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Unlikely Macclesfield attack surges on for John Askey

SLAYING one promotion chaser per month is probably a distant dream for most managers in charge of a club still fighting tooth and nail to stay alive, but Macclesfield’s John Askey took down three of them in January.

Where will Macc’s marvellous season take them? They may still be outsiders to get their hands on some promotion silverware, but their boss certainly has his hands full.

He got the Vanarama gong for such a great start to 2015, and if he carries on like this it won’t be the last time he is posing for pictures.

Lincoln City, Kidderminster Harriers and Grimsby Town all fell by the wayside and they could have added a win at tricky Braintree to that list had the Silkmen’s game there last weekend survived.

Askey said: “It’s fantastic to get the manager of the month award – it’s a nice assurance that we’re doing something right at the moment.

“The win against Grimsby was my favourite result, we had a tricky December and that got us back to winning ways against a side right up there with us. The award is for everyone at the club. It’s a boost for us all.”

While Macclesfield are certainly the surprise package this season, the destination of the Vanarama Conference Player of the Month was as predictable as the opposition fans’ barbs about his bulk.

Jon Parkin, as last weekend’s NLP front page headline will testify, is Forest Green Rovers’ Big Green Giant. The Beast has been brilliant.

In January, the 33-year-old frontman simply towered over the rest, scoring seven times in four league games last month.

As North Ferriby United manager Billy Heath prepared for Saturday’s FA Trophy quarter-final with Ebbsfleet United, he did it with a trophy under his arm.

For a second season running the Villagers are mixing it with the Conference North’s big guns and they won four of their seven games in all competitions to end January as undefeated.

Rob Smith will consider himself unlucky not to land the award himself. Hednesford won five games in January, but lost narrowly to title favourites Barrow. They didn’t go without recognition, though.

Defender Ben Bailey scored three times in January and kept four clean sheets as the Pitmen continue to prosper. He celebrated his 24th birthday last week – champagne all round!

Bath City were also preparing for an FA Trophy quarter-final on Saturday and they too went into it with a manager feeling on top of the world.

Lee Howells’ men won five from six in all competitions to put the Vanarama South play-offs back in sight. Sutton United perhaps should be up there, but their recovery is gathering pace.

New signing Dan Fitchett from Aldershot has had a lot to do with that, with four goals in his four starts the season for player and club is finally getting going.

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