As the half-time whistle sounded with Stocksfield holding a slender 1-0 lead thanks to Andrew Hall’s 12th minute opener and Percy Main having the benefit of the wind at their backs during the second half, it was perhaps hard to imagine how the final outcome of Saturday’s game would eventually pan out.
Although the Villagers did not create too many goal scoring opportunities to threaten Bryan Wood in the home goal, Stocksfield, during periods of the second half, made the most of some questionable defending in the Main’s rearguard, while credit was due to some of the home side’s attacking play and finishing.
Despite the final 5-0 scoreline, it had to be said that Rob Rodgerson in the visitors goal could not be faulted for any of the Griffins’ goals.
The home side had won their last three games against Killingworth, Gateshead Rutherford and Hebburn Reyrolle to haul themselves into the top half of the division, while the Villagers had lost their corresponding games to Northbank Carlisle, Red House and Whitley Bay, leaking ten goals in the process.
Percy Main handed a debut to centre half Rob Carr who partnered club captain James Leggett at the heart of the defence, while Mitchell Renney, who took to the field as a second half substitute seven days earlier in the game against Whitley Bay, made his first start in a claret and blue shirt.
Early action saw Main’s Gareth Armstrong crowded out at the near post following good work down the left flank by Chris Laidlaw, while at the other end Josh Draycott’s deflected effort was just over, before the deadlock was broken by Hall who fired home through a crowd of players from the edge of the area.
At the other end, Stewart Wright for the Villagers shrugged off his marker and brought a good save from Wood, while Stocksfield’s Phil Murray found himself thwarted by Rodgerson, following a low centre into the area by Declan Stokle.
Stocksfield ended the half the stronger as Murray just failed to get onto the end of Hall’s ball into the area and Wood’s long wind assisted kick from goal reached Murray who fired inches past the post in stoppage time.
In a five-minute period near the start of the second half, Percy Main were the architects of their own downfall as Stocksfield scored twice without reply.
Firstly Kieran Day’s shot from the right was parried by Rodgerson, but Rob Grainey afforded space was first to the rebound and slotted home, then left back Karl Campbell threaded a long ball through Main’s defence and Draycott produced a clinical finish for his side’s third of the afternoon.
With the game far from lost, Percy Main almost hit back instantly as Laidlaws’ spectacular overhead kick was desperately kicked from the line for a corner by the home defence.
Murray headed over for Stocksfield before the home side repeated their earlier feat and hit two within the space of two minutes with a little over ten minutes of the game remaining.
Campbell was given the freedom of the park after latching onto a loose ball and firing home a blistering effort from 20 yards, and when Day was adjudged to have been tripped by Leggett on the byline, Murray stepped up to despatch the resultant penalty.
This Saturday Percy Main will host Northumberland Senior Bowl finalists Shankhouse at Purvis Park, kick-off is 2.30pm.