The Iron fell to a 1-0 defeat on the road at the hands of the Silkmen, as George Miller came closest to scoring for United, hitting the underside of the crossbar.
The hosts had the first real opportunity of the game in the fourth minute, with a free kick on the right side of the box, but Theo Archibald whipped his effort harmlessly over the bar.
However, three minutes later, the Iron almost created a golden chance to take the lead. Andy Butler regained possession high up the field, before laying it off to Alex Gilliead, who found new Iron signing George Miller with a square ball, but the forward couldn’t quite get a shot off and the hosts cleared.
The Iron continued to press, this time winning a free kick in the home side’s half. Regan Slater stood over it, and curled a delightful ball onto the head of Rory McArdle, whose header went just over the bar, despite the centre back’s recent goal-scoring form.
In the 21st minute, United almost broke the deadlock courtesy of Abo Eisa, the wideman jinked his way through a crowd of bodies in the Macclesfield box, before seeing his left-footed strike fizz inches past the far post, and away for a corner which was later cleared.
Four minutes later, the home side saw a good chance go begging, thanks to some goalkeeping heroics from Iron man Rory Watson. The Silkmen’s number nine Joe Ironside found himself one-on-one with Watson, who saved low to his left from the former’s snapshot.
On the half-hour mark, Kgosi Nthle found Eisa down the left flank with a searching ball. The latter then cut inside with a darting run along the by-line, but couldn’t find an Iron shirt with his cut-back.
Moments later, Miller nearly caught out the two Macclesfield centre backs with some high pressing, and soon after this, he was close to pulling off an audacious overhead-kick, but the effort narrowly evaded the far post.
In the 35th minute, Abo Eisa stung the palms of home ‘keeper Owen Evans with a fierce strike from 25-yards, after checking onto his left, but Evans managed to gather despite being tested.
The Iron’s first half dominance continued, despite that elusive first goal escaping Paul Hurst’s men. Miller found half a yard of space after Slater’s deft through-ball, the striker charged towards the keeper but his lofted effort came back off the underside of the crossbar, and just after, Kyle Wootton’s drilled shot hit the side netting.
The Iron had the first chance of the second period. Matthew Lund brought the ball down well, and was fouled 20-yards from goal. The aforementioned stood over the ball, but his strike was blocked, and Slater fired over the rebound.
However, in the 54th minute, it was the home side who broke the deadlock. Joe Ironside converted a penalty, after Ntlhe was adjudged to have bundled over Corey O’Keeffe.
Shortly after the goal, the ball was up the other end, as Wootton and Miller applied the pressure on ‘keeper Evans, who was charged down by the former and Evans could count himself lucky the ball was cleared to safety.
In the 61st minute, Nthle defended well to deflect O’Keeffe’s dangerous strike over the crossbar, with Wootton applying pressure from behind.
Rory Watson produced a brilliant double save seven minutes later. Firstly, from point blank range, then Paddy Osadebe was first to the rebound, but Watson managed to scramble back across goal to recover, and parry away again.
In the 74th minute, the Iron pushed for an equaliser. Substitute Ryan Colclough shifted the ball onto his left foot on the edge of the area, before firing a low shot narrowly wide of the right post, as the ‘keeper could only stand and watch.
Six minutes later, Slater stood over a wide free kick inside the host’s half, and the midfielder’s back post cross picked out the head of Andy Butler, but the centre-half couldn’t quite divert his effort on target, as it flew narrowly past the left post.
With 83 minutes on the clock, United once again came agonisingly close to an equaliser. Slater was again the provider, this time from a corner. The Sheffield United loanee found Butler with a pinpoint delivery, and the latter headed inches over the bar.
In the 88th minute, Eisa drove into the box from the left wing with pace and power, but his goal-bound cross was headed away from the line by Fiacre Kelleher, and the resulting corner was cleared and the danger averted for the Silkmen.
Into the four additional minutes, McArdle delivered a deep, cross-field ball towards Ntlhe who was arriving from the left side, but the latter’s downwards header was held well by Evans.
Macclesfield: Evans, McCourt, Kelleher, Vassell, Harris, Ironside (Blyth 90+4’), Stephens (Kirby 84’), Archibald, Welch-Hayes, O’Keeffe (Clarke 84’), Osadebe.
Macclesfield unused subs: Charles-Cook, Horsfall, Gomis.
Iron: Watson, Clarke, Ntlhe, Lund, Butler, Wootton (Colclough 67’), Gilliead, McArdle, Slater, Miller, Eisa.
Iron unused subs: Eastwood, Songo’o, Hallam, McGahey, McAtee, Dawson.
Attendance: 1,860 (446 away).