Percy Main beaten by in-form Shankhouse

In-form Shankhouse inflicted another defeat on Percy Main in a game in which the strong end to end wind which persisted throughout did its best to ruin the game as a spectacle.

The visitors, who last week clinched their place in the final of the Northumberland Senior Bowl at the expense of Northern League promotion hopefuls Blyth Town after penalty kicks, were in no mood to rest on their laurels and facing quite a hectic fixture backlog were determined to peruse the points on offer to gain ground on those at the top end of the table.

The Main, who seem to have found themselves up against in-form or table topping sides of late, caused Shankhouse a few problems, especially during the latter stages of the game, while it was pleasing to see Matty Robinson’s two-goal second half haul, which were his first since signing for the club from Seaton Delaval in September 2012.

The Villagers were endeavouring to avenge a 2-0 defeat in the corresponding league game at Shankhouse’s Action Park back in August, but with the elements at their backs during the first half, Paul Dunn for the visitors sent out a warning only two minutes in with a fizzing effort from just outside the area which just cleared Rob Rodgerson’s crossbar.

It was Percy Main who could and perhaps should have opened the scoring soon after as Chris Laidlaw made ground down the left flank and his deep cross to the far post was headed inches off target by the on-rushing Scott Purcell at full stretch, who was making his first appearance for the club.

Perhaps inevitably Shankhouse hit back with a vengeance and took the lead with 12 minutes on the clock as Jordan Walsh’s shot was blocked for a corner and Phillip Cartwright’s wind assisted in-swinging flag kick was touched home by the perfectly placed Dunn.

The Main countered and a sweeping right to left cross-field move saw Dan Sneap touch on to Rob Watson, who was no stranger to finding the net during his time at Cullercoats, but this time his drive just cleared the angle.

Using the elements to their advantage, the visitors hit two goals in three minutes midway through the half to put themselves firmly in the driving seat.

Firstly Dunn beat the offside trap and evaded his marker to slot home his second of the afternoon, and then following a succession of corners, Chris Rue’s measured centre was glanced home at the near post by Peter Snowdon.

Things almost got worse for Percy Main with the half-time whistle approaching as Joel Arnold touched Cartwright’s free kick just wide of the upright.

But the visitors added a fourth on 46 minutes as Gary Yates drilled home through a crowd of players, with Cartwright once again claiming an assist from another corner.

The Villagers, using the wind to their advantage, saw Purcell fire across the face of goal, while substitute Robinson, on for Sneap, also went close.

Robinson then reduced the deficit in the 73rd minute with a low free kick from 25 yards which deceived Rikki Donaldson in the Shankhouse goal, then repeated the feat eight minutes later by scoring direct from a corner, which the wind once again played its part.

Further Percy Main pressure saw Laidlaw’s effort deflected behind, while Robinson almost completed his hat-trick with another corner kick which was headed from underneath the crossbar by a defender.

Percy Main are at home again this Saturday and face Wallington at Purvis Park, kick-off is 2.30pm.