With the euphoria of promotion and the Northern Alliance first division championship having been secured in some style during the previous couple of weeks, Percy Main could perhaps have been excused for turning in an uncharacteristically below par performance.
In what was generally a poor game the Villagers went down 1-0 at Bedlington’s Welfare Park ground.
There was an air of familiarity about the place, in the home dug out was former Main manager Shaun Galbraith, while Bedlington also named Dean Ellis, Jordan Miller and Darren Walsh among those who had represented Main during the none too distant past.
Typically, Miller went on to net the only goal of the game and Ellis, who had played his football at Purvis Park for five seasons before his switch, was the best player on the park by some distance.
Prior to the game, Main had won 80 per cent of their league games played to date, scoring an average of three goals per game and having beaten every one of the division’s sides on the way to securing promotion back to the league’s premier division at the first time of asking.
Yet this time around they failed to trouble Bedlington goalkeeper David Stewart throughout the game as the visitors could not muster a single shot on target.
Missing from the Percy Main attack was Jorge Bollado and the unavailable top scorer Dan Sneap, who has netted 15 times from 20 appearances this term, while Sam Thompson and Stew Wright, who have also impressed of late, were ruled out due to injury. Other absentees from the squad meant coach Danny Nelson was named on the bench.
A scrappy opening half saw neither side manage to get a grip on the game. Bedlington’s Kieran Hills headed over from Miller’s right wing centre, while on the half hour mark Miller himself saw his snap shot just clear Reece Dobie’s crossbar.
Little was seen of the visitors’ offensive intentions, with Adam Green’s shot which was charged down on the edge of the area on 41 minutes as the only attempt which could vaguely been described as a attempt on goal.
Bedlington went close just before the hour mark as Green denied Miller at the expense of a corner and from Dan Gray’s flag kick Ellis’s header was desperately headed from under the crossbar.
Main’s best and only chance came on 67 minutes as Chris Laidlaw centred for Graham Allen in space, but his header was wide of the mark.
A minute later the home side struck the decisive goal as Gray’s ball in fell to Miller whose first shot was blocked, but Miller was quickest to react to the loose ball and managed to slot the ball home.
Bedlington almost added a second minutes later as Dobie tipped Danny Sayer’s deep free kick from the right against the post.
Percy Main have an early chance to get back to winning ways with a home game against Gosforth Bohemians on Wednesday night (April 15) which will see the league championship trophy presented following the game, while a visit to New Fordley beckons on Saturday as the Villagers complete their season.