Chelmsford City get ready for FA Cup clash at Macclesfield Town tonight
CRAIG Parker faces the biggest game of his career knowing victory for Chelmsford City at Macclesfield tonight would thrust them into FA Cup folklore.
Parker, 24, was part of the Clarets team that drew 1-1 with the Silkmen in the first clash between the two sides 11 days ago and is expected to feature again at Moss Rose as Glenn Pennyfather’s side aim to set up a tie with Bolton Wanderers.
The former Needham Market man signed for Chelmsford in the summer and after a stop-start opening to his career in Blue Square Bet South, due to injury, he is desperate to impress in front of the ESPN TV cameras.
“It’s the biggest game of my career because it’s the second round of the FA Cup and I have never been that far before,” said the Bury St Edmunds-based midfielder.
“It’s also on TV against a good League Two team and the reward, if we win, is a big game at home to Bolton Wanderers.
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“They are always a mid-table team in the Premier League and have England internationals so, potentially, it is a brilliant draw for the club.”
Parker’s midfield partner Max Cornhill gave City a dream start in the game at Melbourne Park against Macclesfield but defender Tony Diagne levelled midway through the second half.
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The Clarets gave as good as they got against Gary Simpson’s side and Parker admitted he and his team-mates were genuinely disappointed, despite holding a side two divisions above them.
“That’s a sign of how far we have come,” said Parker, who scored twice in his side’s 3-2 FA Trophy defeat at home to Bath at the weekend.
“We were disappointed to draw with a League Two side but we have got to be realistic as Macclesfield have done well this season.”
City will pocket �36,000 for their appearance on TV and Parker has everything set up to make sure he can re-run the video for years to come.
“I think my mum and dad are coming to the game but we have just got the Sky-plus set up and I think my grandad and my girlfriend will be watching on TV,” said Parker.
“The team will be travelling up early today and having a pre-match meal.
“The manager will then have a few meetings with the players and making sure we are all relaxed.”
Read Chris Brammer’s full match report from Moss Rose in tomorrow’s East Anglian Daily Times.