Percy Main’s Bill Gardner Cup win over Swalwell, their biggest win of the season, was as emphatic as the 7-0 scoreline suggests
And but for some wasteful finishing, particularly in the second half, their margin of victory may have been even greater.
Two divisions separate the sides in the Northern Alliance, but a heavy pitch, strong wind and the inactivity of both sides due to the recent inclement could may have been seen as a bit of a leveller pre-match.
Prior to the game, Main had played only three competitive games since October 31st, and among the lengthening list of games called off, Saturday’s tie had already been postponed twice.
Mindful of a likely fixture backlog during the latter months of the season and a raft of other postponements of the day’s games, both sides were grateful that the game could be played.
A strong end to end wind threatened to play a deciding factor, but as it turned out Percy Main ran up a convincing 4-0 half-time lead with the goals scored against the elements, which included a ten-minute hat-trick by Sam Thompson midway through the half.
New signings Anthony Brown and Jack Pearson had joined Main In the run up to the game from Longbenton and Birtley Town respectively and both made their mark from the bench in the second half, giving the team management a bit to think about during the coming weeks.
Seven days earlier, Main had started their last game disastrously against Whitley Bay and their was almost a repeat as it was the home side who came closest to opening the scoring during the early stages. Robert Allen dispossessed Adam Green on the halfway line and played in Christopher Neve who shot just off target when he should have perhaps done better.
James Mobberley for Percy Main threatened the home goal with a free kick from just outside the area which was tipped behind by Swalwell custodian David Grant, but Thompson’s opener came on 20 minutes as he intercepted an errant back pass by Ross Cunningham and rounded the goalkeeper for his first.
After Graham Allen had an effort chalked off, Rob Ridley provided the ammunition for Percy Main’s and Thompson’s second with a through ball from midfield to which the forward shrugged off a couple of home defenders before curling the ball home.
Just on the half hour mark, Chris Laidlaw was fouled on the right flank and his free kick into the area was deemed to have been handled in the area by Stuart Ledgerwood.
Despite protests by the home side, a penalty was awarded and Thompson stepped up to despatch the kick on the half hour mark.
Dan Sneap went close for the visitors with a shot which was narrowly wide of the mark, but it was Thompson who turned provider just before the interval as he touched on to Laidlaw who fired home the fourth.
After the restart and with the wind at their backs, Thompson and Laidlaw both spurned good chances, having found themselves thwarted by the goalkeeper, while Sneap attempted a spectacular volley to which Grant was equal to once more.
But Swalwell’s respite was to prove short lived as Allen touched on a right wing corner to Ridley who despite a crowded goalmouth fired into the top of the net.
Pearson, introduced to the fray on the hour for Thompson, crossed from the right for Laidlaw to score Main’s sixth and Laidlaw was denied his hat-trick with a low shot which struck the post during the closing minutes.
Adam Green, pushed forward during the latter stages, completed the scoring as he burst into the area and shot low past the dive of Grant.
Percy Main entertain Shankhouse on Saturday in a Northern Alliance premier division game, kick-off is 2pm.