After floating up the A1 and into The North East Collective in Eldon Gardens to collect a painting by Chris Cummings, a noted local artist, not just on a football theme, I made my way via lunch on the front at Cullercoats to Purvis Park home of Percy Main Amateur Football Club. The local area is named after the Colliery that was owned by the Percy family which was opened in 1799 and closed 96 years later.
I have wanted to go here ever since reading Village Voice by Ian Cussack. The game was a Norther Football Alliance Premier Division game between Percy Main and Cullercoats.
By the time I reached the ground the day had changed completely to a mixture of blue and grey skies with a light breeze. The playing area can be viewed from the road through a metal pailing fence but a concession and program only costs £ 1.50 here. I was happy to give £5 for two hours of entertainment. The kick off was at 2.30 because there are no lights or any seating area. There is however a clubhouse and team changing area, a bar and food area where I bought some chips and a coffee.
I usually leave the chips till last in my blogs but these need a special mention at only £1.20 I had to ask for only half of them as you will see from the photo that the half shown was really enough. They were hot, cooked especially for me, very slightly oily but tasty and a great score of 80. The lady who cooked them was happy and you felt you were welcome.
Back to Percy Main, it is next door to a cricket square which is divided from the football by a thick large hedge and on two sides it is tree lined. The program did say that the club are in the process of bidding for a grant from the Football Foundation to upgrade the clubhouse and provide some seating. Good luck with this and I look foreward to another visit when they will be in place. The pitch was relatively flat but looked soft and cut up a little after the mornings constant rain.
Cullercoats F.C.were started in 1915 as Culver Cots the name of a dove breeding area in nearby Cullvercoats Bay. It seems not possible to find any history on the club but they have developed today to run two senior teams, junior and ladies teams.
Percy Main Amateurs F.C. were formed by demob soldiers in 1919 and have spent time in the Northern Amateur League, Tyneside League and the Northern Aĺiance League but their highest achievement was reaching the quarter finals of the 1929-30 F.A. Amateur Cup finally losing after a long journey to Bournemouth Gasworks Athletic two nil. Bournemouth eventually made it to the final where they lost 5-1 to Ilford.
Percy Main Amateurs F.C. 2 Cullercoats F.C.3
Percy Main dominated the start of the game and it was no surprise that they went ahead when Jordon Stephenson tapped in a cross after some work down the right. They should have added to this but for some good goalkeeping and the home side were good for their half time lead even though the cross bar had saved them on one occaision.Sea gulls swirled over the pitch at half time as the temperature started to drop.
10 minutes from the re-start of the second half Cullercoats were level when James Cooper ran on to a gift of a ball from a Percy Main defender drilling it home from the centre of the goal. It was all Cullercoats and substitute Jay Errington put them ahead after 75 minutes when again some hesitation in the defence gave him an easy tap in. The away teams domination was suddenly ended when Paul Collinson was upended in the box and a penalty awarded. Collinson picked the ball up,walked to the spot and was impeded by a Cullercoats player. Collinson pushed that player out of the way with force and was sent off. Jordon Stephenson calmly made it two for him and the team at 2.2.
Errington of Cullercoats won it for them when a ball was gifted to him from the head of a defender.
A great day out at a friendly club that deserves more local support.