Ryan Bowman scored a late winner to break Silkmen hearts at Moss Rose this afternoon.
City were 2-0 up after little over fifteen minutes thanks to first half goals from Nicky Ajose and Pierce Sweeney.
Connor Kirby pulled one back for Macc before the break and the comeback looked to be complete when captain Fiacre Kelleher headed home with half an hour of the match to go.
The Silkmen started the game well with Danny Whitehead’s shot being saved by Lewis Ward after just two minutes, and Fraser Horsfall almost scoring from the resulting corner.
In the 10th minute, Kelleher headed just wide as the Silkmen piled on the pressure in the awful windy and rainy conditions.
Just sixty seconds later though, Ajose finished off a lovely team move to put Exeter ahead against the run of play.
Two minutes later, the visitors got away with one when Aaron Martin brought Joe Ironside down when he closed in on goal but was only booked.
The Grecians doubled their lead in the 17th minute, when Sweeney met an Ajose cross with a stunning half-volley that flew into the net.
Bowman should have made it three just moments afterwards, but his shot was straight at Jonathan Mitchell.
For the next quarter of an hour, Exeter dominated the encounter with Matt Jay squandering a couple of chances as the Silkmen looked nervous.
Then, five minutes before half-time, Macclesfield were handed a lifeline when a free-kick hit an Exeter defender and bounced into the net off Kirby.
On the stroke of half time, Shilow Tracey, who replaced Donovan Wilson earlier in the half, flashed a shot just wide of goal Macc went into the break trailing 2-1.
Chances were at a premium in the second half due to the weather worsening but Mark Kennedy’s side kept probing.
Their hard work was rewarded in the 63rd minute when Kelleher rose highest to meet a corner and his bullet header drew the home team level.
With twenty minutes remaining, Jacob Blyth replaced Joe Ironside for the Silkmen and almost made an immediate impact but he blazed his shot wide from a promising position.
It was not to be, however, and Ryan Bowman's late deflected effort bobbled over the line to break Silkmen hearts.
Macclesfield Town Line Up
1. Mitchell. 5. Kelleher 8. Tollitt 9. Ironside (Blyth, 69') 14. Kirby 15. Horsfall 16. O’Keefe 19. Whitehead. 20. Wilson (Tracey, 21'), 23. Fitzpatrick (Archibald, 46') 25. Cameron – subs – Tracey, Archibald, Blyth.