Main allowed unchallenged goal by referee

PERCY Main were allowed to score an unchallenged goal in their 2-1 win over Shankhouse on Saturday.

The home side let Kevin Westphal run clear from the centre spot to tap the ball past former Main custodian Rob Joyce to equalise following a highly contentious opening goal for the home side at Northburn Sports Centre in Cramlington.

Shankhouse’s goal was scored when a Main player was injured in a challenge during build-up play. As the referee had not blown his whistle, the home side played on and scored.

But the referee immediately made it clear Shankhouse had to allow the visitors an unchallenged equaliser.

Percy Main boasted a Bulgarian debutant in the shape of wide player Ivan Stoynhov, whose maiden run down the flank almost saw the Villagers draw first blood.

Stoynhov’s cross was controlled by Tony Abladey and the Main centre forward fed Kevin Westphal whose rising drive was brilliantly parried by the former Main custodian Rob Joyce.

At the other end, Main’s keeper Rob Rodgerson had cause to thank his goal frame for twice saving him.

Firstly as a free kick from the edge of the box struck the inside of the post, before being hacked clear, then minutes later Main captain James Leggett made a hash of a clearance and skewed the ball against his own bar before calming accepting the rebound and ushering the ball to safety.

Shankhouse took the lead in bizarre circumstances after 19 minutes. Main defenders Jevan Jull and Lindsay Collinson collided in the penalty area, leaving the latter completely prone.

As his team-mates rushed to the aid of the stricken full back, Shankhouse played on and the ball ended up in the net.

As the referee had not blown the whistle, the goal had to stand, however, he made it clear that Shankhouse had to allow Percy Main an unchallenged equaliser.

Play was held up for almost 40 minutes to allow for the arrival of an ambulance to take the now conscious Collinson to hospital.

At the resumption Westphal scored the unchallenged equalised and added what proved to be the winner less than 60 seconds later.

The sunshine had been replaced by torrential rain and fierce wind.

With the elements at their backs, the Main seized the initiative with Stoynhov again charging down the left. His cross was punched away by Joyce, only for Westphal to seize on the loose ball and drive it home.

Shankhouse attempted to come again and Rodgerson was forced to swiftly nip the ball from the toes of the dangerous former Percy Main front man Dean Porter, though Tony Burnell almost made it 3-1 at half-time when his goal bound shot was deflected for a corner.

Following the intense activity of the first period, the second half was something of a non-event.

Jull, who gave an assured performance at centre half, almost extended the lead with a speculative overhead shot.

Despite a period of intense pressure in the last ten minutes, the final chance again went to Percy Main when Stoynhov’s low drive was held by Joyce.

The sides meet again on Saturday in a Pin Point Recruitment Northern Alliance premier division game, with Main this time the hosts. Kick-off at Purvis Park is 2.30pm.