Mandron strikes to ruin Sol Campbell’s big day
PUBLISHED: 16:50 08 December 2018 | UPDATED: 16:55 08 December 2018
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Colchester United 1 Macclesfield Town 0
Mikael Mandron smashed home a glorious winner for high-flying Colchester United, to ruin Sol Campbell’s big day at the Community Stadium this afternoon.
It was former England and Tottenham centre-half Campbell’s first league match in charge of Macclesfield Town, but his side remain bottom of the Football League as the U’s rattled up their eighth home league win from 11 starts.
Mandron struck in the 29th minute, with what his first goal of the season.
Sammie Szmodics did well to control a long ball pumped forward by Frankie Kent, before slipping the ball into the path of Ryan Jackson, who in turn picked out Mandron on the edge of the box.
The ex-Wigan striker suddenly let fly with a left-footed shot which beat keeper Kieran O’Hara all ends up, flying low into the bottom corner of the net.
Macclesfield had won their previous two league games, but they were unable to find an equaliser against in-form Colchester, despite improving in the second half.
The U’s were unchanged from the side that won 1-0 at Forest Green Rovers 11 days ago, in their last outing, although striker Luke Norris and keeper Rene Gilmartin both returned on the bench after injuries.
It was a bright start from the hosts. They earned two early corners, and right-back Jackson warmed keeper O’Hara’s hands with a rasping 20-yarder on nine minutes.
O’Hara had more difficulty with Courtney Senior’s deflected long-range drive on 11 minutes, palming the ball to safety as his Macclesfield side came under increasing pressure.
At the other end, Dillon Barnes could only parry a swerving shot by Danny Whitaker, struck from the edge of the box, but fortunately skipper Luke Prosser was on hand to clear the loose ball.
Macclesfield should have taken the lead, just seconds later in the 15th minute, only for Elliott Durrell to head over the bar from point blank range.
The U’s went close themselves on the 20-minute mark. Frank Nouble teed up Mandron, whose angled drive was pushed away with strong hands by O’Hara for a corner.
But Mandron was not to be denied. The Frenchman’s superbly struck shot, from just outside the penalty area, beat keeper O’Hara on its way into the bottom corner of the net to give the U’s a 1-0 lead.
Harry Pell was not far adrift from doubling that lead in the 38th minute. His free-kick dipped inches wide of the near upright, with keeper O’Hara struggling to get across to cover.
Mandron was close to notching his second goal of the afternoon, early in the second half, although he could not get enough power in his downward header at the far post, from Jackson’s delivery. O’Hara collected on his goal-line.
On 54 minutes, Szmodics did well to create room for himself, when latching onto Luke Prosser’s through ball, but he scuffed his shot across goal and well wide.
However, the Silkmen began to force the pace after the hour mark, and centre-half Fiacre Kelleher should have netted an equaliser in the 66th minute, only to head wide from close-in.
Ten minutes later and Luke Norris came on for goalscorer Mandron as a substitute, a welcome return to the fold after several weeks out with an ankle injury.
COLCHESTER: Barnes, Jackson, Prosser, Kent, Vincent-Young, Pell, Lapslie, Senior (sub Dickenson, 69), Szmodics (sub Comley, 81), Nouble, Mandron (sub Norris, 76). Unused subs: Gilmartin, Gondoh, Kensdale, Collins.
MACCLESFIELD: O’Hara, Pearson, Kelleher, Cameron, Fitzpatrick, Durrell (sub Blissett, 86), Whitaker (sub Vincenti, 80), Rose, Lloyd (sub Marsh, 66), Stevens, Smith. Unused subs: Grimes, Wilson, Welch-Hayes, Ponticelli.
Referee: Neil Hare
Attendance: 3,099 (91 away fans)