THEO Robinson's strike just before the break helped Colchester United earn a 1-1 draw at Macclesfield Town.

Robinson converted Tom Eastman's low cross for his fourth goal of the season to cancel out Emmanuel Osadebe's 13th-minute opener for the Silkmen and secure the U's a point at Moss Rose, in the League Two encounter.

Colchester were largely second best in the first half but improved after the break to claim a hard-fought draw.

Colchester head coach John McGreal made four changes to his starting line-up, following the superb midweek Carabao Cup triumph over Spurs.

There was also a change of formation for the U’s, as they switched to a 3-4-2-1 system with three at the back and wing-backs.

Omar Sowunmi was handed his first league start for Colchester and Brendan Wiredu, Paris Cowan-Hall and Robinson were also recalled.

Ryan Jackson, Kwame Poku, Harry Pell and Callum Harriott all missed out through injury.

Macclesfield started well and they almost took a fourth-minute lead when Corey O’Keeffe’s attempted cross came back off the crossbar, after the U’s had lost possession in a dangerous area.

Osadebe’s weak downward header fell straight into the arms of U’s keeper Dean Gerken soon after and both sides were guilty of too easily surrendering possession in the early stages, perhaps partly down to the slippery surface.

Macclesfield continued their good start when Arthur Gnahoua fired a low shot just wide of Gerken’s far post, after Cohen Bramall had given the ball inside his own half.

The U’s were seldom seen as an attacking force in the opening stages, although Robinson did send a left-foot effort well over the bar after Cowan-Hall had done well to pick him out in the area.

However, Colchester fell behind in the 13th minute when Osadebe found his feet in the area before slotting a low shot past Gerken, after being picked out by the impressive Theo Archibald.

Indeed, the Silkmen almost added to their lead midway through the first half through Connor Kirby who fired over after being found by Archibald.

And Macclesfield came even closer to doubling their advantage eight minutes before the break when Gnahoua’s great header from Archibald’s cross into the area was brilliantly pushed away to his right by the diving Gerken.

Just before half-time, Gerken makes another fantastic save to deny Archibald who was one on one with the experienced keeper after racing away, following a U’s corner.

But just when it looked like Colchester might go in at the break behind, they found an equaliser in first-half stoppage-time.

When Tom Eastman delivered a low cross from the right, Robinson was on hand to slot in from two yards at the near post.

It was perhaps a little more than Colchester deserved, having largely been second best in the first half.

However, it was the ideal time for the U’s to find an equaliser and it prompted McGreal to make a change at the interval, with Courtney Senior sent on for Brendan Wiredu in a central attacking position.

Robinson almost scored again seven minutes after the break when his curled long-range shot was pushed away by Macclesfield keeper Evans.

The second half was a tight affair and although Colchester had much more possession after the break, they did not test Evans enough.

Of the two sides it was the U's who looked like they might grab a late winner but they had to settle for a hard-earned point.