Percy Main let slip two-goal lead to drop points against Walker Central

Without getting anywhere near their performance of the season, which had seen them beat Seaton Delaval 6-0 only five days prior, Percy Main let slip a two-goal first half lead as Walker Central battled back for a deserved share of the spoils.

Stewart Wright’s well taken brace had put Main seemingly well in control inside the first 25 minutes, and it looked as though the home side would go on to repeat or better their 4-0 success in the corresponding game at Monkchester Road in March.

But to their credit, the visitors battled back, particularly after the break and a draw was seen as a fair result.

On a heavy pitch due to the recent and seemingly unending wet weather, both sides were missing key players and Percy Main in particular were forced to reckon without five of the starting 11 which had accounted for Seaton Delaval.

The visitors were first on the offensive just a minute in as Paul Bell was upended on the edge of the area and Paul Mills fired the subsequent free kick just wide.

But Main edged in front on the quarter hour mark as Ant Ridley and Chris Laidlaw combined down the left and Wright drilled home from close range.

Anth Brown tested Walker custodian Sean Korsbo before Wright doubled the Villagers’ advantage as he fastened onto a deep ball from the right by Adam Green and rounded the goalkeeper for his second of the afternoon.

The expected goal avalanche failed to materialise as Laidlaw fired a couple of efforts off target and the visitors began to edge themselves back into the game as Sam Cunningham blazed wide when well placed and Ridley made a telling challenge as Mills threatened in the area.

Four minutes from half-time Walker were handed a lifeline, literally, as the falling Mathew Speedie was perhaps harshly adjudged to have handled in the area and Mills despatched the resultant penalty.

The second half deteriorated as a spectacle from the home side’s point of view and the visitors gained the upper hand.

Bell crossed low from the left and it took the combined efforts of goalkeeper Rob Rodgerson and Green to clear the danger, while Jay Bates sent a free kick narrowly over the bar.

The equaliser came on the hour as Mills’ right wing corner into the area was met by Walker captain Anthony Studholme, who rose highest within a crowd of players to powerfully head home.

As the game drew to a close, there were half chances at both ends as Bates fired into the hands of Rodgerson and Laidlaw tested Korsbo in the visitors goal, but neither were able to break the stalemate.

This Saturday, Percy Main play their penultimate game of the season as North Shields Athletic make up the opposition at Purvis Park, kick-off 2.30pm.