Percy Main 0 Killingworth Town 1
Northern Alliance Premier Division
Percy Main could take credit from a much improved performance from last week’s insipid showing against AFC Newbiggin.
And with a bit of luck and better fortune in front of goal, may have snatched a share of the spoils.
But Killingworth will look on the result as another valuable win which has left them handily placed in the championship race.
The deadlock was broken with what surprisingly turned out to be the only goal of the game on eight minutes as Louis Howe took advantage of a long ball over the top, to fire home.
That lead was almost cancelled on the half hour as Chris Laidlaw’s effort beat the keeper, but was the wrong side of the post.
It was the visitors who were first out the blocks and threatened to overwhelm Percy Main, just as they had done almost 6 months previous when 3 goals inside the opening half hour had out paid to The Main’s Northumberland Benevolent Bowl hopes. Inside the first 5 minutes, Lee Hamilton headed into the hands of in form Villagers keeper Danny Nimmins and the home custodian made an impressive block to deny the same forward seconds later.
Killingworth were hampered by the early withdrawals of Scott Bamborough and Dean Ellis early on due to injury, Ellis a former Main player who had transferred earlier in the season had looked to impress on a return to his old stamping ground.
Nimmins displayed competent handling once more as he dealt with Lee Waugh’s long range free kick, while at the other end, a Jak Morris corner, headed goalwards by Stew Wright, was fired just past the post by Elliott Mitchell.
There was a let off for The Main on 27 minutes as Elliott was penalised for a foul on Waugh and Andrew Waugh’s low free kick somehow evaded 3 onrushing Killingworth attackers who just needed one of them to get the slightest of touches to double their lead.
Their was action at both ends in first half stoppage time as firstly The Main’s Wright touched on to Sam Thompson who struck a powerful shot from 20 yards to which Killingworth goalkeeper Daniel Regan managed to touch onto the post and Howe fired narrowly wide at the other end.
At the start of the second half, Andrew Waugh and Andrew McBride went close for the visitors, but The Main grew in confidence and Laidlaw saw his deflected effort scrambled behind by the goalkeeper and tried his luck again, but was once more thwarted by the visitors rearguard. Parity was almost restored on 74 minutes as Morris’s right wing centre, helped on by Laidlaw, fell to Thompson who checked back, but his shot was blocked.
Lee Waugh fired over for Killingworth as Chris Tate looked to provide an assist and Thompson again went close for the homesters, but there were further chances for Percy Main as James Mobberley’s free kick, headed on by Thompson just evaded Rob Watson and 2 minutes later, Laidlaw beat the offside trap and squared for Watson who had only been on the field a matter of minutes, but was unable to hit the target.
But if anything, it was the visitors who could have doubled their lead and made sure of the points during the closing stages as Lee Waugh crossed from the Wright and Nimmins made a superb reflex save with his feet to somehow deny Alex Henderson.
As the clock ticked down, Howe capitalised on a mistake down The Main’s left, but was only able to fire across the face of goal.