South Wallsend became the first team to take a point off New Lambton this season when they came from behind to draw 1-1 with the unbeaten leaders at Walker Fields on Sunday.
The Wolves were always going to be fired up for the top-of-the-table clash after forfeiting a 3-1 lead with 10 minutes to go and losing 4-3 when the sides last met.
The home side were also buoyed by the fact they were kicking off just hours before Australia's World Cup campaign began in France where teammate Gema Simon is part of the Matildas squad.
South Wallsend dominated the early stages of the game and had the first chance of the match when MJ Mason streaked free on the left and looked to have Eagles goalkeeper Imogene Tomasone beat only for her shot across the face of goal to glance wide.
But it was the Eagles who took first blood when twice-capped Matilda Tara Andrews swooped on a loose ball just moments before half-time, turned and fired it into the top left corner with a left-foot strike to give the visitors a 1-0 lead at the break.
It was South Wallsend who again looked more dangerous in the second half but could not find the target.
The equaliser came in the 65th minute from a free kick just outside the box. It was awarded after Ash Brodigan went down grabbing at her head after contesting the ball with Jenna Kennedy. Kirstyn Antoni buried the shot into the top right corner.
The hosts finished the stronger of the sides and Tomasone was forced to make a point-blank save at the death.
The result ended New Lambton's 12-match winning streak but moved them to 37 points, keeping a nine-point edge over the Wolves.
South Wallsend coach Cas Wright rued their lack of penetration up front.
"Whilst I think the momentum was ours, we just didn't get the ball in the back of the net in that last 10 which is disappointing, but a draw is better than a loss," Wright said.
"I said to the girls if anyone can [take points off them], we can do it and we need to show everyone that we can. I think we did that today. We played really good football."
In a blow for the Wolves, midfielder Koby Ferguson was stretchered off in the first half with a knee injury.
New Lambton coach Keelan Hamilton felt a draw was "a fair result".
"They got into our box, they had territorial advantage but they never really created anything because we kept turning up defensively and kept discipline in those areas," Hamilton said.
"We were a bit unlucky to concede a free kick that gives them a draw. On another day we might have got out of here with a 1-0 win."
Warners Bay moved to 27 points, three clear of Merewether, after beating United 3-2 at John Street Oval.
Thornton found an injury-time winner through Sophie Milton to beat Adamstown 1-0 away, while Wallsend boosted finals hopes with a 4-2 win over Mid North Coast at home.
Round 13 results:
South Wallsend 1 (Kirstyn Antoni) drew with New Lambton 1 (Tara Andrews) at Walker Fields. Half-time: New Lambton led 1-0.
Warners Bay 3 (Jenna Kingsley 2, Cassidy Davis) beat Merewether 2 (Leah Giuffre, Ellie Withers) at John Street Oval. Half-time: Warners Bay led 1-0.
Wallsend 4 (Laura Hall 2, Georgia Little, Keea Parrish) defeated Mid North Coast 2 (Layni Fens, Sam Bestwick) at The Gardens. Half-time: Wallsend led 3-0.
Thornton 1 (Sophie Milton) beat Adamstown 0 at Adamstown Oval. Half-time: 0-0
Points: New Lambton 37, South Wallsend 28, Warners Bay 27, Merewether 24, Wallsend 18, Adamstown 6, Thornton 6, Mid North Coast 6.