Myrtleford saw off its biggest challenge of the 2019 season with a hard-fought 3-1 win against Albury United at Jelbart Park on Sunday.
The Savoys controlled the first half and went ahead inside 20 minutes when Remell Davis won a penalty, which was converted by Connor Caponecchia.
Hudson Magerstein missed a golden opportunity at the other end when his unmarked header was offline as the visitors maintained their 1-0 lead at the break.
Myrtleford rode its luck in the second half and were fortunate to still be in front when Greens' captain Caleb Martin's header was controversially deemed to have not crossed the line.
Ten minutes later, Daniel Kioses doubled the Savoys' advantage with a neat one-on-one finish, but United responded immediately through Frenchman Gauthier Robin.
Vinnie Paglia won the Savoys' second penalty of the afternoon and Davis made it 3-1 from the spot with 20 to play.
United continued to press and came within inches of a second as Myrtleford skipper Brenton Cook cleared a Sam Mason header off the line in the 81st minute.
The Savoys steadied from there to remain on maximum points from eight games.
"We were really good early and squandered two or three chances," Myrtleford co-coach Jayden Vescio said.
"Classic United, they're always going to dig in and play 90 minutes.
"We had a bit of a reshuffle this week, a couple of boys pulled up lame after last week's game, but today was all about seeing if our kids can stand up and the proof is in the pudding."
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Vescio has been rapt with Englishman Davis thus far.
"He's a completely different player to Tommy (Youngs) last year, but it's the sort of player we needed to bring in," he added.
Vescio and Jesse Stephens are expected to return against Wangaratta next weekend.
United coach Steve McLennan took plenty of positives from the fixture.
"They're a quality outfit and we don't take any respect away from what sort of a side they are," he said.
"It's a credit to all our blokes, there's some guys that are very emotional because they wear their heart on their sleeve. That's gold for our club.
"I still pay a lot of credit to our defence, it doesn't show when you concede two penalties, but Kris Wheeler and Harris Lee were superb again."
Wangaratta remains two points adrift after its 7-0 victory against St Pats.
Pieter Noordewier finished with five goals in Boomers' 6-3 salute over Cobram.
A late Adam Waters goal saw Melrose take the upper hand in the Luders-Laramee Foundation Cup with a 3-2 win against Albury Hotspurs.
Albury City got past Wodonga Diamonds 4-1, while Twin City took down Wodonga Heart 9-0.
The ladder after round eight is: Myrtleford 24, Wangaratta 22, Albury United 19, Albury City 18, Boomers 15, Cobram Roar 15, Twin City Wanderers 10, Melrose 7, Wodonga Diamonds 4, St Pats 3, Albury Hotspurs 1, Wodonga Heart 0.
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