In the second part of our FA Cup series we focus on seeing off any potential upset at the hands of Macclesfield Town.
MACCLESFIELD TOWN 0
WIGAN ATHLETIC 1
Gomez (pen) 7
It was the 51st meeting between the Silkmen of Macclesfield Town and Wigan Athletic, taking into account just two fixtures since Latics joined the Football League with the majority of games stretched over the Cheshire League and Northern Premier League.
The last time Latics (pictured right before the game) faced Macclesfield it ended with the same score line as the one that sent the club into the fifth round of the FA Cup but the solitary goal from David Lee came a minute earlier back in February 1999 when the sides met in Division Two.
Two long-standing non-league rivals competing against each other at opposite ends of the spectrum in the FA Cup brought traditional magic to the fourth round this season and an upset pined for by neutrals was something Roberto Martinez and his team were keen to avoid.
Moss Rose was the stage as nostalgia kicked in for many of the 2,000 plus travelling supporters but a feeling of the unknown was present for those born this side of 1978 with many of the club’s new generation of fans experiencing terraces for the very first time.
The stage was ready for somebody to set alight and within the opening 10 minutes Callum McManaman was the one to do it.
Unleashed down the left wing by a bending Jordi Gomez through-ball, McManaman saw his chance to bare down on goal but in doing so was chased and bundled over by a clumsy challenge from Macclesfield defender Thierry Audel.
Gomez (pictured left) was the man with the task of facing the hosts’ on-loan debutant goalkeeper Joe Anyon, whose first touch was a brush of his fingertips on the Spaniard’s left footed spot kick as Latics went 1-0 up.
McManaman continued to be Latics’ outlet on that left side but Blue Square Premier Macclesfield certainly put up a fight and it was not until six minutes of added time had passed that Latics could breathe easy and plan their fifth round trip.
It was the first time since the famous cup run of 1986/87 that the club had progressed through the fourth round, in what was the first cup meeting between Latics and Macclesfield since 1967 when they faced each other in the fourth qualifying round.
With rich history between the sides, it was youthful exuberance that paid off in 2013, with plenty of Latics’ young players getting their chance to impress.
On loan Spanish goalkeeper Joel Robles (pictured right) made his debut for the club, Nouha Dicko claimed his first start and Roman Golobart and Jordan Mustoe continued their pushes to impress.
Determined defending proved too much for Macclesfield on a day that was all about progressing and avoiding a potential banana skin.
Macclesfield: Anyon, Jackson, Brown, Mackreth, Murtagh, Barnes-Homer, Wedgbury, Kissock (Winn 78), Fairhurst (McDonald 76), Braham-Barrett, Audel
Latics: Robles, Henriquez, Gomez, McManaman, Espinoza, Fyvie (Jones 53), Stam, Golobart, Mustoe, Dicko (Lopez 66), Figueroa
POST MATCH REACTION
Joel Robles on keepin a debut clean sheet:
“It is fantastic to get a clean sheet on my debut but I have to emphasise that it is down to everyone in the team that it happened.
“From the first whistle I felt comfortable in the team because my team mates made me feel part of the team.
“They performed really well in front of me and the defence made sure that Macclesfield couldn’t get too many shots on goal.”
You can view highlights from the fourth round tie by [clicking here] and you can also read part one of our FA Cup feature by [clicking here], part three will follow next Tuesday.