Hexham 1 Percy Main 2
Percy leave it late.....
Percy Main progressed to the semi final stage of the county cup thanks to an injury time goal from the returning Paul Collinson, just when it looked as though the extra time would be needed to end the stalemate, with the game seemingly deadlocked at 1-1.
Although Hexham play their football a division lower than The Main, the home side are currently handily placed for a tilt at one of the promotion slots and showed the form which had won them their 5 previous games. Added to that, Percy Main have already exited the league cup competition this season at the hands of another Northern Alliance First division club in the shape of Red Row Welfare, so nobody was prepared to take the challenge of the hosts lightly.
Recent signing Collinson had just completed a 3 match suspension for a red card offence during the home game against Whitley Bay 'A' on October 7th and he had to be content with a place on the bench, but ultimately his introduction just past the hour mark was to prove crucial.
The first chance was to come the way of The Main on 5 minutes as Jonny Storey touched on to Sam Thompson and as he attempted to round Sean Heads in the Hexham goal, the home custodian produced a vital fingertip save to avert the danger. At the other end, James Mobberley fouled Hexham top scorer Brad Lowes just outside the area and Will Forsyth fired the resultant free kick just wide.
The Main came close again just past the quarter hour mark as Adam Green's throw in reached Storey who played the ball back to Steve Hurd and his venomous effort was inches over the crossbar. Mobberley and Robert Hamilton for the visitors, found themselves in the referee's notebook and it was another offence on Lowes, which presented Hexham with another free kick in a dangerous position. Forsyth stepped up again, his shot beat the wall, but Rob Rodgerson, diving full length managed to plan the ball just beyond the reach of the onrushing Lowes.
Percy Main survived further scares as Hexham's Tom Hacking's centre was shepherded behind by Marcus McCreedy and from Forsyth's flag kick, Liam Crowe saw us effort kicked from the line and Hamish Forsyth later headed wide.
The second half wasn't even a minute old when the game sprung to life. The Main's Kieran Tubman was adjudged to have upended Nathan Marshall in the box and Will Forsyth confidently converted the penalty to put Hexham in front. Hexham visibly buoyed by the goal pressed and things could have been worse for the visitors on 50 minutes as Hacking afforded time and space, fired over.
Percy Main struggled to get a decent foothold in the game as half chances came and went, Jake Forster found himself crowded out, following a ball into the area by Sam Thompson, who himself might've done better as Hamilton played a deep free kick to Green out wide and his low cross was safely dealt with by the Hexham defence.
Decent goalscoring opportunities for either side seemed at a premium, but as so often happens in football a goal comes out of nowhere and parity was restored as Dan Hadfield for The Main, a summer signing who has caught the eye in midfield this season, played in Forster and his deflected effort was enough to level matters.
Collinson had shown a few decent touches after he'd replaced Storey and it was his vital goal, his third in 3 games since joining the club, which was to prove decisive and take his side into the semi final draw.