Percy Main 3 Whitley Bay 'A' 4
Never a dull moment.....
7 goals and 3 red cards tells its own story and it was a bittersweet day for Percy Main's Paul Collinson in particular, who had tormented the Whitley Bay defence during the first half, having scored twice and made the other, as his side had come from 2 down to lead at the interval, only for him to inexplicably lash out at a visiting defender on 47 minutes, which gave the referee no choice but to end his participation in the game.
The Main went into the contest having failed to beat Whitley Bay on the previous 10 occasions that the sides have met and had to think back to a little over 5 years ago, when Chris Doig's 15th minute strike had proved enough to gain a 1-0 win at Hillheads Park. This season The Villagers have made an uncanny knack of conceding early on and the trend was to continue as Whitley Bay found themselves 2-0 up inside the first 10 minutes.
Connel Campbell had gone close for the visitors, before a flare up on the half way line between The Main's Steven Hurd and Whitley's Cal Patton, saw both sent for an early bath, with only 5 minutes played. There was barely time for them to reach the sanctity of the dressing rooms before Whitley's Kyle Downey, curled home a shot from the side of the area and Connor Campbell intercepted Adam Green's back pass to round Craig Byrne in the home goal to seemingly put the visitors well in control.
The game's explosive start continue and 6 minutes later, Percy Main reduced the deficit as Collinson was fouled on the edge of the area and his free kick somehow deceived Cal Harley in the Whitley goal, possibly with the aid of a slight deflection and after Jake Forster had volleyed Dan Hadfield's cross just wide, parity was restored as a great ball from defence by Kieran Tubman found Colllinson who finished in some style under the dive of Harley.
It was all Percy Main as Sam Thompson saw his shot blocked following good play by Collinson and the home side took the lead for the first time in the game just past the half hour mark as Collinson, playing only his second game for the club, centred from the left and Forster headed home from close range.
For The Main, Marcus McCreedy fired just over and Thompson's cross cum shot rattled the crossbar, while at the other end, Byrne, another playing only his second game for The Villagers, proved his mettle as he thwarted McKenzie Sharp, saved at the feet of Campbell and tipped a Gareth Williams free kick round the post.
Following Collinson's early second half dismissal, Whitley Bay gradually took control as Downey hit the crossbar and Paul Dunn drilled wide, but he sides were level on 58 minutes as Reagan Patterson took advantage of a well taken, quick free kick to fire home from the edge of the area. It seemed inevitable, but Campbell then restored Whitley's lead on 64 minutes, as he headed home a deep cross from the right.
Play swung from end to end, Forster fired over the angle for Percy Main, while Matty Aspey went close for the visitors and Byrne saved from substitute Liam Thompson. During the closing minutes, The Main almost got another leveller as Tubman was inches from connecting to Green's ball into the area and the ball drifted harmlessly past the far post and Robert Hamilton headed just wide.
Prudhoe Town away next Saturday in the NFA Bowl.....