Macclesfield Town secured yet another crucial point in their quest for League Two safety after a hard-fought 0-0 draw against Newport County.
The Silkmen failed to capitalise on a number of gilt-edged opportunities to take victory, but the result utlimately means Sol Campbell’s side remain two points clear of the relegation zone.
With the atmosphere bubbling inside the Moss Rose, both teams made a fairly cautious start to proceedings with chances coming few and far between.
But Macclesfield grew into the game and began to enjoy some success out on the flanks, including Callum Evans’ dazzling run, but his cross was gathered by Newport keeper Joe Day.
A period of sustained pressure from Macc nearly bore fruit when a loose pass from Josh Sheehan enabled Elliot Durrell to race through on goal, but the winger lost control of the ball as he approached the penalty area and Day was there to collect and snuff the danger.
The Silkmen continued to assert themselves as the match progressed and were denied again by Day, this time from a low Harry Smith effort after the striker found some space on the edge of the box.
Brice Ntambwe found himself with a glorious opportunity to break the deadlock on the 40th minute mark, but the midfielders drilled strike was bravely blocked by Newport’s Mickey Demetriou before being cleared.
The two sides entered the break goalless and a similar pattern to the first-half had developed in the second period, with the Silkmen proving to be defensively resilient but finding chances hard to come by.
Fiacre Kelleher lofted a delicious ball to the towering Smith, and the striker twisted on the half-volley but found himself leaning back, causing his effort to fly over the bar.
Smith once again was at the focal point of the majority of Macclesfield attacks, and the 23-year-old attempted an audacious long-range effort, however Day was once again on hand to deny the forward.
It took an excellent save from Kieran O’Hara to keep the scores level as he parried away Scott Bennett’s half volley.
The Silkmen’s defensive resolve was then tested as Newport enjoyed a brief period of attacking intent as Ben Kennedy fired from distance before O’Hara had to be on hand again to deny Robbie Willmott’s goal-bound header from nestling into the net.
Macclesfield weathered the brief storm and began to discover space deep in opposition territory, and Tyrone Marsh was unfortunate to not give Macc a late lead after some excellent work out on the wing saw him cut inside but shoot wide.
And it proved to be the last clear-cut opportunity of the match with both sides forced to settle for a point in a closely-fought affair.
Campbell’s team will feel it was a chance lost to extend the gap over their relegation rivals, but in a division where every point is vital, today’s draw could well prove to be a crucial moment in our hopes of securing our Football League status for yet another season.