AFTER 60 minutes when Killingworth Sporting’s Liam Callaghan completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot to put his side 4-0 ahead, Percy Main Amateurs faced the prospect of an extremely tough final half an hour against an excellent side.
But it is to the credit of the Main players that they did not lie down and allow the defeat to turn in to an absolute annihilation.
Despite only grabbing a late consolation from the penalty spot, when Tony Abladey converted in style after a handling offence, it was a thoroughly excellent final third of the game from every home player.
It is to be hoped that this encouraging 30-minute spell will be enough to take the club forward in the weeks and months to come.
Certainly manager Gareth Allen will do his utmost to ensure the club takes strength from the current adverse situation.
While the score on paper shows a wide and unequivocal margin of defeat, it would be wrong to say that Percy Main, who yet again were forced in to a defensive reshuffle in the absence of first choice centre backs Tony Browell and Ryan Shave, played badly.
On occasions it is simply the case that the opposition simply put in an excellent showing and this was certainly the case with Killingworth, for whom Michael Bowman led the line magnificently.
Ironically, it was not the former Percy Main striker who caused the damage, but defender Callaghan, with two headers after 42 and 52, as well as his penalty, who really hurt the home side.
In the opening half, the first chance fell to the Main, with Tom Leuenberger seeing a low effort held by John Mordey.
Killingworth first showed when Callaghan, giving a taste of what was to come, put a free header over the bar after 16 minutes.
Aaron Kah twisted and turned the Killingworth defence inside out before providing the perfect cross for Pierre-Luc Coiffait, whose effort was only inches wide.
Sadly Kah was injured in the move and had to be replaced by his brother Tijan Kah.
Callaghan put another header over after 20 minutes before Rob Rodgerson distinguished himself with a brilliant stop from Bowman’s point blank effort.
But the Main keeper was helpless to deal with a Steven Robinson header when the Killingworth man was left unmarked at the back post to open the scoring after 39 minutes.
Killingworth took heart from this and Paul Baird almost made it two seconds later when firing against the outside of the post, before Callaghan did just that with a textbook header from a deep cross, giving the visitors a 2-0 half-time lead.
Callaghan’s header on 53 effectively made it game over before his penalty to complete his treble following a foul by 40-year-old Main debutant Colin Nesbitt.
The impressive looking Nesbitt almost atoned for this when firing an effort just over the angle from a corner soon afterwards as the Main tried to get back in to the game.
Kevin Westphal kept plugging away and twice almost got a goal, being denied by a goal line clearance and a good save by Mordey, meaning Abladey’s late penalty was the only reward for a Percy Main side who were always gallant in defeat.
On Saturday Percy Main host Whitley Bay A in an attractive looking Northern Alliance premier division fixture. Kick-off at Purvis Park is 2.30pm.