Farrend Rawson’s second-half header handed Forest Green some post-Christmas cheers as their seven-game winless run came to a halt.

Rawson popped up in the 75th-minute to nod in a Liam Shephard free-kick to get Rovers’ promotion bid back on track.

Winless in seven, but just three points shy of automatics, head coach Mark Cooper made three changes to the side held at Stevenage. Captain Joseph Mills missed out after picking up a knock on Boxing Day.

Farrend Rawson took his place. Forwards Matty Stevens and Junior Mondal came in with James Morton dropping to the bench and Udoka Godwin-Malife missing out. Academy striker Vaughn Covil,16, started on the bench.

Rovers boss Cooper accused his side of scoffing on too much Christmas turkey after their limp display at Stevenage and they failed to knock the stuffing out of Macclesfield in a turgid opening.

Bucking the trend – Arthur Gnahoua failed to get any purchase on a cross from Emmanuel Osadebe for the Silkmen and Junior Mondal followed suit for Rovers after Elliott Frear picked him out.

Chances were scant, but Rovers’ Mondal sparked into life on 36 minutes, bending a left-footer towards the top corner, which Owen Evans gloved over.

At the other end, Jay Harris pulled the trigger from the edge of the box to demanding a plunging save from Adam Smith with three minutes of the first-half to go.

Rovers’ Matt Mills replaced at the break by Liam Kitching and Cooper hooked Matt Stevens with just 58 minutes gone, Aaron Collins taking his place.

Rovers broke the deadlock with 15 minutes to go – Liam Shephard’s free-kick glanced home from close-range by Rawson.

Ebou Adams was denied a second for Rovers on 80 minutes, Evans falling on his shot from the edge of the box.

Already docked six points by the EFL for non-fulfilment of the Crewe fixture, when players went on strike over unpaid wages, Macclesfield players remain unpaid going into the new year.

FOREST GREEN: Smith, Shephard, M Mills (Kitching 45), Rawson, McGinley, Winchester, Adams, Aitchison (Dawson 89), Mondal, Stevens (Collins 58), Frear

Subs not used: Thomas, Collins, Covil Bookings: Adams 45, Frear 69, Collins 93

MACCLESFIELD: Evans, Kelleher, Gnahoua, Harris, Ironside, Welch-Hayes, Kirby, Horsfall, O’Keeffe (Blyth 85), Osadebe, Cameron (Fitzpatrick 81).

Bookings: Kirby 59

Attendance: 2,135

Away fans: 130

Referee: Alan Young

Star Man: Liam Shephard

Next up: Forest Green welcome promotion rivals Exeter City on New Year’s Day, 3pm.