Magpies goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski was in brilliant form, producing an outstanding performance to deny the Robins two precious promotion points.
Bialkowski even drew praise from MacDonald, who saw his team squander the opportunity to put clear daylight between themselves in second place and the chasing pack.
The Pole made important saves from Louis Thompson and Tommy Miller in the first half but it was in the second half when Swindon increased their pressure that the former Southampton stopper excelled.
Simon ferry saw one effort held on the line by the giant Bialkowski, who then used his long legs to keep out shots from Alan McCormack and James Collins in a hectic last 10 minutes.
At the death he also held a Darren Ward header on the line as the Robins plunged every man forward in a bid for victory.
"It is frustrating and disappointing and one of the reasons is that their goalkeeper has stopped us," said MacDonald.
"James Collins was unhappy at missing chances he would normally expect to put away but in the first half we did not have enough shots.
"The players are unhappy with the result. They feel the frustration of the fans and know they should have won.
"We have spoken about it and said that if the performances are good enough over the remainder of the season then we will win more games than we lose. There are only a handful of games left now and the pressure is on but we have some good players here and the belief is there that we will succeed."