Westphal strike in vain as Main are dumped from cup

WHEN Kevin Westphal fired home what will surely be the Percy Main’s goal of the season after only four minutes, there was no indication that this game would end up as a notable scalp for Gosforth Bohemians.

To say this George Dobbins League Cup second round tie was a giant-killing act may be overstating things, but the youthful, vibrant Bohemians team certainly gave their higher division opponents, including four debutants as manager Gareth Allen continues to experiment in his search for the right blend in the squad, a footballing lesson at scenic Benson Park.

To be fair, Percy Main were missing approximately ten players and some of those who were given the opportunity to show what they were capable of did not grasp the chance with both hands.

After a quiet opening, the Villagers won a corner on the left. Instead of firing a ball in to the box, Kevin Grahamslaw opted to play a short diagonal ball to the unmarked Kevin Westphal 30 yards from goal.

Without taking a touch, Westphal crashed in an unstoppable effort that flew in to the top corner past a startled Stephen Wilkinson in the home goal.

It was an astonishing finish and represented the high point of an afternoon that went rapidly downhill from this point.

A sign of things to come on 19 minutes saw Dan Child evade static debutant centre half Daniel Alderson-Clarke, to tap in to an empty net; luckily the linesman’s flag denied Child an equaliser.

However, there was no reprieve on 25 minutes when Adam Spoors, in splendid isolation on the six-yard line, headed home unchallenged.

Immediately afterwards, Alderson-Clarke was withdrawn and Tom Dolan entered the fray, picking up a yellow card for an ill-timed tackle.

Westphal almost restored the Main lead, flicking a glorious Tony Abladey through ball just over the bar on the half hour.

But this was probably the last chance the Main created.

On 37 minutes, Tom Forder almost put Bohemians ahead when his free kick hit the inside of the post, with Rob Rodgerson reacting brilliantly to block Child’s follow up, to keep the Main level at the break.

In the second period, Childs was again out of luck when his lob beat the advancing Rodgerson, but struck the outside of the post.

Minutes later Rodgerson saved well from Ian Harris and it seemed as if the Main may well have got something from the game.

That hope was extinguished when Kevin Grahamslaw was red carded for a studs showing challenge on the touch line after 68 minutes.

Four minutes later, Harris scored when blasting home a nod down from substitute Andy Renton, with the Main appealing in vain for offside.

There was no serious prospect of the Main getting back in to the game and the home team seemed far more likely to add to their tally rather than concede.

A late ruthless brace from the excellent Darren Campbell, profiting firstly from a loose ball in the box, and then intercepting a stray back pass, gave the final score a harsh look for Main eyes.

On Saturday Percy Main Amateurs are back in Northern Alliance premier division action, at home to Killingworth Sporting.

Kick off at Purvis Park is 2.30pm.