Percy Main secure promotion back to top flight at first time of asking

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Percy Main secured their place back in the Northern Alliance premier division at the first time of asking.

Following relegation at the end of last season, when they won only league four games, the Villagers bounced back in the best possible style and clinched promotion with a hard fought win over Blyth Isabella.

It has been a fantastic achievement for the team and in particular the coaching staff of Danny Nelson and Dave Addison, overseen expertly by team manager Richard Nugent, who have quietly gone about their business and worked tirelessly to mould together an exciting crop of mainly young players.

One or two astute signings have been brought in along the way and Percy Main have taken the division by storm, beginning the campaign with five straight victories back in August.

Main have won 19 of their 24 league games played to date, having scored 74 and conceded only 30, and they currently lead the division by 16 points from second placed AFC Newbiggin.

Consequently this Saturday’s home game against Wallsend BC Seniors will take on extra importance as it will see Main crowned champions should they win, regardless of results elsewhere.

It was a workmanlike performance which did the trick against Isabella, with a combination of the pitch and the elements not being conducive to good football and Main’s normal flowing style.

But the game proved once more that, like the 3-1 win at Newbiggin three weeks previous, the side are more than capable of turning in a gritty performance when the need arises.

And this turned out to be the case against a Blyth side who had shown recent form themselves having won three and drawn one of their last four.

Both Percy Main goals were scored by Jorge Bollado and came in the opening quarter of an hour.

Ryan McKee, who has excelled in Main’s midfield since his return to the side, sent over a left wing corner and the ball half cleared by the home defence fell to Bollado who slotted home through a crowded goalmouth.

Three minutes later the visitors were celebrating once more as the hard-working Stew Wright showed great effort down the left and crossed perfectly for Bollado who made no mistake.

Dan Carr, who had netted a hat-trick for Isabella when the sides met at Purvis Park earlier in the season but still found himself on the losing side, had no such luck this time around as his lofted shot on 27 minutes was well wide.

Percy Main had first half efforts on goal by Davey Surrey, Chris Laidlaw and Ryan Laws, with the latter’s effort bringing a full length save from Chris Stanwix in the Isabella goal.

Anthony Messenger in the Blyth attack had a shot blocked and fired just over the crossbar on the stroke of half-time, while at the other end Wright’s clever headed flick reached McKee who drilled inches the wrong side of the post.

Both sides struggled after the break, with goalscoring opportunities at a premium as the wind continued unabated.

Notable moments in the Blyth final third saw McKee play in Laidlaw, whose effort was tipped round the post for a corner by Stanwix, and Surrey’s shot struck the far upright, while Bollado looking to follow up was unable to take full advantage.

In reply, Andrew Davison for the home side sent in a cunning free kick from the left which ultimately evaded all.

Percy Main welcome promotion chasers Wallsend BC to Purvis Park this Saturday in a game which could hand Main their first league championship since the Alliance first division was last won at the end of the 1998-99 season. Kick-off is 2.30pm.