Contentious penalty equaliser denies Percy Main

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PERCY Main manager Shaun Galbraith saw Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Seaton Delaval as two points dropped rather than a point gained.

Michael Fenwick’s contentious leveller from the penalty spot ten minutes from time gave Delaval an unlikely share of the points in a the game in which Percy Main had carved out the lions share of goalscoring opportunities, without finding the killer touch in front of goal.

Main still smarting from a poor showing which had culminated in a 4-1 reverse at relegation threatened Hebburn Reyrolle during their last run out a fortnight ago, were forced to contend without the unavailable Scott Pocklington and Adrian Watson, while Rob Rodgerson returned to take his place in goal as the injured Rob McGregor was forced to watch from the sidelines.

Kevin Westphal, last season’s player and players’ player of the year for Main, who had transferred to Delaval earlier this season, lined up against his former side, while front runner Ray Oshin who had also briefly represented the Villagers during the current campaign, was also included.

The first half certainly belonged to Percy Main, who dominated possession and created quite a few notable chances which ultimately went begging.

That said, it was Rodgerson in the visitors goal who was the first to be called into action, as he raced from his area to kick clear from the feet of the on-rushing Robert Haney who was bearing down on goal with only two minutes on the clock.

Play soon switched to the other end and Seaton Delaval custodian Nial Harrison distinguished himself twice within a minute, firstly blocking a Chris Glass effort following clever play by Chris Bell down the right, and then pulled off an acrobatic diving save to thwart James Leggett as Ryan Laws’ centre was flicked on by Bell.

On the quarter hour mark Rodgerson parried well from Mason Stephenson as the home forward bore down on goal from the right, while in reply Laws sent a dipping effort just wide from the corner of the area and Leggett headed into the side netting following another flag kick.

Redmond Cockburn and Dean Ellis went close to breaking the deadlock for Percy Main before Laws’ deep right wing corner evaded all including Harrison and struck the far post before being cleared to safety by the grateful home defence.

Percy Main continued in the same vein after the half-time break as Jordan Miller, who had put in a more than useful shift in his side’s midfield, played an astute defence splitting ball through for Bell who fired just over, and minutes later Leggett again went close from a Laws corner.

It was perhaps no surprise when Main did eventually take the lead just past the hour mark, as the industrious Cockburn made room down the right and his low centre was met perfectly by Bell who steered the ball home.

This was no more than Percy Main deserved and it appeared that at last the visitors were to gain just rewards for their efforts.

The home side went for experience and introduced old hands Tony Woodhouse, David Brotherick and Fenwick to the fray, and it was the latter who threatened and almost made an instant impact for his side, by testing Rodgerson with a shot from Michael Dunworth’s free kick and then fired over from Oshin’s lay off.

With the clock ticking down, controversy reigned in the 80th minute as the ball was fired goalwards into the area and it struck the arm of Dean Ellis from close range. Following loud appeals from the home side and after consulting with his assistant, the referee pointed to the spot and Fenwick made no mistake with the kick.

There was to be no further scoring during the game and the visiting contingent were left to debate the spot kick, which gave the home side the share of the spoils.

Percy Main face a stiff test this Saturday as championship hopefuls Blyth Town, who are currently standing second in the table, arrive at Purvis Park for a 2.30pm kick-off.