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Sol Campbell's Macclesfield make great escape as world's oldest professional club Notts County relegated

18:15 BST 04/05/2019
Sol Campbell
The ex-Arsenal and Spurs defender took over with the club bottom of the table but guided them to survival thanks to a crucial draw on Saturday

Sol Campbell steered Macclesfield Town to safety at the expensive of Notts County, the world's oldest professional club, who have been relegated from the English Football League for the first time in their history.

Macclesfield were bottom of League Two after 19 matches, seven points from safety, when former Arsenal and England defender Campbell was appointed to his first managerial post last November.

Yet Campbell successfully inspired an improved run of form at Moss Rose, having also brought former international team-mate Andy Cole into his coaching staff at the start of the year.

Macclesfield's survival, secured thanks to a 1-1 draw at home to Cambridge United on Saturday, was bad news for Football League founder members Notts County, however.

Neal Ardley's men needed a win at mid-table Swindon Town to boost their slim survival hopes but instead slipped to a 3-1 defeat at the County Ground.

Yeovil Town's relegation was confirmed last weekend, their 16-year stay in the Football League ending after a draw away to Northampton Town.

At the other end of the Sky Bet League Two table MK Dons beat Mansfield Town to pip the Nottinghamsire side to the final automatic promotion spot.

The Milton Keynes club return to League One at the first time of asking after their relegation last season.

Mansfield will be joined in the playoffs by Newport County who secured the final spot after a 1-1 draw with Morecambe was sufficient to edge Colchester United out of seventh spot despite the U’s winning 3-0 at champions Lincoln City.

Macclesfield’s great escape was not without controversy though as fans of the Silkmen threw objects, including glass, into the penalty area of Cambridge ‘keeper Dimitar Mitov.

They are safe though, and Sol Campbell’s job there has drawn plaudits.

Former club Arsenal were quick to congratulate the 73-cap ex-England international.

The Gunners tweeted “Get in Sol. We’re so proud of you” when Macclesfield’s safety was secured.

 

The future for Notts County is more uncertain, with their relegation from the Football League following the news that chairman Alan Hardy had put the club up for sale in January.

The businessman bought the club in 2017 but announced in January that he was looking to sell, on the same day he was charged by the FA for posting an inappropriate tweet.