Ammies boss Karl Robinson will be left thinking what could’ve been as his side wasted countless opportunities to turn one point into all three after Salford City drew 1-1 to Colchester.

Robinson ruffled a few feathers when team sheets were handed out and there was a place for 16-year-old Kyrell Malcolm from the start to make his league debut.

Despite his side were slow out the blocks and had to weather an early storm from the away side with Goalkeeper Alex Cairns called into action early to deny the U’s top scorer Cameron McGeehan from close range.

It was Noah Chilvers’ who was next to try his luck this time from halfway after cleverly dispossessing Watt, Cairns was again equal to the effort, the Ammies needed to wake up.

They went close after 15 minutes when Matt Smith nodded Callum Hendry’s whipped cross back across the goal and was only denied by instinctive defending from Riley Harbottle to clear off the line.

After being involved in his side’s best move of the game just 20 minutes earlier, Callum Hendry’s evening came to an end after just 36 minutes as Karl Robinson’s injury woes continued.

Hendry joins a list including (just to name a few) Junior Luamba, Kelly Nmai, Liam Shepard and Ossama Ashley.

After a sustained spell of possession towards the end of the half Salford finally took the lead when captain Elliot Watt released Callum Morton with an exquisite outside of the foot pass.

Morton then steadied himself before squaring to Smith who tapped into an open goal for his 22nd league goal of the campaign and gave his side the lead going into the interval.

The Ammies picked up where they left off, as the second half commenced with an early chance falling for Callum Morton just two minutes into the second half, whose whipped effort flew just wide after a great piece of skill.

Malcolm had a chance to make it a dream debut just a minute later but blazed over from just inside the area.

Salford thought they’d made the pressure pay again when Matt Smith had the ball in the net for the second time with 51 minutes on the clock only to be denied by the assistant’s flag, which predictably was met by a chorus of boos from the home crowd.

The Ammies faithful were again in good voice after 65 minutes this time thanks to Colchester Manager Danny Cowley talking his way into the referee’s book.

Who just 10 minutes later made the decision to bring on young striker Bradley Ihionvien. And what a decision it would turn out to be as just minutes later the 20-year-old fired a low and powerful effort past Cairns to equalise with his first touch.

The final 10 minutes were again controlled by Robinson’s men as they pushed for a winner, but it wasn’t to be as a final chance fell for McAleny on the edge of the area, but he was unable to convert fluffing his lines.

Salford remain above tonight’s opponents in 19th but will be hoping to put some distance between them and the foot of the tackle in the coming weeks.

It’s Gillingham next for Salford, who visit the Peninsula this Saturday as Karl Robinson will be hoping to start an important month with a win.

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