Percy Main, who are in danger of disbanding, were forced with having to deal with a raft of absentees due to unavailability, injury and suspension for Saturday’s trip to Shankhouse.
Assistant manager Danny Nelson was on the bench, while Graham Allen, who had not kicked a ball for the Villagers this season, was hurriedly signed on a few hours before kick-off.
Others were asked to play out of position and battled game fully throughout, while Adam Green, who would normally figure at right back, found himself leading the line in attack and scored his side’s goal, which turned out to be no more than a consolation in a 3-1 defeat.
In a week in which Percy Main’s off field problems had taken centre stage and had attracted the attentions of the football fraternity from near and far, there was a fairly gusty end to end wind and the pitch which was heavy in places, which contrived to spoil the game as a spectacle for the watching faithful, as both sides struggled to adapt.
Shankhouse had the benefit of the elements during the first half and the early minutes saw Main’s Rob Carr and Stewart Wright kick clear from the goal line as Kevin Westphal for the home side launched a well taken free kick and a corner into the visitors danger area.
The home side’s David Mason had a free kick cleared to the edge of the area and Westphal fired the loose ball just wide, while Elliott Mitchell, who impressed at the heart of the Villagers defence, made a telling challenge to thwart Lewis Coyle who looked to bear down on goal.
Percy Main’s defence held firm and Danny Nimmins in the visitors goal saved well from Westphal’s spectacular long range, wind assisted effort which was on target, while the closest Main came during the opening half was when Green almost profited from a defensive mix up, but Shankhouse managed to mop up the danger.
As the sides went in level and the game scoreless at the break, there were those present who may have thought that Main had done the hard bit as the wind had not abated and was now at the visitors backs.
That theory almost bore fruit at the onset of the second half as Jak Morris curled a shot just past the Shankhouse post, while Mathew Sneddon in the home goal was tested by Wright following good play by Green.
Nimmins saved well from Ben Turnbull, before Shankhouse took the lead on 57 minutes as Oliver Young found the net from an acute angle, whether the effort was meant as a shot or a cross was open to conjecture, but either way it seemed to inspire the visitors for a period as Wright had a shot cleared from the line himself and parity was restored nine minutes after Shankhouse’s opener, as Green, inside the six-yard box, headed home Ryan McKee’s left wing corner.
But Shankhouse were not to be denied as Young put his side back in front on 78 minutes as he got in front of Nimmins, and things went from bad to worse for Percy Main as Andrew Anderson scored his side’s third with seven minutes remaining.
Main pressed during the closing stages and Green went close to adding his second as he fired just past the post from Rob Watson’s flick on and Wright went close once more.
Percy Main hope for a good turnout for their home league game against Northbank Carlisle on Saturday, which will kick-off at 2pm, while all interested parties are reminded of the public meeting at Purvis Park on Sunday at 6pm for those who may be interested in assisting in the club’s survival.