Ritchie signs off with a goal and three points

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PERCY Main chalked up their third away win of the season with a comprehensive victory over Stocksfield.

This was to be Main player/manager Jason Ritchie’s last game in charge of the Villagers following three successful seasons at the helm and he named himself as captain, weighing in with his side’s third goal from the penalty spot.

Once Jon McEnaney had given his side an early lead, the end result was never in doubt.

Ritchie urged his team on from defence and any early nerves among the visitors were settled when Ashley Smyth centred from the right and McEnaney controlled well and steered the ball home.

Minutes later, Malcolm Morien looked to double the Main’s lead with a run from midfield and shot which whistled inches past the upright.

Just past the quarter hour mark Percy Main went two up with Smyth turning provider once more with a clever flick. This time it was Craig Ewart to profit as his smart turn and finish gave goalkeeper Owen Little no chance.

Stocksfield threw themselves a lifeline as Declan Stokes’ right wing corner was half cleared back to the same player and his second chance to cross into the danger area, struck the hand of Ewart when it appeared he was protecting his face.

Despite the protests, referee Paul Best pointed to the spot and Phil Murray dispatched the kick.

Not to be outdone and with half-time approaching, Percy Main restored their two-goal advantage as Smyth’s mazy run into the area, was halted abruptly by a combination of the home defence and goalkeeper. Ritchie duly converted.

Little produced a vital touch to thwart Tony Abladey, on as a second half substitute, but was powerless to prevent the goal of the game in the 83rd minute as tremendous vision by John Amos picked out Abladey, who fired home an unstoppable effort from the edge of the area.

There was still time for Ritchie to have the final say as his pin-point left footed free kick found the head of Morien, who beat Little from ten yards.

Stocksfield’s Phil Murray saw red in the dying moments for a stamp on Chris Locke.

This Saturday Percy Main are at home to Ponteland United in the League Challenge Cup, kick-off is at the earlier time of 2pm.

Percy Main thanked Jason and Mick Ritchie for their sterling efforts during the past three seasons, which have seen the club promoted back to the Alliance top flight, with silverware won in the Northumberland Senior Benevolent Bowl and the Combination Cup.

Gareth Allen takes immediate charge of team affairs.