Macclesfield Town fell to a narrow defeat at The New Lawn as Farrend Rawson’s header was enough to see Forest Green Rovers take all three points.
Macc pushed the promotion hopefuls close for much of the game and could have snatched a point late on but for Corey O’Keeffe’s strong penalty appeal being waved away by the referee.
Rawson’s header from Liam Shepherd’s free kick would prove to be the decider as we fell to our first defeat since the middle of November.
The Silkmen started the match on the front foot, with Arthur Gnahoua coming close to finding Joe Ironside with a dangerous cross as we looked to impose ourselves on the game early on.
Connor Kirby was next to cause problems for the Forest Green backline as he delivered a teasing ball into the penalty area which evaded the onrushing Silkmen attackers on its way through to Rovers goalkeeper Adam Smith.
Smith would be called into action once more as Macc continued to push for an opener, but Arthur Gnahoua’s header lacked the necessary power to be a real threat.
Forest Green grew into the half and almost drew first blood themselves, but Jack Aitchison saw his goal bound effort charged down and cleared to safety by a stubborn Silkmen backline.
Junior Mondal tried an effort from range as Rovers continued to struggle in their quest to breakdown the Macc defence, but Owen Evans was alert to the danger and did well to tip the ball to safety.
Elliott Frear did well to force Evans into another save from his close-range free kick as Forest Green continued to push as half time approached.
Macc would have the final opportunity of the opening period as Jay Harris hit a ferocious shot towards goal, forcing Adam Smith into a smart save to keep the scores level.
Forest Green continued on the front foot at the start of the second half and came close to breaking the deadlock on the hour mark as Liam Kitching headed goalward.
Rovers would find their breakthrough with fifteen minutes remaining as Farrend Rawson rose highest to nod home Liam Shepherd’s free kick.
Macc responded by changing shape and introducing David Fitzpatrick for his 200th Macclesfield appearance as we looked to take the game to Rovers in the final exchanges.
Indeed, we would be on the front foot for much of the game’s finale, but half chances for Miles Welch-Hayes and Joe Ironside went begging.
Corey O’Keeffe appeared to be dragged down in the Rovers penalty area with ten minutes remaining, but the referee dismissed his appeal, sparking a reaction of fury and bemusement from Silkmen players and supporters alike.
Forest Green would see out the remaining minutes despite Macc’s best effort as we fell to defeat after five consecutive draws.
Attendance: 2,155 (130 away).
Forest Green Rovers
1. Adam Smith
2. Liam Shepherd
5. Matt Mills (Liam Kitching, 46')
6. Farrend Rawson
7. Carl Winchester (C)
9. Matty Stevens (Aaron Collins, 58')
14. Ebou Adams
17. Elliott Frear
19. Nathan McGinley
25. Junior Mondal
29. Jack Aitchison (Kevin Dawson, 88')
Unused Substitutes: Lewis Thomas, Dom Bernard, James Morton, Vaughn Covil.
1. Owen Evans
5. Fiacre Kelleher (C)
7. Arthur Gnahoua
8. Jay Harris
9. Joe Ironside
12. Miles Welch-Hayes
14. Connor Kirby
15. Fraser Horsfall
16. Corey O'Keeffe (Jacob Blyth, 85')
20. Emmanuel Osadebe
25. Nathan Cameron (David Fitzpatrick, 81')
Unused Substitutes: Reice Charles-Cook, Jak McCourt, Ben Stephens, Brice Ntambwe.