Percy Main 1 Birtley Town 4
Main go down at home to Birtley....
Birtley took the spoils on a decidedly chilly Spring evening, in which hot Bovril was definitely the order of the day for the shivering watchers, with all goals coming during the second half. At the interval, there was little indication of the goal fest which was to materialise during the final 35 minutes as the visitors who had had the lions share of the chances, but had failed to break the deadlock, while Percy Main's cause was not helped by the injury and subsequent withdrawal of the in form Joe Rowan.
Birtley started on the offensive as Ricky Tanoh turned and fired just past the post and on 4 minutes, Logan Powell played in Andy Hall who found himself with only the goalkeeper to beat, but Craig Byrne in the home nets, saved well with his legs. It was a good chance for the visitors and an equally impressive stop from the goalkeeper who has vied with Rob Rodgerson and Paul Marsh for his place during the past week.
Byrne's opposite number, Phil Mills was alert to touch behind a drive from Steven Hurd and from the subsequent corner, Jake Forster's attempted overhead kick was well wide. The Main had the ball in the net on 22 minutes as Forster played a superb through ball for Paul Collinson, who took the ball down in some style before rolling the ball past the goalkeeper, but an offside decision was given and the goal didn't stand.
Soon after Byrne denied the visitors once more, dealing with Ricky Fenwick's free kick from out wide on the left after Tanoh had been upended by Percy skipper Rob Watson and the home side had a definite let off as Hall blazed over from close range.
Birtley started the second half as they had the first after Damien Stevens and the lively Tanoh had gone close, but the stalemate was broken as Stevens centred low from the left flank and Aaron McEwan converted from close range. Things got worse for Percy Main 5 minutes later as Stevens was played in following a break from defence to run on and double the visitors lead with a clinical finish.
Tanoh supplied the ammunition for Stevens second and Birtley's third on 74 minutes, before Main substitute Dan Henderson on for Watson, touched on for Jake Forster, who netted a consolation for The Main, with a well struck shot from outside the area.
Tanoh almost added another for the visitors in stoppage time with a mazy run into the area which culminated in a shot which just cleared the crossbar and in the 97th minute (where that stoppage time came from, no one knows) Fenwick's free kick from the edge of the area for Birtley, found its way to Simon Hay who netted at the far post.
The action continues unabated as Percy Main travel to Gateshead Rutherford tomorrow (Wednesday) evening - kick off is 6:30.