Northern Alliance premier division side Percy Main Amateurs wound up their pre-season preparations with a 2-2 draw on a decidedly humid afternoon against Wallsend Boys Club on Saturday.
Stewart Wright and Sean Cowx were on target for the Villagers and they can look forward with optimism to Saturday’s league curtain raiser when Ashington Colliers visit Purvis Park for a 2.30pm kick-off.
The sides met three times in the league and cup last season and it was the Villagers who came out victorious on each occasion.
Dan Sneap hit a hat-trick and Joe Betts netted the other as Percy Main ran out 4-1 winners during the league encounter at Purvis Park.
And it was an identical scoreline in Main’s favour during the corresponding match at Hirst Welfare in April, this time a brace from Wright and goals from Ryan McKee and an own goal sealed the win.
In between, Percy Main had progressed in the quarter-final of the Bill Gardner Cup thanks to a 2-0 win over the Colliers with goals from Chris Laidlaw and Sam Thompson.
Main promoted as league champions at the end of the 2014-15 campaign, struggled at first to adapt to life within the league’s top tier last season, but they rallied after a poor start which had yielded just a solitary point by mid-September to finish a creditable eighth, while they also reached the final of the Bill Gardner Cup, where they succumbed to North West Counties League bound Carlisle City.
This time around hopes are high of an improved season as Richard Nugent and his coaching staff of Danny Nelson and Dave Addison have assembled a large squad with eight new signings to the side which had finished last season so encouragingly.
Percy Main will face six league games during August, which will see the side play three Wednesday evening fixtures, starting with the away game at Killingworth Town on August 17.