MACCLESFIELD Town made it three wins out of their last four league games after a comfortable victory at North Ferriby United.
Goals from George Pilkington and the returning Danny Whitehead saw the Silkmen come out on top at Grange Lane and get back to winning ways after a surprise defeat to Guiseley in their previous match.
It leaves Macc eighth in the National League table, six points outside the play-offs with games in hand on most of the teams above them.
North Ferriby went close in the opening stages of the game, with Jake Skelton’s header kept out by Macclesfield goalkeeper Scott Flinders.
It wouldn’t be known at the time, but that chance would turn out to be the closest North Ferriby came to scoring during the entire game.
Mitch Hancox almost made the breakthrough shortly afterwards when his header rattled the crossbar, before Danny Whitaker’s rebounded effort was cleared off the line by Skelton.
North Ferriby then lost defensive midfielder Connor Oliver to a hamstring injury on 11 minutes, with his departure seeming to trouble the home side.
That was evident on 17 minutes when Macc took the lead through Pilkington, who got on the end of a corner from Whitaker and put the ball in the back of the net to make it 1-0.
That goal gave the Silkmen a confidence boost and they continued to go close as they looked to double their lead.
Kingsley James thought he had added to the tally when he was denied by Rory Watson, but the second goal did come on 27 minutes through Whitehead.
The midfielder rejoined Macc on loan from Wigan Athletic earlier in the week, and he made an immediate impact upon his return after receiving the ball from Chris Holroyd before firing past Watson to make it 2-0.
North Ferriby had a couple of half-chances during the closing stages of the first half, with Curtis Bateson firing wide before Reece Thompson saw a shot easily saved by Flinders.
Macclesfield remained in the driving seat at the start of the second half, and will feel aggrieved that they did not win by a larger margin.
Holroyd almost got on the scoresheet for the visitors when he found space, but his shot smashed against the post.
The Silkmen defence were performing well at the other end, preventing North Ferriby from having any major chances.
Macclesfield manager John Askey turned to his substitute’s bench on 75 minutes, bringing on Ollie Norburn in place of goalscorer Whitehead.
Macc went close on several more occasions during the latter stages of the match but they couldn’t find another goal against North Ferriby, meaning they had to settle for a 2-0 victory.
It was Macclesfield’s first game since key player Danny Rowe left the club to join Ipswich Town, and while manager John Askey was glad to get the win, he admits it was a shame to lose Rowe.
“It’s always disappointing when you lose your best players but we’re that type of club so hopefully it won’t affect us too much,” he told the club’s official website.
“From the club’s point of view it’s good as well. Every year we’re producing players so hopefully that’ll encourage players to come and sign for us but every year it’s difficult to keep hold of players.”
Flinders, Halls, Fitzpatrick, Pilkington, Byrne, Hancox, Whitehead (Norburn 75’), James, Dudley, Whitaker, Holroyd. Subs not used: Ross, McCombe, Brown, Perel
Danny Whitehead in action on his return to Macclesfield since arriving on loan from Wigan
George Pilkington celebrates his goal
Danny Whitehead goes close for Macc during the game at North Ferriby