Whitley Bay A put Percy Main out of Challenge Cup

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Percy Main and Whitley Bay met for the third time already this season and once again, like the previous encounters the result went the way of the Hillheads Park side.

This time in the Bay Plastics Challenge Cup second round, both their crucial goals came inside the first quarter of an hour as it looked as though the hosts may go on to run up a more convincing scoreline.

The Main for their part could be happy with their performance after enjoying large spells of the possession, particularly during the second half, but apart from Darren Walsh’s 77th minute strike, they found themselves with little to show for their efforts having lacked that cutting edge in the final third.

Goalkeeper Dan Coyle, a recent signing from Northern Alliance premier division rivals Red House Farm, was awarded his first start for the Villagers, and the young custodian was not given any time to settle after finding himself called into action during the opening minutes of the game, clearing from the feet of Whitley forward Andrew Robertson, who had netted for the home side on both of the previous meetings.

Jack Taylor, who joined the Main from Blyth Town during the previous week, had to be content with a place on the bench, but took to the field during the latter stages as his side searched for an equaliser.

Percy Main were first to show with Dean Ellis prominent, firstly sending a shot from distance just off target, then sending a clever ball into the area to which Walsh overran.

But Whitley proved their standing near the top of the table with two goals within five minutes as firstly Michael Clement converted a low cross from the right and then Connor Johnson headed home Clement’s corner to stun the visitors.

The Villagers responded as Rob Ridley’s shot from distance was well held by the competent Michael Hammond under his crossbar, while Percy Main’s best move of the half saw Ridley feed Walsh out right, who expertly slipped his marker and crossed low for the onrushing Ridley, but once again the home goalkeeper made a diving save to thwart the visitors.

After the interval, Walsh, Chris Laidlaw and Dave Surrey had shots off target, while at the other end Whitley looked to add to their lead as Johnny Godsmark played in Clements whose goalbound effort was deflected behind, and from the resultant corner Josh Day headed over.

What turned out to be the Main’s consolation came as Ant Ridley played a long diagonal ball through to Walsh who caught the home defence napping and ran on to slot past Hammond.

Next Saturday Percy Main will chase league points and face Northbank Carlisle at Purvis Park with the earlier kick-off time of 2pm.