Macclesfield got out of jail on their second trip to Essex in successive FA Cup rounds thanks to Tony Diagne`s equaliser in a 1-1 draw as Conference South side Chelmsford almost caused an upset.
Having safely negotiated a tie against East Thurrock in the first round, it was not as simple for Gary Simpson's men second time around in Essex as Max Cornhill gave Chelmsford a first-half lead.
Chelmsford recently set a club record by going 19 games unbeaten and it looked as though they would earn the scalp of Macclesfield before Diagne levelled after 64 minutes.
Chelmsford went ahead after 35 minutes. Justin Miller's right-foot shot was only parried by Jose Veiga and midfielder Cornhill got to the rebound first and tapped home from six yards out. Craig Parker should have doubled Chelmsford's lead after Veiga flapped at Miller's cross, but he fired over.
It was nearly 2-0 after 52 minutes as midfielder Sam Corcoran danced his way through the Macclesfield defence but Veiga reacted quickly to save down to his right.
Macclesfield pulled themselves level after 64 minutes. Jonathan Bateson's long-throw fell to Diagne who produced an acrobatic finish from close range to spare the blushes of his team-mates. The home side could have re-taken the lead with four minutes to play but Parker headed wide from Miller's cross before Corcoran headed wide with two minutes remaining.