Although not a disaster by any means, the game’s final outcome dealt a severe body blow to Percy Main’s hopes of remaining in the Northern Alliance Premier Division next season, while giving Hebburn a massive boost in their own hopes to beat the drop.
It is still not known how many, indeed, if any, clubs will be relegated to the Alliance’s middle tier at the end of the season due to events which have affected other clubs during the course of the current campaign, but the result means that Percy Main’s destiny is now not in their own hands.
Prior to the game, The Main were five points better off than their South Tyneside rivals with one tricky-looking game at Carlisle City still to play in a fortnight’s time, while following Saturday’s game, Hebburn were still to face Killingworth and Shankhouse, which meant that an away victory would have ensured that Hebburn could not have caught The Villagers.
The Main’s improved form of late was mostly not in evidence on his showing, while in contrast Reyrolle looked anything but a side which had propped up the table for more or less the whole season, having conceded 86 goals from 25 league games played and showed the greater passion and desire to win.
Critically and agonisingly for The Main, and not for the first time this season, Hebburn’s second and third match-winning goals, came during the last five minutes of the game as The Villagers surrendered what would have been a well-received and worthwhile point.
That desire was in evidence more or less from the off as Hebburn’s Peter Henderson fired narrowly over, before the home side went in front only two minutes in, following an uncharacteristic slip from Percy Main custodian Chris Bannon. Aiden McCaffery fired home from close range.
Parity was restored on 75 minutes as Joe Elliott’s deep throw-in was lashed venomously home by Thompson from near the penalty spot, as at least a point looked to be on the cards for Percy Main. However the attacking initiative was not maintained and it was the home side who upped the anti and finished the stronger.
The deadlock didn’t last as Murray crossed for Smith to head home giving his side the lead again. Smith then headed narrowly over before the scoring was completed in injury-time as Henderson wriggled clear down the byline and crossed for Murray to fire his side’s third.
Percy Main have no game this Saturday and will complete the season with an away game at Carlisle City on Saturday, May 3.