Simpson sets sights on climb

Simpson: Looking up after draw

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Macclesfield boss Gary Simpson praised his side as they ended a run of eight successive defeats with a hard-fought 1-1 draw at Oxford.

The Silkmen went in front after nine minutes when Michael Duberry headed into his own net from Matt Hamshaw's free-kick, his third own goal in Oxford's past four home games.

Former Norwich forward Oli Johnson equalised just before half-time for the Us with a low drive into the bottom corner from 20 yards, but Oxford failed to complete the turnaround after the break. It was Macclesfield's first point of 2012 after a nightmare run of injuries had taken its toll on Simpson's squad.

He said: "We've stopped the rot, that's what matters. Hopefully we can now go from here. With a bit of luck the lads can take some heart from this and some confidence.

"I've never been able to fault their spirit, their endeavour and their work, they've given everything in games.

"When we played Oxford at home, they were lucky to get a draw, scoring in injury time. We didn't have the players to be able to do that, to attack them. We had to put a formation in to hang in the game and frustrate them and by the end I think we'd done that."