The Giant Killers

Subtitle

 

All time greatest F A cup giant killings

Number 36

 

Macclesfield Town 2-1 Cardiff City

Third Round: Saturday January 4th 2013

Moss Rose Stadium, Macclesfield

Attendance: 3,165

Scorers: Nat Jarvis {57}, Matthew Barnes-Homer {85}, {86-pen}

James Arthur was topping the charts with Impossible. Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway led an all star cast in the musical 'Les Miserables'. Civil War continued to rage in Syria while Loyalists rioted in Belfast over the decision to only fly the Union flag on designated days through the year and the BBC aired its final childrens programmes on its two main channels, all programming in future being on the dedicated CBBC channel.  

The teens so far had been a catalogue of heartbreak for Macclesfield Town Football club. In 2010 their manager, Keith Alexander passed away, to be followed the following year by their young player, Richard Butcher. Losing their place in The Football League in 2012 could not be compared to these two events but it still added to a horrible period in the history of a club who had been flirting with relegation to the Conference for many years before it happened. 

 Their return to the fifth tier was an unremarkable one as they settled into mid table with only an outside chance of kicking on for a play-off place by the time the New year came around. The tie presented one of the starkest examples of talented youth against seasoned experience that the cup had ever produced and the talented youth was expected to win through.

Macclesfield were a side of hardy pros who all had vast experience of life in the lower divisions while their opponents were a side sitting proudly atop the Championship and preparing their final push for the promotion that would bring top flight Football back to the Welsh City after a forty-one year exile. On the day of the tie the travelling Cardiff fans were stunned to see almost their entire first eleven left at home as manager Malky Mackay made it quite clear that the cup was considered nothing more than a distraction and would not derail Cardiff's promotion push as their run to the League Cup Final had done the previous year.

Many pundits and Cardiff fans were quick to point out that, unlike the League cup, played in midweek and adding to the fixture list, the F A Cup was arranged around the League campaign and no League games were being rearranged to accommodate it. To suggest his players could tire playing two games a week was reasonable but this was to suggest that one game a week was too much for his first choice players.

Player for player the Cardiff team was hugely inexperienced but this was still a group of individuals tipped to be the players that would cement Cardiff's place in the top flight once promotion was secured. What they lacked in experience they should more than make up for in the necessary talent to win at Macclesfield.

Cardiff had been well in control throughout the tie when Declan John and Joe Rails combined to set up Nat Jarvis to open the scoring. Etien Velikonja should have double the lead but fired wide under pressure. Even so, Joe Lewis had been given nothing to do by the home side and the final five minutes looked nothing more than the necessary formality of seeing the tie out but it was here where the lack of experience for the visitors proved costly. Jack MacKreth crossed deep into the Cardiff six yard box where Matthew Barnes-Homer was perfectly placed to fire the equaliser and set up the worst possible result for MacKay, whose team selection had clearly not wanted a replay.

{Image above - Matthe Barnes-Homer fires Macclesfield level}

He needn't have worried as less than a minute passed when Nat Jarvis was punished for pulling Pablo Mills' shirt in the penalty area to give Macclesfield a penalty. While it was indeed technically a foul it was also the kind of infringement that, if always given by referees, would see seven or eight penalties in every game but perhaps it was justified for the Cardiff management's seeming disdain for the competition that Barnes-Homer stepped up to fire in what proved to be the winner.

For Macclesfield came the reward of a fourth round home tie with the Premier League Wigan who left Moss Rose mightily relieved to get through thanks to a penalty early in the game.      

Town: 1:Lance Cronin, 5:Nat Brown, 22:Craig Braham-Barrett, 31:Carl Martin {replaced by 11:Peter Winn 66}, 34:Pablo Mills, 8:Kieran Murtagh, 17:Sam Wedgbury, 18:Charlie Henry {replaced by 7:Jack MacKreth 61}, 19:John Paul Kissock, 9:Matthew Barnes-Homer, 10:Amari Morgan-Smith  

City: 32:Joe Lewis, 2:Kevin McNaughton {replaced by 40:Luke Coulson}, 31:Ben Nugent, 35:Adedeji Oshilaja, 4:Filip Kiss {replaced by 45:Theo Wharton 72}, 19:Kadeem Harris {replaced by 38:Tommy O'Sullivan 64}, 21:Joe Rails, 37:Stephen McPhail, 42:Declan John, 9:Etien Velikonja, 33:Nat Jarvis
 

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