Ian Watts Looks at Macc Ahead of Saturday's Game.

Next up for County is the first of two weekend games against clubs from the level of football we will be trying to reach for the 18-19 season. This weekend's visitors are fellow Cheshire side Macclesfield Town. Macc have only played two matches so far in their preparation, the latest being a 1-0 home victory over Bury. The Macc manager recently reported he had only eight players signed, so we can assume many of the names below are trialists, a few will ring a bell to the County fans,

The side that beat Bury thanks to a late Scott Wilson goal was:

Shwan Jalal, Jared Hodgkiss, David Fitzpatrick, unnamed Trialist, Keith Lowe, Elliot Durrell, Fraser Kerr, Mitch Hancox, Scott Burgess, Danny Whitaker, Richard Brodie. Subs - Alex Gogic, Tyler Little, Courtney Meppen-Walter, Scott Wilson, Ryan Lloyd, Jimmy Phillips, Andrew Dawber, Kieren Kennedy, Tyrone Marsh, Courtney Richards, Ejiro Okosieme

The report on their website emphasised the good performance of keeper Shwan Jalal, who is starting his second spell with the club having signed from Tranmere Rovers, And midfielder Scott Burgess, who was playing against the side who have loaned him to the Silkmen for the season.

Shwan Jalal.

Amongst the other new men in the line-up were keeper Andy Dawber (with Altrincham and Crewe last season), plus midfielder Durrell signed from Chester after an appearance for Telford already this summer. Veteran former Port Vale defender George Pilkington may be in contention for the EP game having missed out so far.
George Pilkington

Another central defender who was not involved is one of the former Hatters at Macclesfield. Bolton born Josh Thompson (SCAN 1255) was at our Centre of Excellence as a schoolboy, but switched to Preston's, When it came to sign on as a trainee he returned to County joining in the summer of 2007, and turned pro two years later. He had already made his senior debut whilst still a trainee, with a home game v Southend in January of 2009. going on to play nine games that season. Oddly his last game also came before that pro contract was signed, with the final match of that season at Brighton. In August County lost the youngster with a move to Celtic along with two schoolboys in current Southport player Curtis Jones and Michael Ordish. Josh had the most success with Celtic playing 21 times in that first season.
Josh Thompson.

 He would add no further games and has since played for several clubs including Rochdale, Tranmere, Portsmouth and most recently Southport.

The two recent Hatters in the side that opposed Bury were striker Brodie and utility man Courtney Meppen-Walters. Courtney of course has just left County. Brodie left a year ago after a somewhat ineffective spell at County, after a promising start with goals in his first two games at Harrogate, and in the Cheshire Cup at Crewe. Last season he played for York City, Macclesfield (on loan), Boston United and Southport, and before playing in both of the Silkmen pre-season games had a trial game back in his native North-East with Darlington earlier this month.
A familiar pose from RB.

There is one more former Hatter signed on for Macc's 2017-18 season. Full back Dave Fitzpatrick has been at the Moss Rose since September 2015, joining them after a short spell at Dagenham and Redbridge. David had a non-contract spell with the Hatters back in 2009 He mostly played for the 'A' team but moved up to the reserves for five matches in the Manchester Senior Cup and a semi-final tie versus Crewe in the Cheshire Premier Cup. He left EP after just one season and next appeared for Flixton before rising up the Pyramid over the intervening years.

With Macc probably being a little behind County in their preparations, not least with the fact that James Gannon had made most of his signings before pre-season training began, this should be a good game for County to push on.

Ian Watts


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