Red Rewind: Big Mac takeaway for York
Hovering dangerously just above the relegation zone courtesy of number of goals scored and with only four games of their season remaining, the visitors really needed significant reward against bottom-of-the-table opponents.
But they came under immediate pressure when former Real Madrid midfielder Pedro Matias' early cross allowed Kieron Durkan - who was later to play for York - to warm the fingertips of ex-top-flight goalkeeper Bobby Mimms.
However, only sixty seconds later, Rodney Rowe collected possession out on the left and surged beyond a couple of opponents and drove low under Ryan Price from a tight angle.
With the massive boost of an early goal, York were suddenly looking increasingly strong, and Macclesfield boss Sammy McIlroy decided on changing things around the half-hour mark as midfielder Neil Sorvel was replaced by experienced striker John Askey.
Defender Steve Wood certainly went close for them with a header after more decent work by Matias, but the visitors could already have been far more comfortably ahead at that stage.
First goalscorer Rowe chased past the challenge of Darren Tinson down the right and went around the keeper before Steve Hitchen hacked the ball off the line.
His strike partner Marc Williams also flashed a dangerous delivery over that was returned with interest by Alan Pouton and headed wide by the late arriving Mark Tinkler.
But the Minstermen struck again right on half-time when the elusive Pouton skipped away from marker Greg Brown after collecting from Andrew Dawson and Tinkler's low shot squeezed underneath the body of keeper Price.
The visitors continued to remain defiant after the break with Barry Jones and Chris Fairclough superb at the back and both Rowe and Williams a constant threat going forward.
That was until former Manchester United prospect Graeme Tomlinson, an early second-half introduction, followed up Ben Sedgemore's fierce low 25-yard effort which Mimms couldn't hold with twelve minutes remaining.
Suddenly Macclesfield were right back in the contest and the dangerous Matias escaped the attentions of Matt Hocking before Durkan's diving header crashed back off the crossbar.
Durkan then lashed another attempt wide as the visitors were forced to endure a torrid six minutes of added time, until finally being allowed to celebrate a crucial victory.
However, their ultimate fate would still be decided in their remaining three games against Blackpool, AFC Bournemouth and, on the final weekend, at Manchester City - whom York had already famously beaten the week before Christmas.
Macclesfield Town: Price, Tinson, Hitchen, Brown, Wood (Sedgemore 46), Ingram (Tomlinson 58), Landon, Sorvel, Soley (Askey 27), Matias, Durkan
Goals: Tomlinson (78)
York City: Mimms, Dawson, Thompson, Jordan (Hocking 74), Jones, Fairclough, Pouton, Tinkler, Williams, Rowe (Tolson 78), Garratt (Skinner 90)
Goals: Rowe (4), Tinkler (45)
Ref: M. Fletcher (Warley)