Rochdale took another giant stride to earning promotion as a bizarre second-half winner sealed a 1-0 victory at Macclesfield.

Up until the 60th minute Macc's defence had been resolute but when keeper Jon Brain saved bravely at the feet of Chris O'Grady, the ball ricocheted off defender Nat Brown to float over the stranded keeper for the deciding goal, which was credited to O'Grady.

Macc had started brightly with Ricky Sappleton sending a 20-yard left-foot drive inches over the bar.

The league leaders then took control with Gary Jones twice forcing saves from Brain before he scooped a simple shot from 10 yards hopelessly over the bar with only the keeper to beat.

After the break, Macclesfield might have opened the scoring when Colin Daniel was left unmarked at the far post, but his low shot was blocked on the line by Will Atkinson and they were made to pay when O'Grady broke the deadlock.

Macc's season-long weakness in front of goal was again exposed in the closing stages with sub Craig Lindfield heading over the bar after 75 minutes and then slicing wide.

Deep in injury time Rochdale's top scorer Chris Dagnall inexplicably missed from just two yards out.

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