Saturday should have seen Biggar United extend their Division C lead to nine points, with United away to St Boswells and Newtown without a game.
However, their lead was reduced to just three points as Biggar’s game was called off and Newtown won 3-0 against Melrose in a rearranged match.
The Villagers should have scored more, hitting the woodwork six times, but the win means they will pull level with Biggar if they win their game in hand.
Newtown player/manager Neil Macvicar said: “The aim is to beat Biggar when we play them, rather than look at overtaking them on goal difference.
“We were disappointing today. We should have taken more of our chances but the main thing is to win the game.
“Newtown is just returning to the league after a season out, so the aim is to get ourselves into Division B, whether that is as champions or second place.
“We are getting some good numbers at training and have already won the Collie Cup, so its been a good start to our return.”
Newtown had beaten Melrose 7-1 earlier in season and it appeared it would be a similar scoreline when Matty Scott headed in Andrew Crawford’s corner after six minutes at Netherdale 3G Arena in a rearranged game.
But Newtown spurned a series of chances, while Melrose defended with plenty courage.
When they did get through Melrose’s backline, goalkeeper Louis Steel was in fine form. He saved from Matty Scott twice before also denying Darren Blacklock.
However, Steel needed help from his woodwork in the second period to keep the score respectable.
Gareth Armstrong hit the bar with a rising shot in the 52nd minute, as did Matty Scott seven minutes later, only to react quickest to force the rebound over the line.
Melrose had a rare chance soon after, but Newtown goalkeeper Glen Murray managed to clear the ball from his goal ahead of Michael Mcaulay.
Newtown continued to press and both Macvicar and Armstrong struck the bar, before David Richardson somehow headed against the crossbar from just six yards out.
The frustration of Newtown was building, with Stephen Swanston and Matty Scott booked for dissent.
But their side finally got the third in the final minute when the impressive Matty Scott delivered a teasing cross which Melrose full back Gavin McQuarrie headed into his own net.
Newtown: G. Murray, P. Scott, D. Richardson, S. Makepeace, M. Mathison, S. Swanston (S. Deacon 84), N. Macvicar, D. Blacklock, A. Crawford, G. Armstrong (L. Blacklock 76), M. Scott.
Melrose: L. Steel, G. McQuarrie, F. McDougall, J. Bertram (R. Eardley 39), C. Turnbull, J. Chambers, M. Mcaulay (B. Smith 81), P. Easton, S. Kerr, S. Rodger (M. Cameron 67), K. Hume.