On a cold winter's day at the Moss Rose the spoils were shared between Macclesfield and Port Vale as the two sides played out a goalless draw.
The first-half was dominated by Macc but an inspired Scott Brown in between the sticks for Port Vale kept the scores as they were throughout the ninety with neither team able to make the breakthrough.
Sol Campbell was forced to make two changes from the team that saw off Crawley Town a week prior to the fixture.
Elliott Durrell and Danny Whitaker both missed out through injury, so Tyrone Marsh and Jordan Ponticelli came into the starting eleven. A welcome return for loanee Ponticelli who made his first start since a 3-0 defeat to Crewe in early September.
The Silkmen came into the game with three wins in their last three home matches and Macc certainly started this match like a team in form.
Leon Legge’s sliced clearance was picked up by Ben Stephens in the fourth minute. He found striker Harry Smith in the box however, Port Vale goalkeeper Scott Brown did just enough to clear Smith’s resulting shot.
Brown was kept busy in between the sticks. James Pearson tried his luck from range early in the half and Fiacre Kelleher’s header from a corner was caught by Vale’s number 1 moments later.
The visitors were confined to long-range efforts throughout the 45. Anthony Kay came closest for Vale, but his speculative effort didn’t trouble O’Hara or his defensive line as his shot flew well wide of the goal from around 30-yards out.
Macc continued to threaten. Both Harry Smith and Ben Stephens fired over the bar, but the best chance of the half fell to the latter of the attackers.
Stephens ran through 1 on 1 with the goalkeeper but as he tried to slot the ball past Brown, Vale’s man between the sticks produced a fantastic save to deny the youngster. The ball fell to Marsh after the save but once again Brown was alert to the danger and somehow blocked a second shot, keeping the half-time score 0-0.
The second-half saw a revitalised Port Vale come out of the tunnel but Macc’s backline stood strong stopping efforts from Leon Legge and Luke Hannant early on in the half.
The second forty-five proved to be more of an equal affair.
Michael Rose’s free-kick stung that hands of Brown in the visitor’s goal after nobody could get the finishing touch on a tantalising ball.
Whereas, Vale’s best chance came through Luke Hannant, who fired over when the ball dropped to him after a corner as both teams struggled to create clear-cut chances.
Macc’s most favourable opportunity fell to Harry Smith as he fired over from the inside the box after Fitzpatrick picked him out in a scrappy second-half.
Attendance: 3,951 (1,908 Vale)
Macclesfield Town: O’Hara, Fitzpatrick, Kelleher, Marsh, Smith, Lloyd, Stephens, Pearson, Rose, Ponticelli (Wilson 73’) , Cameron
Subs Not Used: Hodgkiss, Grimes, Welch-Hayes, Maycock, Vincenti, Arthur
Port Vale: Brown, Montano (Whitfield 76’), Legge, Kay, Oyeleke, Pope, Hannant, Smith, Vassell, Conlon (Quigley 66’), Clark
Subs Not Used: Hornby, Gibbons, Joyce, Dodds, Hardcastle