PERCY Main’s inconsistent start to the season continued when the Villagers drew 1-1 with lowly Walker Central at Purvis Park on Saturday.
The result leaves the Main in tenth place in the Pin Point Recruitment Northern Alliance premier division.
In a thoroughly entertaining game, the Main were indebted to their man of the match, keeper Rob Rodgerson, who made three unbelievable stops in the first half that were, in the final analysis, responsible for the home side managing to escape from this game with a scarcely merited point.
As early as the second minute Walker showed attacking intent with a corner from Ian Mills landing on the top of the Main crossbar, before being cleared to safety.
However this was not an isolated incident as the first quarter of an hour saw play compressed in to the Percy Main defensive third, with the men from Monkchester very much in the ascendancy in terms of possession.
At the other end, Dean Ellis provided Malcolm Morien with a glorious chance to open the scoring when his astute through ball left the Villagers’ midfielder clear in on goal.
However, instead of opting to test keeper Thomas Bridgett with a powerful effort, Morien elected to attempt an extravagant chip that fell pitifully wide of the target.
Within two minutes Walker ought to have punished the Main’s profligacy when Ryan Shave’s slip on the slick surface allowed centre forward Paul Collinson, who tormented the Villagers’ defence all game, to set up strike partner Fabian Pritchard, who was equally troublesome throughout the 90 minutes.
However, from six yards out Rodgerson made a breathtaking block to avert the danger.
Seconds later a wayward defensive header from Graeme Smith put Rodgerson under pressure from the marauding Pritchard, but the home custodian covered himself in glory with a brave punch that gave his defence a chance to regroup.
Collinson again caused anxious moments in the Main penalty area when a sharp turn took Tony Browell out the game, but Chris Locke intervened with a superbly timed tackle as the Walker forward shaped to shoot.
Collinson was next thwarted by Rodgerson’s sprawling low save by his near post.
The Main thought they had taken the lead against the run of play when Jonathon McEnaney nodded in a centre from Chris Locke, but the referee ruled it out for pushing.
A Dean Ellis effort that whistled a yard wide was the only other effort of note by Percy Main as the game reached the midway point with the score still 0-0.
A torrential downpour that began at half-time made for a fast and furious second period that entertained the damp but spirited crowd who were enthralled by the lively spectacle taking place.
Collinson was again denied by a combination of Rodgerson’s legs and a Locke tackle after sprinting upfield following the breakdown of a Main attack.
However, he finally got his goal on 54 minutes, collecting the ball on the right edge of the area and firing powerfully in to the corner past a despairing Rodgerson.
On the hour sub Scott Pocklington almost set up an equaliser, but his low cross just evaded the on-rushing Ashley Smyth.
However, Smyth was not to be denied ten minutes later when he collected a well-weighted Morien through ball and fired powerfully home under the sprawling Bridgett to bring the home side level.
Despite late efforts by Tony Browell from a corner and Smyth again, it was the end of the scoring and the two sides had to settle for a draw.
On Saturday Percy Main are away to Stocksfield in a Northern Alliance premier division fixture. Kick-off is 2.30pm.