THE first home game of the season back in August saw a very different looking Percy Main, then managed by Jason Ritchie, draw 1-1 with Ashington Colliers at Purvis Park.
On that occasion the visitors had snatched a point with an injury time leveller thanks to former Main forward Wyn Fremlin’s free kick.
On Saturday, only Kevin Westphall, Rob Rodgerson and Tony Browell turned out in claret and blue who had also represented Main in the earlier meeting, while following a brief stint at Seaton Delaval, Ritchie lined up for Ashington Colliers against his former club for the first time since his Percy Main departure six months ago.
It was not to be a game to rememberde for Ritchie who picked up a yellow card for a rash second half challenge on Mark Davies and was perhaps fortunate to have escaped similar disciplinary action from the referee following a reckless challenge on Tijan Kah as the Main forward showed his searing pace during the game’s early exchanges.
Kah may have ultimately proved to be Percy Main’s match winner, but the visitors were indebted to a superb point blank save by goalkeeper Rodgerson on the stroke of half-time to thwart what looked to be a certain goal for the Colliers.
During the early stages the Villagers’ Lindsay Collinson found himself handily placed to head from the line following Shaun Gibson’s in-swinging right wing corner, while at the other end Dan Lancaster’s long range volley from Tony Abladey’s knock down stung the palms of Colliers custodian Craig Towart.
The lively Abladey was proving himself a handful, firstly linking up well with the hard working Westphall, but his low effort with only Towart to beat was saved, and seconds later he sent a shot fizzing narrowly over the crossbar.
Rodgerson in the opposite goal had to be alert and was forced to go full length to palm David Brown’s 25-yard effort to safety, while Westphall and Abladey again went close for the Villagers.
As the clock ticked down towards the interval it seemed that Ashington would draw first blood as Brown’s deep cross from the left found Gibson and his downward header had goal written all over it until Rodgerson somehow managed to get across and tip the ball up against the underside of the crossbar and Collinson was on hand to hook clear.
This was undoubtedly Ashington’s best chance of the game as their second half attempts on goal saw Brown head wide, Ritchie’s free kick was fired straight into the hands of Rodgerson, while an audacious attempted overhead kick by the former Villagers player/manager was not far away.
A tactical switch proved the match winner for Percy Main as Abladey switched to the right flank with Kah taking his place through the middle.
Inside a crowded area, substitute Paul Newman on for Lancaster, laid the ball off to Abladey who brilliantly beat his man and engineered space to centre low for Kah who steered the ball home from ten yards to cheer those who had travelled from North Tyneside.
It was no more than Main deserved as Abladey chipped just past the post and Kah’s drive was well held by Towart.
Percy Main are at home to Stocksfield this Saturday at Purvis Park. Kick-off 2.30pm.