Percy Main beaten by controversial Shankhouse penalty
After leading twice against Shankhouse, Percy Main were left with nothing to show for their efforts thanks to a controversial 90th minute penalty.
Shankhouse substitute Andrew Anderson converted the spot kick while Villagers Rob Ridley and Chris Laidlaw cautioned.
It was a bitter pill to swallow for Main, who despite not being anywhere near their best, felt that their efforts deserved at least a share of the spoils on a bitterly cold afternoon.
Starting with Monday evening’s game at Seaton Delaval, Percy Main now face a six-game end of season run-in, which will include four home games within the space of a week, starting next Saturday when Walker Central are the opposition at Purvis Park.
Shankhouse for their part, have struggled near the bottom of the table for much of their season, but were heartened by a 4-1 midweek success over Walker, while Main were hoping to make it three wins on the trot, following victories over Gateshead Rutherford and Ashington Colliers earlier this month.
It was the home side who were first to show as Lewis Marshall found himself with an early chance, but Danny Nimmins in Main’s goal proved his equal.
For Percy Main, Elliott Mitchell, a recent signing from Cullercoats, headed Chris Laidlaw’s corner wide.
The Villagers took the lead on 12 minutes as Jack Armstrong played a measured diagonal ball to Anth Brown on the right flank. Despite the close attentions of the home defence, Brown showed persistence on the byline to cross low and Laidlaw fired home through a crowded goalmouth.
Both goalkeepers saw action as Nimmins claimed from the head of Kevin Westphal and his opposite number, Bobby Joyce, tipped behind a shot from distance from Armstrong.
Westphal and Joyce, both former Main players, were looking to impress against their former side, and it was Westphal who made a telling contribution to his side’s first equaliser with a left wing corner, which was not dealt with properly by the visitors’ defence and Olly Young scrambled the ball home.
Shankhouse pressed and looked the more likely to add to the scoring as Lewis Marshall’s long range effort was well held by Nimmins, and the visitors goalkeeper was called into action minutes later as he tipped behind Westphal’s curling effort before Scott Lowery fired off target.
With the second half only 50 seconds old, Percy Main went ahead for the second time in the game as Laidlaw made up ground down the left, crossed to the far post and Ridley headed back into the area for Brown to make no mistake from close range.
Westphal flashed a header just over for Shankhouse more or less straight from the kick-off, and at the other end Stewart Wright sent a curling effort inches over the crossbar with Joyce well beaten.
It was a critical stage of the game and perhaps if the move had resulted in a goal, then the final outcome may have been much different, instead just past the hour mark, Marshall was fouled some 20 yards out by Steven Hurd and the same forward took the free kick himself and fired home a low shot which beat the assembled wall and goalkeeper to level for Shankhouse for the second time in the afternoon.
Neither side looked as though they had the wherewithal to go and win the game, and as the minutes ticked down it looked as though both would have to settle for a point each.
But that was to change in the 90th minute as the referee deemed an infringement which had started outside the area, but appeared to continue inside, to be a penalty.
The decision was hotly disputed both at the time and afterwards, but the award stood and Anderson made no mistake from the spot.
The Bank Holiday weekend will see Percy Main at home twice as they take on Walker Central on Saturday at 2.30pm and Whitley Bay A on the Monday at 11am.