Two second half goals condemned the Robins to another defeat on the road at Moss Rose on Friday evening, but the outcome could have been so different for Paolo Di Canio's men.
The visitors were denied what looked like a stonewall penalty after a foul on Matt Ritchie inside the box with around ten minutes remaining at one goal down, before the hosts doubled their advantage soon after to wrap up the points. Di Canio made two changes to the line-up that had beaten Barnet 4-0 six days ago with Alan McCormack coming back into the side in place of Jonathan Smith whilst Lukas Magera made a start up front, with Alan Connell on the bench.
The game started with both sides taking their time to settle into the game before a flurry of chances after the ten minute mark. First Raffaele De Vita saw his shot from a Paul Caddis cut-back turned onto the post by Macclesfield's Portuguese stopper Jose Veiga. Then De Vita was denied on 16 minutes with the 'keeper pulling off another fine close range save to deny the Italian. Swindon continued to pile forward and Veiga was again called into action on 21 minutes. Ritchie picked the ball up out wide on the right before cutting in on his left foot before seeing a powerful drive tipped over. The home side were stretched during the opening half hour and were indebted to Veiga for a string of superb saves to keep them in the game.
A rare foray forward from Macclesfield saw them break well following a Swindon attack. A deep cross from the right by Matt Hamshaw was headed narrowly wide by Ben Tomlinson. Alan McCormack was booked, on his return to the side, just before the break with the sides going in all-square at half-time. There were no changes for either side at half-time, but the first change came seven minutes in with Mattia Lanzano replacing Phil Smith in the Swindon goal.
The Robins continued to search for the opening goal with much of the play coming through Ritchie. It was the winger who set up a great opportunity on 58 minutes with his inch-perfect cross met by Kerrouche who saw his header saved. There was another Swindon change on the hour with Jake Jervis coming on for his debut just days after completing a loan switch from Birmingham City, in place of Kerrouche.
The home side took the lead with 62 minutes on the clock. An inviting pass down the right hand side saw Donnelly outpace Kennedy on the right and the striker produced a fine low finish past Lanzano into the corner having advanced into the box. The second Swindon change came soon after the goal with Birmingham loanee Jake Jervis brought on in place of Kerrouche. Liam Ridehalgh then came on for his debut on 75 minutes in place of De Vita wide on the left.
Lukas Magera - frustrated for the majority of the evening by a resolute home backline - saw a flicked header deflected wide on 76 minutes. Controversy came on 78 minutes with the Robins having what looked like a clear penalty appeal waved away. Ritchie found space inside the box but as he attempted to take the ball around Veiga, he was grounded. Despite strong appeals from the Swindon side - play continued.
The home side wrapped up the points on 82 minutes with a fine finish from Ross Draper. The midfielder capitalised on a loose ball on the edge of the box which was powerfully dispatched into the bottom corner of the net.
Chances fell Swindon's way in the closing stages with Jervis seeing a low drive saved by Veiga perhaps the best of them. However, after four minutes of added time the referee called time on a frustrating night for Di Canio's men.
Full-time: Macclesfield 2 Swindon 0