ONLY four weeks previous, Rutherford and Percy Main ground out a hard fought but equally merited 1-1 draw at Purvis Park as both sides carved out but ultimately failed to take their chances to win the game.
However, the latest encounter at Beggarswood saw the home side, standing three places and six points beneath the Villagers in the Northern Alliance premier division prior to kick-off, shade what was an even if uninspiring contest with a goal in each half.
The Main’s last outing, a 0-0 draw at Killingworth was ruined as a spectacle by a strong wind, and despite the improved weather, Saturday’s game went the same way as both sides frustratingly struggled to play fluent football in similar conditions.
Following encouraging recent form, this was to be Percy Main’s first reverse of 2012, and truth be told Rob McGregor in the Rutherford goal was rarely threatened during the 90 minutes as Gareth Allen’s side failed to score for the second week running.
Allen was further concerned by injuries which had led to the premature withdrawal of full backs Lindsay Collinson and Ryan Laws.
Rutherford’s Graeme Troughton, who was undoubtedly the pick of those on show, brought a save from Rob Rodgerson after seven minutes with a powerful drive to which the visiting custodian saved well with his feet.
At the other end McGregor handled competently from Laws’ free kick, and from his clearance into the Main half, Troughton took advantage of hesitancy in defence to play in Chris Morris whose shot gave Rutherford the lead.
The nearest Percy Main came to levelling in the first half came as Nkuriza Suaibu swivelled on the edge of the area and sent a shot which just cleared McGregors crossbar.
It was to be Suaibu’s last action as the centre forward was replaced by Luc Coiffait at the start of the second half in a bid to liven up Main’s attacking options.
It was Troughton who came closest to adding to his side’s tally after the interval.
First firing a free kick from just outside the area into the assembled wall, and then seeing his run and cross into the area deflected into the side netting.
Rutherford duly doubled their lead on 70 minutes with a goal out of nothing as a hopeful punt goalwards by Joe Hindmarch from some way out caught the wind and the ball sailed over Rodgerson’s head and into the net.
Coiffait caused a bit of consternation in the Rutherford defence by propelling a few of his trademark long throws into the area, one such fell to Kevin Westphal whose first time effort was inches over, while at the other end Rodgerson pulled off a full length save to deny Troughton, and the same forward was thwarted by James Leggett’s last ditch clearance.
This Saturday Percy Main find themselves on their travels once more when they face Shankhouse at Northburn inCramlington. Kick-off is 2pm.