The Silkmen were defeated for the first time since October 6th, as Cambridge were 2-0 winners at the Abbey Stadium. Two goals in three second half minutes did the damage for a Macc side who were denied what looked to be a good goal from Holroyd for offside.
The home side started what would be a goal-less first half brightly and had tried their luck three times in the opening five minutes. First Michael Gash forced Cronin into early action and former Silkmen loanee Tom Elliott 's shot saw another save from Cronin and before flashing a header past the post.
The Silkmen's first effort on goal came from former Cambridge man Keiran Murtagh, but his effort from range was wide. Moments later Harrison Dunk had a long range effort himself, with the same result and then it was JP Kissock's turn to have a pop, and again the 'keeper was left unworked.
Cronin was in action again before 20th minute as he stopped a Rory McAuley strike before Ryan Jackson picked up a yellow card.
The Silkmen were still restricted to shooting from range and Matthew Barnes-Homer's 30 yard effort at least made Jed Steer earn his pay with a save. After a busier opening 20 minutes, the remainder of the half had seen action at a premium, and although Jack Mackreth's cross caused problems in the home box before Steer dealts with the ball, neither side could impose themselves on the remainder of the half.
The second half saw far more action, and again it started with the home side having the opening attacks, and again it was a long range effort, this time from Willmott, which flew wide. And the Silkmen continued the theme with a Kissock pass to Murtagh, whose drive went over the bar.
But with the half only 10 minutes old, Cambridge made the most of a defensive mixup from the Silkmen and Robbie Willmott raced clear to finish low past Cronin to open the scoring - with the Macclesfield players protesting that he had handled the ball.
And three minutes later a goal made and scored by Former Macc players doubled the lead. It was James Jennings' free kick which Tom Elliott found himself in far too much space in the area to nod home.
Macc tried to get back into the game and Jed Steer saved from a Barnes-Homer shot from the edge of the area before Amari Morgan-Smith was replaced by Chris Holroyd. And the Macc born striker almost had an immediate impact, forcing an excellent save from the 'keeper after a cross from Ryan Jackson.
Waide Fairhurst replaced Jack Mackreth before Holroyd was again involved, as he had the ball in the net after what appeared to be an excellently timed run, but was flagged for offside.
With Cambridge perhaps happy to sit on their lead, the Silkmen began to exert pressure and Fairhurst saw a run blocked before being unable to get a shot away from the rebound.
Holroyd was then fouled right on the edge of the area with a nasty looking tackle from behind, but Tony Diagne's free kick was well over the bar.
Despite the Silkmen's pressing, and dealing well with Cambridge's breaks, they couldn't force any more clear cut chances, and fell to the first defeat in seven.