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Match Reports

U's Held At Macclesfield

Nouble penalty gains point at Moss Rose

16 February 2019

Colchester United have drawn 1-1 at Macclesfield Town to make it seven points

It was the hosts that had the better of things during the first period, and they were rewarded with a goal from Scott Wilson a minute before the break.

That lead only lasted a couple of minutes into the second period, as Frank Nouble scored from the spot after Courtney Senior was fouled. 

Both sides did go for a winner in the late stages, but neither could add to the scoring and the points were shared.

The hosts might have been second from bottom in the league, but they looked confident in their ability to get at the U’s, and got their first sight of goal on three minutes when Harry Smith headed straight at Rene Gilmartin.

Good closing down from Sammie Szmodics and Courtney Senior then resulted in Frank Nouble shooting wide from the edge of the box.

Chances were again exchanged on eight minutes, with Senior shooting wide before Luke Prosser overhit a lobbed back pass that fortunately dropped wide of the U’s goal.

It was an entertaining start to the game for both sets of supporters, and it was the U’s with the next chance as Frankie Kent headed over from a Ben Stevenson corner.

Koby Arthur hit a shot wide before former U’s player Michael Rose tested Gilmartin from distance – the low shot was tipped away for a home corner.

The closest the U’s got to an opener came on thirty two minutes, when Nouble challenged at the near post from another Stevenson corner and the ball headed goalwards.

Kieran O’Hara clawed the ball out from just in front of the line and it then hit a defender and flew narrowly over the home crossbar.

Smith then had a good opening for the Silkmen, but he couldn’t hit the target after he was cleverly found with a through ball from Reece Cole.

A minute before half time, Smith turned provider as he squared the ball across for Wilson to sweep past Gilmartin to open the scoring.

That was the last action of the first half, with the hosts probably deserving to be a goal ahead as the teams trooped into the changing rooms.

John McGreal made a change at the break, bringing on Tom Eastman for Abs Eisa, and the formation was changed to three at the back in the process.

And it only took a couple of minutes for the U’s to get back in the game, although the hosts had a shot blocked before the play switched quickly to the other end.

Senior picked the ball up and drove towards the Macclesfield penalty area, and went by a couple of defenders as he looked for a chance to shoot.

It was a similar run to the one that ended with Eisa scoring the third U’s goal last weekend, but this time Senior was fouled and the referee pointed to the spot.

With Harry Pell missing the penalty at Northampton, Nouble had taken on the duties, and he whipped his spot kick past the left hand of O’Hara and into the corner to make it 1-1.

Macclesfield almost regained the lead on fifty two minutes, but Cole’s free kick from the angle of the box hit the top of the bar.

Seconds later, McGreal had to make a second change, Tom Lapslie coming off with a hamstring injury to be replaced by Diaz Wright.

Whilst the hosts were the better side in the first half, the U’s were proving troublesome in the second, and on the hour, Nouble’s curler was saved by O’Hara as they looked for a winner.

Kane Vincent-Young had a volley blocked and set up Nouble for a shot over in the space of five minutes as the U’s continued playing the game on the front foot.

At the other end, Gilmartin dived to save a long range shot, and then had to pluck a lob out the air as they searched for a winner that would have taken them out of the relegation zone.

The U’s wanted the win as well, and John McGreal made a change in the final quarter of an hour with Callum Roberts replacing Senior, who looked like he had taken a nock in a challenge with Rose.

The final chance of the game went to Macclesfield, with Cole again testing Gilmartin from a free kick. The U’s keeper was up to the task and pushed the ball away and the game finished with both sides having to accept a solitary point.

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