AFTER two successive away defeats to bogey side Heaton Stannington and league leaders Ponteland United, Percy Main would have fancied getting back to winning ways at basement club Cramlington Town.
However, whether it was nonchalance or the effects of a swirling, unpredictable wind, the Villagers succumbed to a poor defeat that owed more to sloppy play than an admittedly awful howling gale.
The Main can take absolutely nothing of pride from the opening hour, but could easily have come back to win in the last 30 minutes, such was the turnaround in fortunes as the breeze grew ever stronger.
An even opening showed no sign of the drama to come, with the first action coming on ten minutes when Cramlington’s Dan Neary turned superbly and fired in an effort that Rob Rodgerson was happy to deflect over with his legs.
Sadly, the Main did not learn and from the corner, an unchallenged Keiran Parsons nodded the hosts in front.
The Main almost responded immediately when Chris Locke’s deep ball to the back post was steered goalwards by Tony Browell, but the ball squirmed away.
A sign of the brewing tempest was seen when Malky Morien’s free kick into the box was trapped by swirling thermals and caused keeper Cunningham to desperately back pedal to affect a tip over.
Sadly, it was Rob Rodgerson who was the custodian cursing the elements more emphatically on 30 minutes when he misjudged a long free kick by Simon Wilson, dropping it at the feet of a gleeful Chris Bone, who hammered it home.
Worse was to follow when Wilson’s free kick from almost on the touchline was caught by the breeze and flew in to the top corner of the net.
It was almost 4-0 seconds later when Bone hit the post.
Certainly, this half had been the worst display since Jason Ritchie took charge in summer 2008 and little appeared to change in the opening exchanges of the second half.
Cramlington, whose back line was marshalled by former Main player Dean Morgan, who earned himself his usual yellow card for a barge in to John Amos, were far more up for it than the Villagers.
On the hour, a fluke woke the Main up. Ritchie’s lofted 60-yard ball in to the box bounced and deceived Cunningham, before dropping in to the net. Seconds later Morgan headed a Ritchie corner off the line.
Then Malky Morien set up John Amos who buried his shot into Cunningham’s midriff.
However, the revival was truly underway when Ziggy Ewart artfully hooked a Jonathon McEnaney flick in to the roof of the net on 78 minutes.
A minute later, Morien was denied an equaliser by the flying save of Cunningham, who escaped with a fumble in to the net when referee Andy Gray blew for a foul.
In injury time there was no contact at all when Ritchie challenged Cunningham with his studs showing; while this was a foul and a yellow card was issued, there was no need for Cunningham’s petulant kick that resulted in the keeper being sent from the field.
Sadly, the incident was too late to provide the Main with a chance to equalise.
There is a chance for a swift recovery when Percy Main host Ashington Colliers on Saturday. Kick-off at Purvis Park is 2.30pm.