Macclesfield Town took a step closer to being crowned champions of the National League as they played out a stalemate with Leyton Orient at the Moss Rose.
The Silkmen took the lead inside 20 minutes thanks to Danny Whitaker’s cool finish, but Orient’s Josh Koroma levelled the score minutes before half-time and that turned out to be the final goal of the afternoon.
The result leaves Macclesfield needing only three points to be guaranteed automatic promotion, with Eastleigh and Dagenham still to play.
Nathan Blissett had the first chance of the game for the Silkmen inside of two minutes. With the Orient defence caught off guard, Danny Whitaker fed Jared Hodgkiss who found Blissett virtually unmarked in the box. He connected with his header but couldn’t get over the ball, and his shot sailed over the bar.
Next at the crease for Macclesfield was Danny Whitehead, who cracked a great volley from 20-yards straight into the arms of the keeper.
Orient had the ball in the back of the net come the 12th minute, but the goal was ruled out for offside and the deadlock remained.
Danny Whitaker was the man to open the scoring five minutes later, latching onto Mitch Hancox’s ball and slotting home into the bottom corner.
Blissett once again went close with a header minutes later, with provider Callum Evans taking a knock to the knee in the process of making the cross, leading to his substitution for Scott Burgess.
Evans’ substitution certainly impacted the team, with Orient finally settling into the game heading towards the half-hour mark.
The equaliser came in the 42nd minute, as Josh Koroma turned in a half-cleared corner to level the scores just before half-time.
The O’s started the second half as they ended the first – on top of the home side – but Keith Lowe was on hand to make an important tackle on the edge of the area to prevent any significant chance for the visitors.
Though Macclesfield worked hard to draw out the away side, the visitors were resilient in defence and refused to allow the league leaders much room to work in.
After a collection of Orient corners, Macclesfield had the best of the late chances as Danny Whitaker searched for Nathan Blissett with a long ball into the area. He headed down to Scott Burgess, but the ball wouldn’t drop right for him, and the final whistle was blown shortly after the ball was cleared.
Macclesfield: Jalal, Hodgkiss, Pilkington, Lowe, Fitzpatrick, Whitehead (Kennedy 90’), Whitaker, Evans (Burgess 25’), Hancox, Marsh, Blissett.
Subs: Ramsbottom, Wilson, Kennedy, De Girolamo, Burgess.
By Adam Washbrook