BLYTH Town remain unbeaten after 18 Northern Alliance premier division games and after their comprehensive 5-1 win at Purvis Park over Percy Main, it is easy to see why.
The score suggests a humbling for Shaun Galbraith’s Villagers in the first of five successive home games, but the reality was different.
At half-time, Blyth Town led by a single, contentious goal, as the two sides matched each other during an even, competitive opening period.
The visitors boasted no less than four former Percy Main players, though none of them were particularly involved in Blyth’s goals.
Up front Ian Lee had few opportunities and was withdrawn in the second half, while his replacement John Amos did not fully involve himself in the game.
In midfield, Malcolm Morien, who played with such distinction for the Villagers, failed to find his range when shooting, twice putting efforts out of the ground, while former player manager Jason Ritchie’s first involvement was to collect a yellow card in the third minute for a trip on Mickey Haley on the edge of the box.
Scott Pocklington took the resultant kick and keeper Scott Earl was forced to tip the ball behind for the first of a long series of corners won by the home side in the opening exchanges.
Possession wise, Percy Main were well on top during the first 30 minutes, but struggled to fashion any real chances against an obdurate Blyth rearguard until Adrian Watson unleashed a venomous volley that was unfortunately directly at Earl, who clutched the ball to his chest.
Moments later, Blyth took the lead in controversial circumstances.
The ball seemed clearly out of play behind the dead ball line for a goal kick, but the officials seemed unsighted and allowed play to continue, much to the chagrin of the Percy Main defence who had ignored the golden rule of playing to the whistle and stood frozen to the spot while Chris Lyle lashed the ball home.
Despite long and impassioned protests to the officials, the goal was allowed to stand and Blyth had the lead from their first serious attempt.
Percy Main were initially stunned by this piece of misfortune, but twice attempted to get themselves level.
Firstly, Mickey Haley nodded just wide from a corner when unmarked at the back post and then Adrian Watson broke in to the box, but his shot was charged down and so the half ended with Blyth a goal up and Percy Main still very much in the contest.
Sadly, the second period showed exactly why Blyth are where they are in the table as the visitors upped their energy levels immediately, doubling their advantage through a classy Beresford finish.
He calmly passed the ball across Rob Rodgerson and in to the net after a mazy dribble and classy exchange of passes.
The fine margins between success and failure were brutally exposed when Chris Bell almost halved the deficit with a fine, low drive that Earl turned round his post.
The Blyth keeper collected the resulting corner and fed Beresford, who advanced and finished calmly in to the corner to put the game out of the home side’s reach on the hour mark.
Any illusions Percy Main may have had of being able to mount a comeback were snuffed out when Earl saved a Pocklington penalty with his feet, after the strong-running Main man had been chopped down in the area.
Blyth made it 4-0 on 73 minutes when John Iveson powered in a header from a corner and the visitors made it 5-0 when Beresford robbed Jordan Miller on the edge of the area, before completing his hat-trick.
It could have been worse as Beresford charged forward immediately afterwards and placed a delicious lob on to the top of the bar, with Rodgerson beaten.
However, much to Percy Main’s credit, they did not give up and James Leggett headed home from a corner after 80 minutes.
Substitute Declan King was afforded a golden chance to further reduce the arrears, but he missed his kick in the box and the chance was gone.
Percy Main must now try to regroup and claim points when Harraby United visit Purvis Park on Saturday, April 20, kick-off 2.30pm.