Percy Main extended their winning run and strengthened their lead at the top of the Northern Alliance first division with a 6-0 win against New Fordley at Purvis Park, which was as emphatic as the scoreline suggests.
What was equally as pleasing to the management team was the manner in which the victory was achieved as they played some superb football throughout and at times left the opposition chasing shadows.
They richly deserved the applause at the final whistle.
The win meant Main have now won their last five games, hitting 27 goals during that run, while the division’s meanest defence by some distance, rarely looked like being breached, except for a Kieran Pyle effort which hit the post in the 65th minute.
Sam Thompson, the Villagers’ 11-goal top scorer, found himself on the bench due to a niggling knee injury, but Steve Hart proved an able deputy and took less than 30 seconds to help create the first goal.
Those who had come to watch had barely taken their places as Hart cleverly outwitted his marker on the left touchline and found Dave Surrey, whose early ball in to Joe Betts saw Main’s centre forward coolly slot past the dive of Chris Cuthbertson in the New Fordley goal.
Play centred around the visitors final third as Redmond Cockburn fired over, and Betts and Surrey went close before Cuthbertson made a superb diving save to thwart Ryan McKee whose shot from distance seemed destined for the top corner and had goal written all over it.
The respite for the visitors was not to last as the creative McKee, who had a sterling game in midfield, threaded the ball through to Surrey who, faced with the advancing Cuthbertson, finished with aplomb.
At the other end Alan Storey headed over from Pyle’s right wing corner in what was more or less New Fordley’s only threat on goal during the first half.
Main went three to the good just past the half hour mark as Adam Green threaded a great ball from the right through to Surrey who, still left with much to do, ran on to fire past the goalkeeper.
Cuthbertson was again the hero for New Fordley on 37 minutes after pulling off a point blank save from Micky Haley, but perhaps inevitably the fourth goal duly arrived a minute later as Green, in his first season in senior football and who has been a real find for Percy Main this season, cut in from the right and fired a fierce low drive which gave the goalkeeper no chance.
The Villagers started the second half as they had the first and found themselves five ahead only a minute in.
Dan Sneap provided the ammunition from the right and Hart finished clinically from close range.
But the expected goal avalanche failed to materialise as the visitors, to their credit, defended doggedly and played their part in what was a highly entertaining game.
The industrious Cockburn, whose previous efforts had been restricted to shots from distance, endeavoured to get himself on the scoresheet, but saw his goal bound header cleared from beneath the crossbar and scrambled behind for a corner, while New Fordley almost gained a consolation as Andy Malone played in Pyle and his low shot cannoned off the inside of the upright and rebounded to safety.
Only a minute later Chris Thompson sent a dipping free kick just over Reece Dobie’s crossbar.
Percy Main’s Sneap tormented the visitors defence throughout the second half in particular and was unlucky not to score following a mazy run which left defenders training in his wake, but his shot was just the wrong side of the post.
Cuthbertson again earned his corn to save the same forward’s effort on 81 minutes.
But his efforts were not to go unrewarded and as the game drew to its conclusion, Haley played a defence splitting through ball to which Sneap controlled well and fired his side’s sixth of the afternoon past Cuthbertson, giving the goalkeeper no chance.
This Saturday, Percy Main stage an attractive Northumberland Senior Bowl match as Northern Alliance premier division side Red House Farm, who currently sit in second place in the table, arrive at Purvis Park for a 2pm kick-off.