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Match Reports


5 October 2019

Cambridge United survived a second half fightback by Macclesfield Town as Sam Smith’s late header earned them a second consecutive Sky Bet League Two draw.

United led for much of the game through Jack Roles spectacular effort in the first half, but saw the game reversed midway through the second period by Theo Archibald and Arthur Gnahoua before Smith completed a 2-2 scoreline.

United lined up with three changes as Harry Darling, Paul Lewis and Reggie Lambe stepped into the starting eleven, in place of Greg Taylor, Liam O’Neil and George Maris.

The game started at a low key pace but United enjoyed the majority of possession in the early stages with Jack Roles looking particularly lively from the off. It was therefore no surprise when the Spurs loanee broke the deadlock in emphatic fashion, as his half volley from 35 yards skidded across the Abbey surface and caught Macclesfield keeper Owen Evans off guard.

Calderwood’s men continued to dictate play through the first half, and despite an offensive edge to the visitors, George Taft, Elliott Ward and Harry Darling marshalled the threat well enough to keep United’s clean sheet intact.

Kyle Knoyle leapt excellently to meet a sweeping cross in by Luke Hannant, which looped off the head of the right back and on to the top of the Silkmen’s cross bar on 29 minutes.

Theo Archibald spurned a golden chance for the visitors to level five minutes before half time, but the winger smashed over the bar from an unmarked position eight yards out which the U’s were fortunate to get away with.

Marc Richards was fractions away from doubling the advantage at the other end moments later, but his shot on the turn from inside the Macclesfield area deflected beyond the far corner of the goal, as Calderwood’s side carried just the one goal advantage into the break.

Owen Evans produced a quite magnificent reaction save ten minutes after half time, with the keeper throwing his right hand to a header from the striker who could really do no more with George Taft’s delivery.

However, the U’s were pegged back to all square on 63 minutes when Theo Archibald hit a loose ball on the edge of the United area which deflected wildly into the top left corner, following a half clearance from a Macclesfield set piece.

Calderwood’s men were then dealt a double sucker punch as Arthur Gnahoua weaved past a number of would-be United tacklers before slamming in a second for the visitors to leave the Abbey shell-shocked.

Dallas and Dunk were introduced by Colin Calderwood as the U’s now faced the task of finding a way back into the encounter, but with United pressing forward spaces opened up for Macclesfield to hit on the counter attack.

United struck level through Sam Smith though, as the striker headed in his fifth goal of the campaign from Kyle Knoyle’s cross to lift the roof off the Abbey and give the U’s a chance of three points once more.

Hannant was so close to finding the winner but the home side were once again thwarted by the brilliance of Owen Evans, who managed to claw the midfielder’s near post header off the goal line, with the game ending honours even.

Cambridge United: Mitov, Knoyle, Darling, Ward (Dunk, 69 min), Taft, Hannant, Lewis, Roles, Lambe, Smith, Richards (Dallas, 73 mins)

Bookings: Hannant

Macclesfield Town: Evans, Clarke (Fitzpatrick, 86 mins), Kelleher, Vassell, Gnahoua (Stephens, 83 mins), Harris, Archibald, Welch-Hayes, Kirby, Gomis (Ironside, 45 mins), Osadebe

Bookings: Harris, Kirby

Attendance: 3,678 (88)

Man of the Match: Jack Roles

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