Former players on target to beat Percy Main

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Northern Alliance premier division leaders Blyth Town saw off the determined challenge of Percy Main to consolidate their position at the top.

But despite creating the lions share of the goal scoring opportunities, they were pushed all the way by The Villagers who were ultimately left with nothing to show for their efforts.

In their starting line-up, Blyth had Scott Pocklington, Ian Lee and Malcolm Morien, who had all represented Main in the recent past.

And typically it was Lee and Morien who netted the all important goals for the home side, while Pocklington played a key role in many of their forays into the visitors final third of the field.

Main for their part, fielded no less than six players who had previously figured in Blyth Town colours or were based in the area, while Shaun Galbraith, who has managed at both clubs, was an interested spectator.

The game was one of only two played in the division as the previous day’s heavy rain had forced the postponement of many of the day’s fixtures, and the South Newsham pitch although playable, cut up considerably during the course of the afternoon.

Stewart Wright, a recent signing from Seaton Delaval, made his first start in a Percy Main shirt and partnered Curtis Miller in his side’s attack, while Jordan Miller took his place alongside Dean Ellis in the visitors midfield.

With the wind at their backs during the first half, Blyth looked to seize an early advantage as Morien’s header from Ian Herron’s free kick skimmed the top of the crossbar, and Josh Miller headed Herron’s corner just past the far post.

In reply, Ellis played in Curtis Miller who steered his shot just wide of the target with goalkeeper Mathew Crook bearing down.

The deadlock was broken on 23 minutes in Blyth’s favour as Pocklington broke rapidly down the left flank, fed David Atkinson and his low centre found Lee who converted from close range.

Pocklington then brought a smart save from Reece Dobie in the Villagers goal, while Morien drove the ball across the face of goal and Atkinson headed Lee’s cross into the hands of Dobie.

Percy Main started the second half in determined fashion and went close to levelling as Micky Haley found himself well positioned from Wright’s pass, but fired wide of the target, while Wright himself powered a header inches past the upright from Chris Laidlaw’s flag kick.

More encouraging play from the visitors saw Jordan Miller just fail to get on the end of Ant Ridley’s diagonal ball into the area and Curtis Miller was foiled by Crook who was first to the ball.

As play swung to the other end, Morien fired a powerful drive just over the angle, while substitute Connor Andrews raced clear and elected to pass, when he was perhaps better placed to have shot himself and The Main’s defence were able to clear the danger.

Blyth wrapped the game up with a second goal on 81 minutes and it was a superb finish by Morien who connected well to David Robinson’s right wing cross by powering home a half volley from 12 yards to which Dobie could do nothing about.

This Saturday Percy Main travel to Wheatridge Park to take on Seaton Delaval in another league game, kick-off is 2pm.