A WEEK previous, Percy Main had launched an onslaught of the Walker Central goal in the opening half at Monchester Green but had failed to notch even a single goal for all their efforts in the first 45 minutes.
As a result, the home side’s self-belief grew after the break and clinical finishing of their own, despite an eye-catching Tony Abladey goal, meant Percy Main were eventually subdued with relative ease by a more clinical Walker outfit.
In Saturday’s game at Purvis Park, Gatehead Rutherford were even more dominant and even more profligate than the Main had been the Saturday before, while the second half turnaround was both severe and unfair on the visitors.
The final scoreline of 4-0 is scarcely credible, yet Abladey was denied by a brilliant penalty save by Rob McGregor, while the score was 0-0 and also had a header cleared from the line in the last seconds.
In addition, a seemingly more clear-cut penalty for a foul on Chris Bell meant the actual score line could have been even more emphatic in Main’s favour.
Despite torrential rain, the pitch at Purvis Park held up well in the conditions and the game was never in any danger, unlike the Main goal in the opening exchanges.
In front of a damp but expectant crowd that huddled under the pavilion cover, Rutherford, including highly-rated ex-Hebburn Reyrolle man Ray Oshin, belied their status as the side propping up the division, having lost all four of their opening games, by launching an uncompromising onslaught on the Villagers goal.
A fizzing Chris Doig effort that shaved the bar in the opening moments was out of keeping with the tenor of the game.
Three times in the opening quarter of an hour, Danny Hill broke through and fired inches wide.
Twice he galloped down the right and shot across Rob Rodgerson, only for the ball to roll agonisingly wide of the far post, while on the third occasion, he tapped a cross wide of the same upright when attacking it from the inside left channel.
Rutherford were all over Percy Main, and Kevin Westphal’s short free kick that was almost forced in by Tony Abladey was an infrequent moment of relief for a beleaguered home rearguard.
As 20 minutes elapsed, Ray Oshin hammered an effort in to the midriff of Rodgerson, having found himself unmarked in the centre of the field.
A procession of Rutherford chances came and went, but the Main goal lived a charmed life and a period of scrappy play ensued.
It suited the home side as they began to exert a measure of control as the half wore on, with Bell and then Westphal both being denied by keeper McGregor near the interval.
In the second half, Lindsay Collinson, who had suffered a severe blow in the face during Wednesday’s win over Wallsend Town, underlined his status as the club’s unluckiest player, when being forced off with a hamstring pull.
In his place, Dean Ellis came on and continued the superb work established by Collinson, completely tying up the right hand flank and putting the Main’s case as an attacking force equally persuasively.
Ellis sent Bell through on the hour, but despite appearing to have his legs swept from under him, no penalty was awarded.
Moments later the Main did have a spot kick when Dean Morgan was adjudged to have been barged out of the way of a corner kick.
The award seemed marginal and justice was perhaps served when Abladey’s firm spot kick was brilliantly saved by McGregor.
Such heroics were eventually in vain as, seemingly out of nowhere, a four-goal blast sent Rutherford back to Lobley Hill with nothing and propelled the Villagers up to sixth in the table, though immediately after the penalty save, Rodgerson made a point blank smothering save from Oshin to keep the game scoreless.
The breakthrough came on 65 minutes when Bell emphatically drilled a low shot in to the net under the despairing dive of McGregor.
Rutherford tried to respond, but James McCoy spurned a gilt-edged chance by heading wastefully wide when well positioned.
Chris Doig, known more for his blistering pace and incisive crossing rather than his aerial technique, showed him how it should be done with a stooping header from a sublime flicked Abladey cross to give the home team undeserved breathing space.
Gloss came on to the scoreline with a brace of Mark Davies goals.
The first began in bizarre fashion when Ryan Laws stumbled on to a loose ball, controlling it with his chest as he fell, before feeding Westphal whose delicious defence splitting pass gave Davies the chance to open his account for the season.
No sooner had the visitors kicked off than Abladey had fed Davies, who waltzed round McGregor and finished beautifully to make it 4-0.
The final act saw Abladey’s header from a well stood up Michael Durrant cross cleared from the line as the Main recorded their biggest home win since a 9-0 success on May 21, 2011, against Rutherford.
After Wednesday night’s visit to Hillheads to play Whitley Bay A, Percy Main are again on their travels on Saturday when they visit Ashington Colliers.