Macclesfield Town Under 18's ebbed ever closer to the Mid Cheshire League Division One title this afternoon, as they claimed a share of the spoils in a hard-fought battle against Newton Athletic,
The match started in blustery conditions, yet it was the visitors who began in the ascendancy as they looked to stamp their authority on the game right from the first whistle.
With just four minutes on the clock, Kane Nolan stormed down the left hand side and found Mohammed Duran on the edge of the area - yet his powerful effort was well-saved by Renit Adke in the Newton goal.
The match then developed into a war of attrition, as both sides battled against the elements as well as the opposition to create any clear-cut chances.
That changed on the quarter-hour mark however, as Mathew Osbourne breached the offside trap and clipped the ball inches wide of the far post with only Jack Reynolds to beat.
This sparked the hosts into a period where they dominated proceedings and just three minutes later, the deadlock was broken,
Tenacious play from Alex Craig found Ben Jones in the penalty area and he smashed a venomous drive across the face of goal which nestled in the far corner of the net.
The siege did not end with the goal either, as on 23 minutes Osbourne looked to turn provider as he squared the ball for Josh Scully and only a phenomenal save from Reynolds prevented Newton's lead being doubled.
Just before the half hour mark, Jim Hall's side rallied as Dan Dolling's majestic run through the Newton ranks saw him tee the ball up for Duran on the edge of the area - yet a heavy deflection saw his effort easily claimed by Adke.
The visitors then started to play the sort of open, expansive football which they renowned for - yet the final killer ball proved to be elusive for them as they looked to restore parity before the interval.
In truth, the only real chance for the scoreline to be added to fell to the hosts as Jack Sconce hit a ferocious attempt marginally over Reynolds' crossbar from all of thirty-five yards out.
The second period began with Jim Hall's side in complete control and their reward came on 52 minutes when Neeki Arkian's innovative through-ball was seized on by Joe Cobey and he confidently finished from ten yards out.
Whereas most of the other sides in the league would have capitulated at this point, Newton continued to give their all and provide Macc with one of their most fierce tests of the season so far.
Just after the hour mark, Ben Jones broke free down the left and after cutting inside, fizzed a right-footed effort towards the near post which Reynolds did well to divert for a corner.
Despite some weary legs being present in both camps, the match continued to be played at a frantic pace and with fifteen minutes left on the clock, Cobey appeared to have been impeded within the penalty area - yet the Referee waved play on, despite the protestations of those in blue.
The last real chance of the game came in 77 minutes, as Shaun Holden's tantalising free-kick was met by the head of Hussein Mohamed - yet he could only direct the ball over the crossbar from ten yards out.
Macclesfield Town: Reynolds, Nolan, Midgely, Dolling, Ezzedine, Mohamed, Mohamed, Hall, Phillips, Richardson, Holden
Subs: Cobey, Arkian, Sass