Percy Main concede six for second game in a row

Having endured a 6-0 home loss to Carlisle City on Monday, Percy Main Amateurs once again conceded half a dozen goals at Purvis Park on Saturday as Heaton Stannington won 6-1.

The slight consolation was Adrian Watson’s delightful lob over advancing visiting custodian Shaun Backhouse.

Heaton are the current Northern Alliance champions and head the table this time around with good reason.

If they retain their crown, and on this sparkling performance there is every reason to think they will, it is probable that the Grounsell Park outfit will be deservedly promoted to the Northern League to pit their wits against the likes of North Shields and West Allotment Celtic, which will be a fitting arena for their superb frontline.

Followers of Northern Alliance football have long known of the skills of Gary Yates and Andrew Weeks for the Stann; on Saturday the former was eclipsed and the latter was on the bench, as Jonathon Wright, hat-trick hero Lee Johnson and Kevin Carr produced a stellar show of fluent, attacking football.

However, it must be said that a much changed Percy Main team, ravaged by injuries and unavailability, gave a good account of themselves.

The returning Rob Rodgerson in goal had an outstanding game, as did David Halliday at centre half.

The fact of the matter is that it is no disgrace to lose, however heavily, to a team with as much quality as Heaton Stannington, especially when the losers keep plugging away until the final whistle, as The Main did.

Twice in the opening 25 minutes Rodgerson made superb sprawling saves from Wright.

The second saw the loose ball present itself to Yates, whose effort was cleared from the line by Halliday at the expense of a corner.

Sadly, Wright’s flag kick was nodded home by central defender Gary McGarrigal, despite an athletic attempt by Rodgerson, pushing the ball on to the underside of the bar before it crossed the line.

Percy Main attempted to get back on level terms, with Watson drifting a shot just wide of the post.

However, it was 2-0 on the half hour.

A free kick on the left was driven in to the box and Rodgerson was required to smartly tip over to alleviate the danger.

From the resulting corner, Heaton scored again when Johnson nodded home Wright’s flag kick.

Wright nearly made it three soon after but his low snapshot was smothered by Rodgerson at his near post.

Chris Glass was desperately unlucky not to halve the deficit when his long range effort hit the top of the bar and bounced away.

All the luck was with the visitors as play switched to the other end and Wright cut inside the box, firing home past the despairing Rodgerson with the aid of a sizeable deflection.

The half-time score of 3-0 was in no way a reflection of the balance of the play, but an indication as to the quality of Heaton Stannington as an attacking force.

Early in the second half, Rodgerson was again in action, brilliantly tipping over a long range effort by Wright.

But it was soon 4-0 when Johnson nipped in between James Leggett and Rodgerson to fire home.

Rodgerson was doing his best to keep the game alive as a contest and he made another superb save from Yates.

Minutes later the home fans had something to cheer when Watson raced on to a ball through the centre and gloriously lifted it over the under-utilised Backhouse to give the scoreline a temporary veneer of respectability.

Heaton Stannington were not finished; Kevin Carr’s instant control and shot saw the ball arrow home for the Stann’s fifth and Johnson completed his hat-trick with a tap in after 87 minutes.

The undoubted ability of the visitors had been underlined by the pace, power and ruthless finishing of their front line, though Percy Main were a credit to the club in terms of their tireless endeavour.

It isn’t every week The Villagers will come up against such quality.

Next Saturday, May 4, Percy Main travel to Cumbria to face Carlisle City, before a home game against Seaton Delaval on Wednesday, May 8, kick-off 6.30pm.