Ferguson Motor Repairs Stadium
First time opponents Seaham Red Star launched, eventually, the career of ex Albion Player Manager Nigel Gleghorn. It was indeed his birthplace and it was good to see a picture of him in their clubhouse from the 81/82 season and the locals still hold him very much in esteem.
The end result of this tie was settled as early as the 8th minute after Will Jones had done well to play the ball in from the left side of the box, the home defenders failure to clear the danger allowed Billy Smart to have enough time to steer his low driven shot to the left of home custodian Chris Bannon much to the delight of the vociferous coach party of travelling Wittoners in the healthy 272 strong attendance figure.
Jones and Smart themselves linked up just after the half-hour mark but this time Bannon was able to get down and smother the midfielder’s attempt. Left back James Short, looking to repeat his goal from the previous Hyde United game, tried a 25 yarder just before the break but it was straight at the keeper allowing a comfortable take.
Red Star came out with real purpose in the second period, applying lots of pressure towards the Albion goalmouth. A particular spell saw them obtain four corners in quick succession but never seriously threatening Chris Renshaw. In fact the most difficultly he had en route to his 4th clean sheet in 6 games was dealing with a long punt that took an awkward bounce but he was alert enough to push the ball up and out for yet another corner kick.
A pleasing sight came in the 58th minute when Tom Owens returned to match action after breaking a toe that forced him to miss the previous three games. However he should really have made the tie safe in the final stages but hesitation with his shot, after Jones had perfectly set him up, enabled Matthew Wade the time to get in position to block.
A desperate attempt to win a penalty was waved away by excellent match referee Lewis Sandoe and a foul by his opposite number on Renshaw brought the proceedings finally to a close with a Danny McKenna 64th minute yellow card the only slight blemish on an otherwise beautiful sunny day up on the County Durham coast.
RED STAR: Chris Bannon; Scott Young, Paul Weldon, Matthew Wade, Anthony Myers (Mattie Tumilty 70), Liam Gillesphey (Paul Gardiner 70), Sean McRoberts, Michael Chilton (Morgan Dart 61), Dan Wilson, David Robinson & Richard Coulson. Subs n/u Josh Winthrop & David Henderson. Cautioned: Gillesphey foul 53 mins.
ALBION: Chris Renshaw; Jack Byrne, James Short, Josh Wardle, Adam Anson, Liam Goulding, Danny McKenna (Kyle Hawley 73), Billy Smart, Cesaire Lingouba, Will Jones & James Murray (Tom Owens 58). Sub n/u Stefan Sorensen. Cautioned: McKenna foul 64 mins.
REFEREE: Lewis Sanoe, Assistants: Matthew Morton & David Jarvis. ATTENDANCE: 272