Percy Main's determination not enough against unbeaten Blyth Town

Unbeaten Blyth Town extended their lead at the top of the Northern Alliance premier division to 11 points.

But they were made to dig deep on a heavy pitch to finally overcome a determined Percy Main side thanks to two second half goals including substitute Rob Nolan's 84th minute counter which finally put paid to the visitors sterling endeavours.

For the home side with championship and promotion aspirations at the end of the season, it was their 13th league win from 15 starts, which included a comprehensive win over Main in the corresponding game at Purvis Park in which Nolan had hit four on his Blyth debut.

But they faced a very different Villagers side this time around as they defended resolutely and pressed their hosts throughout without finding that vital breakthrough.

Full credit to the Blyth ground staff who had worked resolutely to get the game on following the recent inclement weather which had put paid to four of the six scheduled premier division games, and their efforts bore fruit as the surface, although heavy in places, proved perfectly playable throughout.

For Percy Main this was to be their first game of November as all the others had frustratingly fallen foul of unplayable pitches.

Blyth created the bulk of the goal scoring opportunities throughout, but the home side were guilty of some errant finishing as efforts seemed to find themselves either too high or wide of the mark.

During the first quarter of an hour Blyth's Connor Andrews fired across the face of goal, Zak Atkinson steered just wide of the post, although the referee subsequently blew up for offside, and Paul Dunn blazed over the angle.

Percy Main responded as home goalkeeper Scott Earle held onto Dean Ellis's free kick and the visitors had loud appeals for a handball in the area waived away by the referee, which resulted in Stew Wright receiving a yellow card for his troubles.

Thompson, played in by Andy Middlemass, found himself crowded out and the visitors, who benefitted from the wind during the first half, forced a string of corners to put pressure on the Blyth defence without reward.

There were chances at both ends as Jason Ritchie, Dunn and Atkinson went close but again failed to hit the target for Blyth, while Wright and the industrious Ellis, who impressed throughout, tested the home defence.

With the game goalless at half-time, Blyth came out much the stronger after the break, with former Main player-manager Ritchie prominent in his side's supply line from the left flank.

And it was from his deep corner that the home side took the lead in the 67th minute when Connor Andrews headed home through a crowded goalmouth.

Percy Main battled gamely and looked to get back on terms and came closest through Ant Ridley, who looked to profit from an Ellis corner, but there was always danger at the other end and they were indebted to a superb last ditch clearance by Adam Green which cut out Nolan's dangerous right wing centre.

Agonisingly for Percy Main, a second goal for the hosts duly arrived. With the visitors pressing, Blyth struck in the closing minutes with a lightning break from defence to which Nolan ran on to slot home and seal the game for the hosts.
Percy Main travel to face Walker Central on Saturday, 2pm kick-off.