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The Opposition - Macclesfield Town

Ryan Petterson identifies the Silkmen's danger-men.

8 August 2018

Ryan Browne / BPI/REX/Shutterstock
Mark Yates
Ticket News

Macclesfield Town Ticket Information

7 August 2018

Grimsby Town play their first away fixture of the Sky Bet League Two 2018-19 season this Saturday (3pm) when they travel to Moss Rose to face Macclesfield Town.

Michael Jolley’s side will be hoping to improve on last weekend’s opening-day 4-1 defeat to Forest Green Rovers at Blundell Park when they face the Silkmen this Saturday.

But Mark Yates’s side are also looking to get off the mark after they conceded two stoppage-time penalties to surrender their lead away at Swindon Town last Saturday as they lost 3-2 to the Robins.

And the Silkmen will be a tough nut to crack at the Moss Rose after they lost just three home league games last season as they were crowned National League champions.

Transfer activity

But the Silkmen have had an extremely busy summer of departures, with former boss John Askey, along with centre-half Kieran Kennedy, leaving for League One side Shrewsbury Town.

Left-back Mitch Hancox joined League Two rivals MK Dons, and midfielder Danny Whitehead made the move to National League side Salford City.

But Macclesfield have also made 13 new signings in the close season as they look to strengthen their squad for their first campaign in the EFL after a six-year absence.

Their key signings are arguably experienced defensive-midfielder Michael Rose from Morecambe, 23-year-old centre-forward Harry Smith from Championship side Millwall, and striker Nathan Blissett from Plymouth Argyle following a loan spell with the Silkmen last season, as he scored five goals in 16 appearances in the National League.

They have also signed centre-back Jamie Grimes from Cheltenham Town and defensive-midfielder Callum Evans from Forest Green Rovers.

And the Silkmen have utilised the loan market, bringing in centre-back Fiacre Kelleher and attacking-midfielder Malachi Napa both from Oxford United, and midfielder Callum Maycock from Coventry City, who all featured in the opening-day defeat to Swindon.

And Yates, who was in charge of National League side Solihull Moors last season, has also brought in plenty of non-League talent including Miles Welch-Hayes from Bath City, Ben Stephens from Stratford Town, Luke Simpson from York City, James Pearson from Kidderminster Harriers, and Rhys Taylor from AFC Fylde.

Ones to watch

Tricky winger Koby Arthur could be Macclesfield’s most dangerous threat to Town this weekend, and he could have a season to remember during his second campaign with the Silkmen. The 22-year-old started his season in brilliant fashion as he bagged a brace against Swindon last weekend.

The 5ft6ins Ghanaian midfielder had a relatively quiet debut season at Moss Rose last term, scoring just once in 13 league games, but he could really kick-on and begin to fulfil his potential in the 2018-19 campaign.

Midfielder Danny Whitaker will be a familiar name to Town fans, having locked horns with the Mariners on plenty of occasions in the National League. The 37-year-old – who is now also assistant boss of the Silkmen, as well as still playing – has scored 57 goals in 377 league appearances during two spells at Moss Rose.

Whitaker scored an impressive nine goals in 44 league games for the Silkmen in their National League title-winning campaign last season, and he played the full 90 minutes in their defeat to Swindon last weekend.

Striker Tyrone Marsh signed for Macclesfield last summer after spells with fellow non-League sides Dover Athletic and Torquay United, and he proved an important player for the Silkmen as his nine goals in 42 league games helped them win the National League title.

The 24-year-old hasn’t been prolific so far, scoring 24 goals in 103 career league appearances, but he ended last season in good form for the Silkmen as he bagged five goals in his final seven games, and he will be hoping to get back on the scoresheet against Town this weekend.

It will certainly be an interesting clash this weekend as Town kick-off their away league schedule at Moss Rose against Macclesfield Town, and both sides will be hopeful of getting their first three points on the board.

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