Main fail to master the conditions in cup defeat

PERCY Main lost out to Heaton Stannington in a wind-affected George Dobbins League Cup quarter-final.

It was the home side who, on the balance of play in a one-sided second half, deservedly advanced to a semi-final tie against Whitley Bay A, though the margin of victory was somewhat flattering, even allowing for Malcolm Morien’s last minute consolation spot kick.

In the final analysis, it was Heaton’s ability to harness the strong, gusting wind they had behind their backs in the second period that allowed them to prevail.

In the first half, the Main began with a flurry of shots on Shaun Backhouse’s goal.

As early as the first minute, the lively Michael Bowman engineered an opening for Tony Browell, but the Main man was perhaps surprised to receive the ball and even more shocked not to be flagged offside and so dragged his shot across the face of goal.

The Main enjoyed a period of control from the first whistle, though the visitors still had cause to thank keeper Rob Rodgerson who made a stunning tip over from a steeping McKenna header on five minutes.

John Amos sent a rising shot a fraction too high after a great lay back to the edge of the area by Morien, following more good work by Bowman.

Morien was denied an opener; having headed in a Coiffait throw in, he turned away to celebrate, only to be denied by the referee’s whistle on account of some pushing.

Perhaps if this stood, the Main would have had more of a target to defend after the restart, but as it was they were outdone by a long kick by keeper Backhouse that by-passed midfield and the defence, allowing Gary Yates to crash it past Rodgerson.

Worse was to follow on 55 minutes when McKenna picked up a loose ball at the edge of the area and struck a sweet low strike home.

The game was effectively over in the 65th minute when McKenna made it three.

Morien had a curling effort headed off the line, before heading over from close range on 80 minutes.

He was not to be denied and, when Bowman was tripped in the area, Morien drove the ball powerfully under the diving Backhouse.

It was scant consolation, but testament to a performance that did not let the side down.

On Saturday Main are at home to Carlisle City in the league, kick-off 2.30pm.