Percy Main progressed to the second round of the Bill Gardner Trophy following an emphatic win over Northern Alliance second division side Wideopen and District, who despite the eventual scoreline were happy with their side’s showing on an emotional day at Purvis Park.
Main were saddened by the death on Armistice Day of popular committee member Norman Rodgerson, who was the eldest of three generations of Rodgerson’s at the club.
The match was preceded by an immaculately observed minute’s silence, with floral tributes laid by the club and players on the pitch.
Despite leading the table for much of the season, Percy Main have not found cup competitions to their liking, having exited the Northumberland Senior Bowl, league and combination cups at the first hurdle, but there was to be no repeat once Ryan McKee’s 27th minute opener had put the home side in front and the end result was never in doubt.
It was a game in which the home side were not firing on all cylinders and could perhaps consider the final verdict more as a job done rather than reflect on a resounding success scenario, but nonetheless the home side were happy to progress.
The previous day’s rain, which had led to the postponement of three of the day’s Northern Alliance fixtures, had thankfully given way to a dry day and the Purvis Park pitch was in perfect condition.
The opening minutes saw both goalkeepers in action as Wideopen’s Callum Hayes kicked clear from the on-rushing Chris Laidlaw and his opposite number Rob Rodgerson had to be alert to claim from Stephen Passey as Michael Old looked to profit.
Percy Main gradually gained a grip on the game. Joe Betts fired just past the post and minutes later Ryan Laws played the ball out wide on the right to Adam Green and his measured centre saw Betts goal bound header tipped over the crossbar by Hayes.
The opener when it came was more or less out of nothing as McKee picked up a loose ball outside the area and fired home a low shot which deceived the goalkeeper.
The visitors replied as Gavin Wood headed Passey’s free kick just wide, but with ten minutes of the first half remaining McKee struck his and Percy Main’s second of the afternoon with a long range effort which took a wicked deflection on its way in.
The action continued in the visitors half, Laidlaw through on goal hit the post and blazed the rebound wide and Hayes pulled off an impressive save from Sam Thompson before Main went three up on the stroke of half-time with a great bit of build-up which culminated in Laws’ centre to the far post and this time Laidlaw made no mistake.
Percy Main went further ahead not long into the second half as Betts made ground down the right and his low cross was inadvertently diverted into his own net by the unfortunate Wood.
More or less right from the restart Wideopen hit what turned out to be only a consolation as Jarrod Dowd sent over a speculative cross-shot from just outside the angle which deceived Rodgerson.
Jorge Bollado, whose 85th minute strike had won last week’s game at Hexham for Percy Main, was introduced to the fray and looked to make a similar impact and his first effort was just too high, but Betts was to have the final say and scored the goal his performance deserved, with Laws once again providing the ammunition for Betts to finish in style.