Goal helps Main to winning ways

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Despite leaving it late, table toppers Percy Main got back to winning ways with a hard-fought win at Hexham’s Wentworth Park ground, thanks to substitute Jorge Bollardo’s late goal which put paid to a spirited home side whose performance on the day certainly belied their position in the league table.

Bollardo had signed on a transfer from Northern Alliance Second Division side Forest Hall only two days prior to the game and following his introduction to the fray, took only 10 minutes to make what turned out to be a most telling contribution. as his 85th minute strike sealed the points for the Villagers.

This Saturday, Percy Main return to cup action and will face Wideopen at Purvis Park in the first round of the Bill Gardner Trophy. Please note kick off is at the earlier time of 1.30pm

There was little to chose from between the sides during the opening exchanges with goalmouth action at a premium. Almost 20 minutes had passed before Ryan Laws sent a free kick over the Hexham crossbar, while Redmond Cockburn was perhaps lucky not to find himself in the referee’s notebook following a challenge on Marco Fleitas to which Patrick McAlindon also directed the subsequent free kick too high.

Hexham’s Tony Lancaster then fired into the hands of Rob Rodgerson in The Main’s goal, while at the other end. Betts took advantage of an attempted clearance by a home defender which cannoned off his team mate leaving Betts with a run on goal, but as he attempted to round goalkeeper Sean Heads the forward miscontrolled as the ball seemed to hold up in the sticky surface.

Hexham’s best chance of the first half came seconds before the interval as Steven Coates threaded the ball down the left flank to Lancaster who squared to George Ridley but his goal bound shot was tipped over the bar by Rodgerson.

The home side started the second half the stronger, Michael Robson’s 25 yard piledriver was held by Rodgerson and Percy Main’s Micky Haley who excelled in defence twice made telling challenges in the area, firstly to thwart Lancaster who looked odds on to score having latched into an errant back pass and minutes later got a vital touch as Thomas North threatened.

The game opened up as both sides endeavoured to break the deadlock, The Main pressed as Dan Sneap advanced into the area and fed Laws who touched on to Cockburn and his shot just cleared the crossbar and the visitors came closest on the hour as Sneap once more made ground down the right and fired goalwards, Laws tried a spectacular overhead kick which fell to Ant Ridley, but Heads somehow produced a remarkable point blank save from close range to preserve the stalemate.

Robson again went close for Hexham, but the only goal of the game arrived in the 85th minute as Laws squared to Bollardo who with more or less his first touch, turned superbly to volley into the bottom corner of the net. It had take a slight deflection on the way, but none of the visiting contingent cared too much.

Any ideas that the goal would prove the match winner were almost dashed 3 minutes later as a goalmouth scramble in the Main area saw North smack the ball against the post and with hearts in mouths, Robson following up, saw his shot kicked from the line by Haley.

This Saturday, Percy Main return to cup action and will face Wideopen at Purvis Park in the first round of the Bill Gardner Trophy. Please note kick off is at the earlier time of 1.30pm