Macclesfield might have missed a great chance to add another Emirates FA Cup scalp, as Oxford drew 0-0 at Moss Rose in their second round clash on Friday.
But Macc midfielder Jack Mackreth is remaining confident ahead of the replay after the National League side created plenty of chances against their League One opponents, but could not find a winner in front of the TV cameras having previously dumped Walsall out in the first round.
Macclesfield Town 0-0 Oxford United
The Emirates FA Cup
Second Round Proper
7.55pm, Friday 2 December 2016
Moss Rose, Macclesfield Town FC
Live on BBC Two
By Ben Baker
And while their name is still in the hat for Monday's third round draw, Mackreth is adamant the Silkmen can do the business at the Kassam Stadium.
“We put in absolutely everything but I felt we deserved to win the game,” said Mackreth. “I hit the post and we had a few chances but I think we can go there and test them now.
“The gaffer has been getting on at me to get to that back post and my first touch was good and I just couldn’t believe it didn’t go in – I started to celebrate before I thought it had hit the back of the net.
“On a different day, it goes in but I am happy with the draw to be honest and we can go to their place now and hopefully get a result.
“Yesterday we worked on a few set-pieces and things like that but a lot of the lads have been here for a long time and I think that showed.
“I thought the movement was good in the front three and the midfield found us well and we created a lot of chances.”
Simon Eastwood saved well when defender Chey Dunkley’s tackle deflected the ball goalwards on 24 minutes, before Paul Lewis twice missed the target after finding space.
Macclesfield's Danny Rowe attacks against Oxford United in The Emirates FA Cup
Mackreth then sliced wide from a tight angle on 39 minutes with team-mates screaming for a cross in the middle, while right-back Andy Halls shot over from distance five minutes later.
Oxford changed formation in the second half though, and Dunkley headed just wide from Chris Maguire’s free-kick midway through the half before Craig Ross saved from Tyler Roberts on 71 minutes.
At the other end, Eastwood showed great reflexes to keep Lewis’ low shot out on 76 minutes before Mackreth went even closer four minutes later when his right-footed shot cannoned off the post.
Neither side was able to break the deadlock, however, and the two teams must meet again in Oxford to decide who reaches January's FA Cup third round.
Macclesfield Town: 13 Craig Ross, 2 Andy Halls, 5 George Pilkington, 6 John McCombe, 3 David Fitzpatrick, 16 Mitch Hancox, 7 Jack Mackreth, 8 Paul Lewis, 23 Danny Whitaker, 11 Danny Rowe, 9 Chris Holroyd.
Substitutes not used: 4 Neil Byrne, 10 Jack Sampson, 12 Dan Cowan, 14 Kingsley James, 17 Chris Sutherland, 19 Sam Madeley, 26 Robert Cook
Head coach: John Askey
Oxford United: 1 Simon Eastwood, 16 Phil Edwards, 6 Aaron Martin, 33 Chey Dunkley, 3 Joe Skarz, 11 Alex MacDonald, 23 Ryan Ledson, 18 Joe Rothwell, 28 Marvin Johnson, 21 Tyler Roberts, 10 Chris Maguire.
Substitutes: 14 Josh Ruffels for Skarz 51, 20 Ryan Taylor for Rothwell 64, 15 Kane Hemmings for Roberts 79
Substitutes not used: 13 Benjamin Buchel, 19 Rob Hall, 35 Canice Carroll, 36 Miles Welch-Hayes.
Head coach: Michael Appleton