Shrews boss Graham Turner rang the changes after the defeat at Aldershot last time out, and their non-stop running had Macclesfield penned in their own half for the opening 45 minutes at Greenhous Meadow.
But the hosts lacked a cutting edge and created just one opening – on-loan full back James Hurst unleashing a viciously swerving shot which keeper Jose Veiga palmed around a post.
However, the Shrews achieved the breakthrough in the 49th minute. Matt Richards curled in a free-kick which the Macclesfield defence failed to clear and Cansdell-Sherriff pounced to head home.
Six minutes later the home side came within a whisker of stretching the lead as Hurst pulled the ball back for James Collins, who saw his shot rebound off the inside of an upright.
Veiga denied Nicky Wroe and Richards before home stopper Chris Neal thwarted a spirited Macclesfield fightback by pushing away a Colin Daniel cross-shot before Hurst cleared a Ross Draper effort off the line.