Liam Enver-Marum’s goal early in the second half was enough to give Braintree all three points and leave Macclesfield still without a win after six games.
After a brace at Gateshead on Monday, Scott Boden led the line with Danny Whitaker, John Paul Kissock and Arthur Gnahoua supporting from midfield. Efe Sodje made his first competitive Moss Rose start since his return as John Askey looked to shore up a backline which had been troubled by defending set pieces in the opening few matches. Paul Turnbull also made his home debut and skippered the side.
Rhys Taylor was forced into action just three minutes in, when a long ball forwards was flicked on well by Jordan Cox and Enver-Marum’s low near post drive was parried behind.
The visitors started the game on the front foot and went close again after a Kenny Davis free kick was allowed to bounce twice in the box before Ryan Peters hooked over from eight yards.
Macc’s first shot in anger came in the 15th minute – Scott Boden’s strike from the edge of the box deflected wide, leading to a couple of corners which were well defended.
Midway through the half Macc began to get a foothold in the game and started to threaten, a slick passing move ended with Whitaker’s shot being well blocked and Danny Andrew forcing another corner from the loose ball.
Braintree came within a whisker of opening the scoring when James Mulley’s curler flew just a yard wide of the far post as neither of the strikers running in could get a decisive touch.
An even better chance was spurned in the 33rd minute when a long raking ball forwards was misjudged by James Bolton and allowed Enver-Marum through on goal. Taylor sprinted from his line and was outside his box when he saved the striker’s shot with his legs.
Sodje went into the book after clattering into Chez Isaac on halfway, shortly before Mulley joined him for chopping down Andrew after he had beaten two men storming down the left.
Whitaker’s resulting 25 yard free kick curled over the wall but keeper Nathan McDonald had it covered as it bounced wide of the near post.
Isaac almost caught Taylor out when he shot early from long range, but fortunately for the Macc stopper he was able to watch the ball flash wide of the far post.
At the interval Jack Mackreth was brought on for Kissock to make Macc more direct in the final third, however it was the Iron who went ahead just sixty seconds after the restart. A long ball was won by Enver-Marum, and then flicked back into his path by strike partner Cox. Enver-Marum had got goal-side of Sodje to poke over the oncoming Taylor and although Andy Halls sprinted back, he was unable to keep it out.
Immediately at the other end Andrew’s cross was volleyed over by Scott Kay from 12 yards and Peter Winn was introduced for captain Paul Turnbull.
In the 52nd minute Mackreth’s low cross from the left was missed by the defence at the near post and fell for Boden, but leaning back the striker blazed well over the bar from ten yards.
Braintree had the ball in the net for a second time only for Enver-Marum’s volley to be ruled out for offside when he latched onto a Davis header back into the box after a cleared throw in.
With 20 minutes to go Winn’s deep cross was spilled by McDonald to Mackreth and centre back Matt Paine threw himself at the ball to block the winger’s goal-bound effort.
As time ticked away Steve Williams was thrown on as an emergency striker to give Macc more aerial threat, but it seemed many of the long balls went closer to the diminutive Mackreth and Gnahoua.
With four minutes left on the clock a long throw by Andrew was flicked on by Williams at the near post to Boden, who spun around his man only to drag a low drive across the face of goal from an acute angle.
Macc almost forced a stoppage time equaliser when Andrew’s long throw was half cleared to Gnahoua, however with the keeper out of position he couldn’t find the target with his header over from ten yards.
There was just time for one last effort when Sodje got a touch on a long ball to find Boden, who turned sharply on the edge of the box but his shot lacked any real power and was comfortably held by McDonald.