A last gasp penalty for FC United of Manchester broke the hearts of the travelling Silkmen on a wet afternoon in north Manchester.
The Silkmen started on the front foot, and had an early chance through Neil Kengni, whose powerful shot was well saved by Pat Boyes in the opposition goal.
The game was end-to-end, and the hosts managed to take one of their early opportunities in the 19th minute.
McLoughlin’s free kick was saved by Johnstone, but Cane was on hand to convert the rebound to put FC United in front.
The Silkmen needed to bounce back quickly and did in the 26th minute through the in-form Alex Curran.
He received the ball from Luke Duffy on the left and ran at the United defence, before firing the ball past Boyes to put Macclesfield level.
The Silkmen were hit with a setback just 4 minutes later when Lewis Fensome was forced off with an injury.
Jon Nolan replaced Fensome, and filtered into midfield, while Dawson moved into the right back position to fill the void.
The Silkmen had multiple penalty appeals waved away in quick succession, to the dismay of the travelling away fans, who were frustrated with the decisions.
The first half came to an end with The Silkmen on the back foot, as Laurent Mendy was forced into defensive action to prevent a certain goal scoring opportunity.
The game went into halftime level, and it was a thoroughly entertaining half, with both teams positive in their play.
The second half began with another change for The Silkmen, with Nolan coming back off to be replaced by Tom Thorpe.
This change seemed to help Macclesfield as they exerted some early pressure on their opponents. Duffy went close at the beginning of the second half with an acrobatic effort.
Tom Peers then went close after he beat the offside trap, but the angle was too tight and his effort was well saved by Boyes.
The best move of the second half came from The Silkmen in the 64th minute. Curran and Hardy exchanged passes before Duffy was set away brilliantly.
Duffy, who was impressive on the day, was bearing down on the goal and forced a great save out of Boyes in the United goal.
Hardy also impressed when he came on, and went close in the 78th minute with a snapshot towards the near post, which nearly caught out Pat Boyes.
The game opened up even further in the final 10 minutes with both teams pushing to take all three points and it was the hosts that managed to do just that.
It took until the 87th minute to break the hearts of the Macclesfield fans, when Cheikh Thiam was brought down in the box, and the referee pointed to the spot.
Luke Griffiths stepped up to take the spot kick, and sent Johnstone the wrong way to snatch the game away from The Silkmen, and send Mark Duffy’s side back to Macclesfield with no reward from the game.
The Silkmen return to the Leasing.com stadium on bank holiday Monday with a game against Rylands, a match that has even more importance on it after another defeat this weekend.
By Kallum Bates