Once again Percy Main disappoint in cup competitions

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Although pre-match favourites to win the game, Percy Main put out what was undoubtedly their poorest performance of the season against Lindisfarne CP at The Rising Sun Welfare.

Subsequently they went out of the Bill Gardner trophy at the semi-final stage against a more determined home side who will now face Ponteland United in the final, which will ironically be played at Purvis Park on May 4.

Still smarting from the previous week’s biggest defeat of the season at Newcastle University, the Villagers were looking to return to winning ways and claim their first piece of silverware since 2011.

But instead, despite their rich run of form and goal scoring exploits of late, they failed to score for only the second time this season.

Main, despite leading the Northern Alliance first division since the start of the season, have not found cup competitions to their liking, having exited the Northumberland Senior Bowl, League and Combination cups at the first hurdle, and extra time was needed to see off Whitburn who were also lower ranked opposition in the previous round of the Bill Gardner trophy, while Lindisfarne who are pressing for promotion from the second division clearly fancied their chances.

The only other time the sides had met had been in a pre-season run out at Purvis Park before the current campaign and Lindisfarne, who play their football a division lower, won 2-0 and were full value for their victory, so no one in Percy Main colours was taking the game lightly.

The biting cross-field wind threatened to have an impact, but the home side were first to adapt as Liam Mulligan won a corner and from Ross Seaman’s flag kick, Pete Lowery saw his header tipped over by Rob Rodgerson in the Main goal.

Little was seen of the Villagers’ attacking intentions as a couple of free kicks lofted into the area by Davey Surrey were easily dealt with by the Lindisfarne back four, who had a sterling game throughout.

The deadlock was broken in the 24th minute as Grant Richardson beat the offside trap and finding himself one-on-one with Rodgerson, saw his first effort foiled by the goalkeeper, but the home forward managed to bundle the ball home from the rebound and offside claims were brushed away by the officials.

The start of the second half saw Dan Sneap make ground down the right, but Graham Allen blazed over for Percy Main, while at the other end a defensive lapse presented Michael Hedley with a great chance to double Lindisfarne’s lead, but Rodgerson made a vital save to keep his side in the game.

Main pressed around the hour mark as Sneap produced a mazy run into the area, but his shot was easily dealt with by Andrew Toothill in the home goal, while Allen again was off target from Ant Ridley’s left wing cross.

Perhaps if either of those half chances had have counted things may have been different, but when Lindisfarne’s Jonny Storey laid the ball off to substitute Mark Wilkinson who curled a low effort inside Rodgerson’s far post on 65 minutes, it seemed as though the game was in the bag for the home side.

Main’s woes were compounded eight minutes later as they committed themselves and pushed forward. The ball broke and Lindisfarne’s front line raced clear, and finding themselves three against one, a neat interchange between Seaman and Steven Thompson was finished off as the former fired home to give the home side the victory they deserved.

Percy Main return to league matters this Saturday and will look to get back to winning ways with an important home game against Hexham. Kick-off at Purvis Park is 2pm.