NEWBUILDINGS United travelled to the league leaders Strabane Athletic, on Saturday, knowing that a victory would lift up to the top spot.
Strabane would be looking for revenge after Newbuildings edged the reverse fixture with a late winner 2-1 earlier in the season and also lifted the League Cup at the expense of their opponents over christmas with a 4-1 victory.
Watched by a good crowd Newbuildings knew it would a tough match as it always is when they travel to Melvin and that excatly how it turned out.
The poor surface was always going to differcult to play neat and tidy football on, but it was the vistitors who started the brighter of the two sides with Ferguson, Wallace and Nicell competing well in the middle of the park and driving the team forward. Whilst at the other end Aaron Patterson was the home sides threat looking dangerous up front.
The deadlock was broken on 20 minutes when Stephen Curry took on the full-back and delivered into the box where the impressive Wallace contolled the ball then beat the defender and slooted the ball home.
Ten minutes later the home side got back on level terms, it was that man Patterson who got it with a terrffic 25 yard free-kick.
The same player also went close with two more set pieces before the half-time whistle went leaving the teams all square.
Early in the second half Newbuildings suffered a massive blow when Curry could not carry out after picking up a knock earlier in the game.
On 65 minutes a quick throw found McIvor who used all his experience controlling the ball, squaring the ball to Robinson and the lively front man made no mistake from eight yards.
Moments later Athletic were nearly back on level terms, this time good play on the right wing found Ferry in the box only for the alert McCloskey to race off his line and make a vital save at the forwards feet.
On 75 minutes danger man Patterson was dismissed after he was shown a red card for an off the ball incident with Nicell.
The remainder of the game saw Newbuildings back four off Buchannan, D Curry, J Moore and G Moore dealing comfortably with direct approach of the home side as they pushed for a equaliser.
The game ended with Newbuildings picking up all three points against a strong Strabane team.
This was a great battling performance from the league champions and could end up being a massive win come the end of the season. Man of the match went to the skipper of the day Ferguson who continued his fine form that he has been showing this season.
Newbuildings now host Mountjoy on Saturday and the home side will be looking to get one over on Mountjoy after failing to win in the previous two meetings this season.