Main once again hit three in second half

THE previous week Percy Main Amateurs had turned round at the break scoreless in a game where they had looked well on top and, instead of panicking or throwing the game away, stepped up the pressure to beat Seaton Delaval at a canter in the second period by a margin of 3-0.

On Saturday, lightning struck twice for the Villagers, who gained revenge for an early season 4-2 reverse at Hirst Welfare, by comprehensively defeating a solid, spirited Ashington Colliers side 3-0.

What was even more impressive was the quality of football on display.

Shaun Galbraith’s reinvigorated side showed that the groundwork of the victories over Stocksfield and then Seaton Delaval has resulted in some solid foundations as autumnal anxieties over relegation are being calmed by some excellent play that is gaining both plaudits and points, resulting in a comfortable mid-table spot for a Main side who lie in eighth spot in the Northern Alliance premier division.

The first attack of the game saw Dean Ellis stride forward from an unfamiliar left back position to crack an effort a shade wide of Ashington keeper Craig Towart’s right hand post.

If the Colliers custodian could afford to languidly wave Ellis’s effort past the upright, he had to be more alert moments later when Chris Bell’s impressive turn and shot saw the ball buried in to Towart’s midriff for a smart save.

On ten minutes, Main were denied a penalty when it seemed as if Scott Pocklington had his legs swept from under him in the box by a gaggle of Colliers defenders, but nothing was given.

On 17 minutes, Towart misjudged a deep cross from Dean Morgan, but Bell was unable to force the momentarily loose ball home.

An encouraging opening half an hour saw Towart athletically turn aside a long range Pocklington effort at full stretch, but after that strong opening 30 minutes, the remainder of the half saw Colliers attempt to assert themselves.

Indeed, they could have scored from their first meaningful attacks after 33 minutes when David Brown bulleted a header at Rob McGregor in the Percy Main goal following a corner.

After this a bout of ping pong in the Ashington box that saw hopeful appeals for a penalty for handball was the last goalmouth action of the half as the game went through a quiet spell.

A pair of reinvigorated sides emerged after the break as Bell was immediately denied by brave blocking in the Colliers defence, before Brown was denied when through on goal as McGregor smothered a shot that lacked power.

On 55 minutes, Pocklington showed how to finish when, having seemingly dawdled too long on the edge of the box, he swiped a sweet strike that flew past Towart and nestled in the bottom corner.

It was a fine strike and adequate reward for an encouraging Main performance.

After this, Ashington were forced to come out of their shells, but this resulted in more gaps at the back.

Bell fired across goal after 63 minutes, then was denied by a brilliant point blank block by Towart, and a minute later Jordan Miller hit a powerful effort too close to Towart.

On 70 minutes a flighted Morgan cross was nodded inches wide by centre back Mickey Haley, on a rare foray forward.

As the boggy pitch sapped energy, it seemed as if Pocklington’s strike would be the only goal, before a late Main brace.

Firstly Mark Richardson was set up by substitute Chris Doig after great work by the tireless Davey Surrey, enabling Richardson to fire high in to the net beyond the despairing Towart’s dive.

Straight from kick-off, Bell robbed the ball from a visibly deflated Colliers rear-guard and rolled in a third to add an emphatic gloss to the scoreline on what was another superb afternoon’s entertainment at Purvis Park.

Percy Main’s game on Saturday is an attractive looking clash at home to premier division leaders Amble United. Kick-off at 2pm at Purvis Park.