While Wrexham enjoyed an impressive win that took them to the top of the table and Macclesfield's defeat at Hereford dumped them into the bottom four, there was plenty the Cheshire side could take from their performance.
They dominated possession at Edgar Street but emerged with a 2-1 defeat which was scant reward for their performance.
Having dropped back down into Conference after a lengthy stint in the Football League, The Silkmen have reshaped their side and drafted in an experienced non-league manager in Steve King to mastermind the project.
Typically, he has put together a side which is easy on the eye and looks to take the game to the opposition. The question is whether it will be capable of bucking the recent trend of sides dropping out of the Football League and taking a while to acclimatise to life in the Blue Square Bet Premier.
Shrewsbury were the last team to bounce straight back up into League Two, and that was via the play-offs a good decade ago; for the last manager to win the Conference with a side which had just been relegated you have to go all the way back to ex-Wrexham boss Brian Little with Darlington!
King is certainly aware of the threat Wrexham pose, as he told his official website
"One of the benefits of playing on a Friday is being able to go and watch the opposition. They are a very strong side and really dominated the game against Woking. There was one short spell when it looked like Woking might be able to get something, but Wrexham showed character and found the reserves to see it out.
"They are a good side with some very good players, and it's another tough game for us to open the season with. But it's no surprise they are a decent side. They got 98 points last season and in any other season in any other division that wins you the League. They will certainly be up there come the end of the season.
"So we're pitting ourselves against another of the top sides in the division, but we'll be playing our game to go out and try and win the match."
King has two new faces to consider drafting in tonight, having snapped up a couple of players on Friday to round off his squad, but considering his side's controlled display at Hereford, he's likely to stick to the starting eleven from last Friday.
If selected, Martin Riley will play the 125th league match of his career and Dean Keates will play his 75th league game for Wrexham.
Woking showed on Saturday that 4-2-3-1 might be the most effective way to combat how Wrexham set themselves up, although they failed to properly execute the job. Well, Macclesfield will line up the same way, and perhaps have the personnel to make it work.
In Matthew Barnes-Homer they have a striker able to occupy the centre backs, looking to isolate Chris Westwood in aerial combat rather than take on Mark Creighton in the air, and their wide players push up and will look to pin back Wrexham's full backs.
It might be on their left flank that the key battle will play out. Peter Winn is a real danger man, sticking on the left while the other players in the attacking three behind Barnes-Homer tend to rotate. Winn has a good right foot and will look to run at Declan Walker, cutting inside to unleash shots from the edge of the area.
Macclesfield are a passing team, who try to keep the ball on the floor and recirculate it well. Last season the factor which probably played the greatest role in Wrexham's success, especially in the second half of the season, was their ability to retain their defensive shape when they were under pressure. This will be an interesting test of whether they still have such defensive discipline, which is a fair question to ask as they've kept just one clean sheet in their last eleven games. They'll have to stay patient for long periods of the game while playmaker Kieran Murtagh looks to pull the strings and probe for openings.
However, Macclesfield will have been concerned by a lack of cutting edge at Hereford. Despite monopolising possession, they created very few chances to score in open play, their goal in a 2-1 defeat coming from the penalty spot. While Winn was a constant threat, Steve King will expect more from the two men inside him.
If Wrexham can keep it tight, Saturday showed that they certainly have the wherewithal to launch swift counter-attacks. They constantly looked to exploit Rob Ogleby's pace with balls over the top against Woking, and with Macclesfield looking to camp in Wrexham's half, there ought to be plenty f space behind the home team's defence to repeat that tactic.
Last ten meetings: DLLLDLDLWW
(Home games in red, away games in blue, neutral games in green. Last season underlined. *=won on penalties. **=lost on penalties. #=a.e.t.)
Wrexham’s Top Scorers against Macclesfield:
6: B Lewis
3: ? Williams
2: Sammy McMillan, Lea, E Williams, J Turner, Trainer
3/11/1894 Lewis 7-1 (h)
|Biggest Home Win:||7-1||1894-5|| ||FA Cup|
|Biggest Home Defeat:||1-3||2002-3|| ||Football League|
|Biggest Away Win:||2-0||1998-9|| ||Football League|
|Biggest Away Defeat:||0-8||1892-3|| ||Combination League|
|Last Win:||1-0 (a)||2002-3||9 games ago||Football League|
|Last Defeat:||2-3 (a)||2007-8||2 games ago||Football League|
|Last Draw:||1-1 (h)||2007-8||1 game ago||Football League|
|Last Home Win:||2-1||1998-9||6 home games ago||Football League|
|Last Home Defeat:||0-1||1997-8||2 home games ago||LDV|
|Last Home Draw:||1-1||2007-8||1 home game ago||Football League|
|Last Away Win:||1-0||2002-3||4 away games ago||Football League|
|Last Away Defeat:||2-3||2007-8||1 away game ago||Football League|
|Last Away Draw:||-|| || || |
|Biggest Home Attendance||3993||2007-8|| ||Football League|
|Smallest Home Attendance:||800||1891-2|| ||Combination League|
|Biggest Away Attendance:||5800||1964-5|| ||FA Cup|
|Smallest Away Attendance:||804||1998-9|| ||LDV|
|Highest Goal Aggregate:||8|| || || |
|Most Wins in a row:||9|| || || |
|Most Losses in a row:||3|| || || |
|Most Home Wins in a row:||6|| || || |
|Most Home Losses in a row:||1|| || || |
|Most Away Wins in a row:||5|| || || |
|Most Away Losses in a row:||4|| || || |
|Most Games Unbeaten:||9|| || || |
|Most Games Without a Win:||8*|| || || |
|League Doubles:||For: 2 Against: 1|| || |
|Clean Sheets:||For: 5 Against: 6|| || |
|Home Clean Sheets:||2|| || || |
|Away Clean Sheets:||3|| || || |
|First Game:||14/3/1891|| || || |
|0-0s:||0|| || || |
60-SECOND GUIDE TO MACCLESFIELD
Macclesfield was renowned as the largest producer of finished silk in the world during the Nineteenth Century, with 71 silk mills operating there in 1832.
Hovis bread was first made in Macclesfield but the original version was very different from what you can buy today. Named Hovis from the Latin phrase "homo-vitalis", meaning “strength for man”, it was a dense, dry wholemeal loaf intended as a cheap, nutritious food for poor mill workers.
The poverty of the factory workers seems to have also led to the town’s nickname “Treacle Town”. Some say it stems from an incident where a merchant spilled treacle in a local street and the poor swarmed like piranhas to eat it, although another version suggests mill-owners provided barrels of treacle for unemployed weavers.
A wide range of famous figures hail from Macclesfield. Celebrity antique dealer David Dickinson, cricket international and commentator Jonathan Agnew, blues legend John Mayall and Ian Curtis and Stephen Morris of Joy Division for example. But perhaps the most peculiar star to come from the town is Mister Methane, believed to be the only professional flatulist in the world. I believe his act is a gas. In 2004 Q magazine voted his album “mr methane.com” the 2nd most bizarre album of all time.