Macclesfield boss Gary Simpson slammed his players’ festive generosity in coughing up possession too easily at Shrewsbury.
Macc were pegged back for almost the entire first half by the promotion contenders, who took the points through Shane Cansdell-Sherriff just minutes after the restart.
Although the Silkmen – who were clearly showing the effects of their FA Cup replay on Wednesday – threatened to snatch an unlikely point late on, they really created very little and the fourth-place Shrews could have been out of sight far sooner.
Macc were once again indebted to keeper Jose Veiga, who saved well from James Hurst, Nicky Wroe and Marvin Morgan, while James Collins thudded one against the upright.
“I’m disappointed with our first-half performance,” admitted Simpson. “All week we’ve been working on keeping the ball and we’ve been like this for three or four weeks in matches now, where we’ve not kept it.
“We’ve struggled on that side of things for a few weeks. Whether that’s a loss of form, confidence or what I don’t know but we’re trying all sorts to rectify it.
“We were still in it at 1-0 but I’m disappointed with the quality that we showed, one or two of them looked like they were out on their feet.”
The defeat stretched Macc’s winless run to six league games for the desperately short-of-form side and Simpson is now looking to unearth a formula to eliminate the chances of a bleak midwinter, before they host Bolton in the third round of the FA Cup.
“One or two have let themselves down, they didn’t look the same players from the other night,” he griped.
“We’ve got some unbelievably tough games coming up so I’ve got to mix and match the lads now to get us through these next two or three matches, then the transfer window opens and we’ll take stock.”
MACC: Veiga 8, Bateson 6, Brisley 6, Brown 7, Tremarco 6, Wedgbury 6, Draper 6, Diagne 7 (Mukendi 84 6), Fairhurst 6, Donnelly 6 (Hamshaw 73 6), Daniel 7. Not used: Morgan, Mendy, Fisher.