A first half goal by Jack Simpson was enough to claim maximum points for the Silkmen as Tranmere slipped to defeat in their first fixture of 2016.
Manager Gary Brabin made one change to the side that faced Altrincham last time out, with left midfielder Jeff Hughes, signed on-loan from Cambridge United, making his debut for Rovers replacing Ben Tomlinson who dropped to the bench.
Tranmere got the game underway, but the visitors had the first chance in the opening stages when Paul Lewis fizzed a low shot, which was pushed away by Scott Davies.
Likewise, Adam Mekki drilled a low shot from the left, which was saved at the legs by keeper Shwan Jalal pushing the ball for a corner. This was the last piece of action for the goalkeeper who was replaced by Ritchie Branagan due to injury following Mekki’s effort.
It was a lively and high-spirited start from both teams who looked sharp and keen to break the deadlock from the off.
The visitors got the only goal of the game through Jack Sampson on 31 minutes, after a low weighted ball from Chris Holroyd found Sampson who turned it past a helpless Davies from close range.
Mekki and Hughes had chances to put Rovers back on level terms but could only steer their headers high and wide of Branagan’s goal shortly after.
Danny Rowe nearly made it two-nil to the Silkmen with a confident strike from 30 yards but it sailed wide of Davies’ left hand post.
Tranmere had the first chance of the second 45 minutes with Mekki floating a dangerous ball across the floor only for it to evade a Tranmere body and drift out for a throw in on the other side of the pitch.
Hughes nearly grabbed his first Rovers goal on 60 minutes only for Branagan to save well and push his darting header onto the roof of the net. Hughes saw another audacious header fall a fraction wide of the left post soon after.
A fierce drive by Sampson for the visitors was then blocked by Steve McNulty, as the away side started to apply more pressure.
Rovers made their first change of the second half with Ben Tomlinson replacing debutant Hughes on 71 minutes.
Cole Stockton was introduced with seven minutes to go as Tranmere looked for an equaliser and the 21-year-old nearly found the back of the net a minute after being introduced but Branagan saved well to palm away from the danger.
Steve Jennings had the ball in the net deep into added time but it was ruled out for offside as Tranmere continued to press but Macclesfield hung on to claim the three points.
Tranmere: Davies, Vaughan, Ihiekwe, McNulty, Hill, Jennings, Harris, Maynard, Hughes (Tomlinson 71), Norwood, Mekki (Stockton 83). Substitutes: Turner, Sutton, Kirby.
Macclesfield: Jalal (Branagan 11), Halls, Byrne, Plkington, Turnbull, Lewis (Whitaker 22), Holroyd, Sampson, Rowe (Diagne 83), Dennis, Fitzpatrick. Substitutes: Cowan, Whitehead.
Referee: Michael Salisbury
Yellow cards: Turnbull (40), Sampson (90)
Goals: Sampson (31)
Attendance: 4923 (417)