Percy Main 2 Seaton Delaval 3
Challenge cup exit at the first time of asking.....
3 short weeks previous, Seaton Delaval had posted a 6-2 home win over Percy Main on their way to their current position at the summit of the Northern Alliance Premier division table and with 7 wins from 8 league games played, there were those who could be forgiven for thinking an away win was on the cards before a ball had been kicked. Ultimately, it proved to be the case, thanks mainly to a 3 goal salvo within 15 first half minutes, which put the visitors 3-0 up on 40 minutes and left The Main with a mountain to climb.
For Percy Main, there were lessons to be learned from each of Seaton Delaval's goals and the number of times throughout that The Main's attack were caught offside, but not withstanding, new Main manager Steve Hurd could take encouragement from his side's much improved second half showing and commitment from the squad, as they chased what had looked to be a hopeless cause at the interval.
Both sides were missing key players, as Percy Main found themselves bereft of their central defensive pairing of the unavailable James Leggett and James Mobberley, whose head injury during last week's 1-1 draw with Gateshead Rutherford forced him to watch from the sideline, but the home side were boosted by the inclusion of long serving utility man, Redmond Cockburn who gave an assured display in his side's back line and made a few telling challenges during the course of the afternoon.
The early exchanges saw The Main's Steven Hurd (Jnr) fire into the hands of Delaval custodian, Sean Korsbo from the edge of the area, while the visitors Michael Scott got a vital touch to deny Jonny Storey and at the other end Michael Trodd saw his goal bound free kick, deflected around the post for a corner.
Percy Main had a great chance just past the quarter hour mark as Jake Forster's measured ball in from the right flank reached Storey, who shot a straight at Korsbo. It was a good chance and the home side were left to rue it as 8 minutes later, the ball was given away just inside the left side of the The Main half to Ryan Wilson and his neat lay off found Ryan Gladstone who fired low past the dive of Rodgerson from 20 yards.
Wilson for Seaton Delaval had an effort tipped behind by the goalkeeper, before the visitors doubled their lead with a quite incredible goal on 29 minutes. Trodd picked up the ball just inside the Main half, beat his man and launched a long range dipping effort from way out, which sailed over the head of Rodgerson. Only 2 minutes earlier, the visitors had tried the exact same thing and from a similar, but more central position as this time Nathan Ray, sent the goalkeeper back pedalling and wasn't far away with his audacious effort.
Sam Thompson for Percy Main had a couple of efforts on goal, one just wide and another saved by Korsbo, while Cockburn made a superb last ditch challenge to thwart Scott McDonald, who was to later find himself red carded following an awful challenge on The Main's Leon Nelson during the dying minutes of the game.
Seaton Delaval scored their third on 40 minutes as Mark McDonnell intercepted a back pass by Jack Pearson to Rodgerson and was able to step around the stricken home goalkeeper and slide the ball into an empty net.
The visitors had an effort cleared from the line at the beginning of the second half, McDonnell wasn't far away from another and Cockburn got another great touch to thwart Ray, while Percy Main had decent efforts through Marcus McCreedy and Hurd again, but the deficit was reduced on the hour as Storey was fouled by Delaval's Michael Leech in the area and Thompson stepped up to confidently despatch the resultant penalty.
Korsbo was called into action once more as he tipped over Hurd's goalbound drive and Thompson's cross flashed across the face of goal with no Main players on hand to profit, while ever dangerous, Michael Tams for the visitors, had an effort which skimmed across the top of the crossbar.
With a minute remaining, there was still time for another Percy Main goal as the eagle eyed assistant spotted an infringement on Stewart Wright which nobody else seemed to have noticed, including the referee and Thompson netted his second penalty of the afternoon.