Groundhopping- Macclesfield Town vs Oxford United FA Cup 2nd Round- 2nd December 2016

Stadium Location

The Moss Rose is located in the south of Macclesfield, along the A523 London Road and also adjacent to the main train line through the town. The stadium is a 20-25 minute walk away from the train station, but bus services will take you down the A523 from the town centre. Along the route, there are plenty of pubs and convenience stores to satisfy any hunger or thirst for anyone off to the match. A retail park the other side of the stadium has a Burger King, various shops and a bowling alley, for any pre-match entertainment, which seems to be the way for a lot of grounds now, either being built alongside a retail park or one being built close to it.

The Stadium

The stadium is a decent enough one, with a mixture of standing and terracing, much seen with grounds of this level. The London Road stand (Arighi Bianchi stand for Sponsorship reasons) is a small stand which houses the changing rooms and director’s room. There is a small seating area, with a long paddocked terrace that runs the whole length of the pitch. A supporter’s bar, Butch’s bar (named after the late Richard Butcher) is also located along this stand; it is a small but homely room with many items of memorabilia from the Silkmen’s long history.

Opposite this is the McIlroy stand, the newest of the four stands. This houses the club offices, Keith’s Bar (Director’s area, named after the late Keith Alexander), McIlroy suite hospitality area (although all supporters with a match ticket are welcome in this area pre and post match) and the TV gantry, as well as the away seating area. The open terrace at the North end of the stadium is often left unused, bar a few supporter flags, however, is open for bigger matches with a large away following. At the opposite end is a very unique stand, unlike one I’ve ever seen before. The front five rows are seated but behind that there is a standing area about five or six more rows wide, so fans are able to have the choice of standing or sitting in the same stand.

The match

As a regular at Macclesfield for BT Sport, it was a welcome change to be able to go along and watch a match without having to worry about filming it as well. I went along to the Macclesfield vs Oxford United match in the FA Cup 2nd round, as it was £4 for a student ticket in the Arighi Bianchi terrace that night and due to the proximity to Manchester (half an hour train ride for £6), it was an opportunity I fancied taking up. It was a very even game, with Macclesfield looking very good throughout especially with their wingers Danny Rowe and Jack Mackreth. The Silkmen nearly won it in the dying embers with a chance that hit the post, nevertheless, it finished 0-0 and Oxford triumphed in the replay to advance to the Third Round.

Apologies for the lack of recent groundhopping articles! This has been due to an ongoing University assignment, family time over the Christmas period and an exam right after returning to University. I’ve got a lot more games from between this time and now, so expect them to come thick and fast in the next few weeks!



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