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Saturday, 30 May 2015

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Offside flag scuppers comeback hopes for the valiant Griffins

A DUBIOUS offside flag halted Stocksfield’s comeback as their valiant second half efforts proved in vain.

Stocksfield’s Glenn Caygill scored in added time against Percy Main on Saturday.

The raising of the flag by the assistant not only denied deadly striker Chris Hall his hat-trick, but quashed the home side’s momentum as they went on to lose 4-3 to rivals Percy Main Amateurs.

The Griffins were left feeling bitter about the decision as the forward man seemingly ran past his marker before coolly sliding home.

If it had stood, the goal would have seen Stocksfield cancel out a three goal margin which Percy Main had held from as early as the 23rd minute.

However, it knocked the stuffing out of the hosts and not even a Glenn Caygill goal in the second minute of injury time could earn them a point.

Stocksfield kicked off the game severely lacking match practice with 51 days elapsing since their previous fixture, and it showed early doors.

They were off the pace and looked disinterested for the large part of the opening half, giving themselves a mountain to climb by conceding after just six minutes.

Caygill pulled back Scott Pocklington on the edge of the area, and the striker’s free kick took a fortuitous flick off the defensive wall to sail over Mark Clark.

The hosts’ sloppiness proved their downfall again just three minutes later, defender Adrian Sutcliffe leaving his leg in for Pocklington to trip over in the area. Percy’s main man made no mistake putting his opponents under more pressure by finding the net from 12 yards.

With no urgency from the home side, their youthful guests took further advantage and looked leagues apart when they made it three on the 23 minute mark.

A Stocksfield free kick was easily dealt with and Mark Richardson was set away, the Amateur showing skill in abundance to lob the outrushing Clark from 30 yards out.

It was only in the dying moments of the half that the home side showed any fighting spirit, but their bad mood was to worsen before they reached the interval.

Firstly, teenager Ben Dibb-Fuller nominated himself as the outstanding candidate for miss of the season when he failed to hit the open goal after Main keeper Robert McGregor scuffed his kick to the back post.

Soon after, Sutcliffe put the ball in the back of the net after sliding in at the far post, only to be told he was in an offside position.

The king of half-time telling-offs Colin Stromsoy was in full voice as he laid into his weary troops for their lethargy. And his words instantly rejuvenated the hosts.

A quick free kick between Phil Murray and Steven Henderson saw the former get to the byeline and pull the ball back for Chris Hall to prod past McGregor.

The arrears were down to one just five minutes later, Hall sending his second home from the penalty spot courtesy of the post after Percy full back Lindsay Collinson clipped Karl Campbell in the box.

They thought their comeback was completed on 69 minutes when Hall converted Rob Grainey’s brilliant pass, but the tight decision from the linesman proved a sickener for the home side.

Their guests were happy to capitalise and would have opened up a healthier lead on 73 minutes but Clark pulled off a magnificent stop to tip Pocklington’s close range effort over the top.

However, the shot stopper was powerless to prevent substitute Michael Crame putting the game to bed when he thumped home Dean Ellis’ defence splitting pass with 13 minutes remaining.

It was hard to take for Stocksfield, particularly captain Bruce Vause who upset the travelling contingent with a late challenge on Collinson which resulted in the defender being carried off.

The home side continued to battle away in the slight hope of gaining something, but Caygill’s header from Henderson’s free kick on 92 minutes was mere consolation.