Ring rusty Percy Main lose first game played in a month

Having not kicked ball in anger since January 18, it was perhaps somewhat inevitable that Percy Main would show a bit of ring rustiness in the game at Red House Farm on Saturday.

The home side moved themselves up to third in the table following Saturday’s result as they scored crucial early and late goals to effectively seal the contest.

Thankfully the wet weather which had affected more or less all of the regions’s clubs during the previous weeks had abated enough during the latter part of the week for the Kingston Park Road ground to be declared fit, although heavy in places.

The crossfield wind which had proved pivotal to drying the surface, also contrived to spoil the game as a spectacle and chill those watching, although Red House were definitely the better in adapting to the difficult conditions.

Percy Main had three new signings in the squad, former Wallsend Town players Graeme Smith and Ian Graham, who had both represented The Villagers in the recent past, while Connor Hoyle showed enough during his second half substitute appearance that he will be a decent acquisition to the squad.

With the elements in their favour Red House incredibly found themselves in front with barely 15 seconds on the clock as more or less straight from the kick-off Shane Brooks made ground down the right touch line and crossed for Michael Armstrong who fired unchallenged past the stricken Reece Dobie in the Main goal.

It certainly was not the start that The Villagers wanted and the home side continued to enjoy the bulk of the possession and looked to add to their tally with Armstrong in particular failing to take advantage of balls into the area from Martin Soulsby, who himself fired a free kick into the hands of Dobie.

Perhaps inevitably, with The Main struggling to make much headway in the Red House half of the pitch, the second goal arrived on 23 minutes and could really have been prevented.

A long ball into the area was met by Armstrong who got to the ball ahead of Dobie and squared to Michael Strachan who was left with the simplest of tasks of slotting home from inside the six-yard area.

As the half grew on Percy Main grew in confidence and pressed the home goal, Chris Laidlaw’s effort was well wide of the target and just before the interval Stewart Wright, who worked tremendously hard for his side, sent a looping shot from distance which was claimed from under the crossbar by home custodian Alex Curran.

Not long into the second half, Laidlaw was upended 25 yards out and Graham fired the subsequent free kick over, while Ryan McKee’s later free kick was well held by the alert Curran.

But The Villagers went on to throw themselves a lifeline as another McKee set-piece was fired goalwards, Graham’s shot was blocked and Wright lurking dangerously in the area was on hand to stab the loose ball home through a crowded goalmouth.

At the other end, Armstrong for Red House fired wide from Lee Brady’s right wing centre and substitute Paul Newton-Eddy shot straight at Dobie when well placed when he perhaps should have scored.

With Percy Main pressing during the latter stages, it seemed inevitable that there would be a further addition to the score and it duly came in the home side’s favour as Newton-Eddy atoned for his earlier miss by taking advantage of gaps in the Main’s defence to run on and fire past Dobie to seal his side’s win.

Next Saturday Percy Main will stage their first home league game of 2014 when Whitley Bay ‘A’ will visit Purvis Park for a 2pm kick-off.