Reckless' Guide to Tuesday's trip to Moss Rose.
Macclesfield Town v Barnet
Skrill Premier League
Tuesday 18th March
Stadium: Moss Rose, London Road, Macclesfield Cheshire SK11 7SP
Telephone: 01625 264 686
Club Colours: Blue and White
Nickname: The Silkmen
Official Website: www.mtfc.premiumtv.co.uk
Brief Directions by Road: M6 junction 17 taking the A534 signposted Congleton and Macclesfield. A complicated series of roundabouts awaits in Congleton (but it is a good stop off point for a pre-match meal too) and two options become available. 1. For ease in finding the ground and a pleasant country drive follow the signs for the A54 and head out of Congleton towards Buxton. After 5 miles of leaving Congleton on this A54 road turn left onto the A523 towards Macclesfield. You will see the ground on your left upon entering the outskirts of Macclesfield. 2. From Congleton the A536 heads straight into Macclesfield but on the wrong side of town for the football ground. If you decide on this way eventually you will find Moss Road heading South out of the town and on your right.
Car Parking: The car parking at the ground is usually restricted to officials and corporate hospitality however there is plenty of unrestricted parking in the surrounding streets. A very safe place to park is in the Lyme Green Retail Park, which is only about 300 yards South of the ground down the London Road or as I did a couple of seasons ago on the London Road itself.
Directions by Train: A train from Euston is an incredibly quick route and even grabbing a late morning train Macclesfield is less than 2 hours away. However the Station is a good 30-minute walk (mile and a half) from the ground. Turn left out of the station into Sunderland Street until the major crossroads at the War Memorial. Turn left into Mill Lane (A523 towards Leek) and follow the road for about a mile where it becomes Cross Street then London Road and you will find the ground on your right. The number 9 bus from Macclesfield Bus Station which is adjacent to the railway station will take you to the Moss Rose and runs every 20 minutes, fare £1.00 one way. A taxi should cost no more than £6.00.
Eating and Drinking Locally and Social Club: You will struggle to find a pub close to the ground – My personal recommendation is The Golden Lion which is about 10 minutes walk away, is very friendly and offers free parking for cars and mini buses if arranged in advance (Tel: 01625 423763). However as always The Reckless Guide has some seriously cultured alternative suggestions. On the A54 at Allgreave, which only involves a short detour from my route above (i.e. instead of turning left onto the A523 to the ground, carry straight on for about 5 miles), you will find the superb Rose & Crown pub built around 1800. It is I believe the highest (above sea level) pub in England – lovely surroundings, real ales and food, it doesn’t get much better. However if it is just ale you are after then look no further than the Beartown Tap in Willow Street Congleton which was voted CAMRA Pub of the Year in 2003 and 2004.
The local Retail Park only offers the putrid plastic fast food rubbish that infests the world so a visit to the town centre is a best bet for a decent meal. The ground catering is the normal football fayre of Dogs, Pies and Burgers. The Keith Alexander Bar is available for home and away fans.
Admission Prices: Adults £16, Concessions £12, U18s/Students £4
Previous Meetings and Memories: Our last visit to Moss Rose was in March 2012 and a Friday night 0-0 draw – only Andy Yiadom and Mark Byrne are still at the club now from the line up that evening! We have never had the best of things over the years against Macc but my memory goes as far back to 1970 when as a 10-year-old I watched a Barnet side including Ben Embery, Jack McClelland, Les Eason, Colin Powell and the like loose 1-0 to Macc in an FA Trophy Semi-Final played at Stoke City’s old Victoria ground. Nearly 8,000 watched the game. I also recall the 1988 season when the team were on a superb run of form and Mrs Reckless insisted on coming along to Underhill for her first game that season, we were wiped out 1-4!
Overnight Stay Factor: Impress the Locals when asked where you are from by telling them that Macclesfield are alleged to have scored the very last goal in the Football League in the 20th century – Chris Priest made a habit of scoring late goals in his career it seemed.
Macclesfield Borough is known as the Peaks and Plains of Cheshire and has the very pretty Peak District National Park as one of its boundaries. The town itself is one that doesn’t offer too much appeal for a weekend away.
Did you know that the clubs nickname originates from the world renowned Silk Industry in the town at its height in the early 19th century. The lovely Victorian Canal Mill building (now very sought after apartments) was the original home of the tastiest bread in the world, Hovis. Buttered Hovis bread with clear honey is the ultimate Sunday afternoon tea.