An injury-time debut goal for Steve Brogan ended Macclesfield's 100% home record and sent Forest Green second in the Blue Square Bet Premier.
Matt Taylor found the bottom left corner from inside the area to give Rovers a first-half lead.
Matthew Barnes-Homer's close-range strike levelled things after the Silkmen's John Paul Kissock was sent off for a second bookable offence.
But Brogan's close-range effort late on gave Forest Green all three points.
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Forest Green Rovers manager Dave Hockaday told BBC Radio Gloucesteshire:
"That was what football should be all about, two teams who had a go at each other. We wanted to score more than them, they wanted to score more than us and how it ended up just 2-1 I don't know.
"In the first half we were outstanding. We got caught a couple of times but we could have scored any number of goals. Second half we didn't really come out the traps and it's a poor goal from our point of view, but we kept on going and just about deserved to win.
"To come here and play a team that is so in form and banging in the goals, and to restrict them to one goal which was poor defending, I'm absolutely chuffed for the boys and it's a great three points.
"This is a good result. What would make it a great result now is if we recover and go to Hereford and get something."