Portstewart sampled their first defeat of the League on Saturday in a very physical tie against League newcomers Newington.
From the start the visitors put their mark on the game with hard tackles and shouts for every ball.
It took the home side some time to settle against their physical opponents but when they did they played some good football.
Newington nicked a goal just before the break through a free kick.
Portstewart battled hard in the second half, chances came through Nigel Turner, Ricky Dunlop and Ryan Doherty but they just couldn’t find the back of the net.
Newington grabbed two goals in quick succession to run out 3-0 winners. Ports boss Gary Taylor says he felt that the scoreline flattered Newington: “We were very unlucky. They set out their stall early in the game. They bullied us and the officials, to be honest we just didn’t fight our own corner.
“Instead of playing football we tried to get involved in a battle with them. I think the game opened the eyes of a few of our players, we need to stand up for ourselves a bit more.”
Portstewart entertain derby rivals Ballymoney United this Saturday and Taylor is hoping to get back on form.
“There is no doubt that this will be another hard battle. Ballymoney are a big strong team, but I hope we can bounce back.
“We are missing three big players -James Peden, Ian Todd and Andy White. Ian and James should be fit again for this Saturday, Andy is a few weeks away yet,” added Taylor.
The derby clash at Mullaghacall has a 3pm kick off