Ferguson Motor Repairs Stadium
The Star got their first win in Group A at the Ferguson Motor Repairs Stadium on Tuesday night thanks to goals from Anthony Myers, Morgan Dart and Richard Coulson, despite Derek Thompson’s side impressing and scoring in stoppage-time at the end of each half through Thibault Charmey and Jon Wright.
After Saturday’s 0-5 home defeat to Newton Aycliffe, the return to winning ways was a more than welcome one for manager Mark Collingwood.
“Desire, work rate and a little bit of hurt from Saturday,” were some of the key elements that the home boss felt earned his side a morale-boosting victory.
“I thought we were fantastic for large periods of the game and the only negatives were probably our game management again; five minutes before half-time we sort of dropped off and five minutes before full-time we dropped off but we were down to 10 by that point in the second-half”.
Captain Liam Gillesphey was the unfortunate player to be dismissed courtesy of two bookings midway through the second-period, but the evening was a highly promising one aside.
After a relatively even opening that saw both Ryan Bailey and Dan Wilson go close with left-footed attempts and Dart and Joe Kerridge send teasing deliveries across the respective six-yard boxes, Seaham began to take a hold of the game.
Jaden Cahill-Taylor, appropriately, was the one who kick-started their dominant spell. The debutant, who captains Sunderland College Under 19s, was excellent throughout and his superbly flighted 15th minute cross was just too high for Wilson but put the hosts on the front-foot.
Seven minutes later, Wilson saw a left-footed shot palmed behind by Richard Hoggins before the goalkeeper then did brilliantly to touch a 30-yard pile-driver from Cahill-Taylor onto the crossbar.
When the ball then came back out to the youngster he delivered a perfectly flighted first-time cross that was met well by Gillesphey whose header flashed just wide.
The pressure told soon enough, though. With the ball again at his feet on the right moments after, Cahill-Taylor whipped another peach to the far-post and Anthony Myers gave it the finish it deserved; thumping a header into the top-left corner.
Dart was also impressing once more. Despite an early knock, he was clearly keen to capitalise on a starting berth after two eye catching substitute appearances.
He very nearly netted a stunner in the 28th minute when his overhead-kick from 15-yards, which looked bound for the top-left corner, was forced over by Hoggins, but he soon had his reward.
After Gillesphey and Paul Weldon both came close in the following minutes, he gave The Star the 2-0 advantage they deserved in the 34th as he met Coulson’s cross with a left-footed volley that proved too hot for the goalkeeper to handle and found the net.
In the Seaham goal, Aaron Steavens was another young player putting in an assured display. Despite having a relatively quiet opening 35, he was alert enough to palm Bailey’s low attempt out of the danger area in the 39th minute before doing well to block Wright’s cross shot with his feet in first-half stoppage-time.
He could do very little moments before the break though, when Charmey planted his penalty into the top-right corner after a Heaton man was brought down by Myers in the box.
That gave the visitors a notable boost going into the second-period, which proved considerably more end-to-end.
They could have been level in the 55th minute when Joe Kerridge’s free-kick was nodded against the right-hand post, but the energetic Coulson reinstated the hosts two-goal lead soon after.
Wilson intelligently found the winger in the box with a precise cut-back in the 63rd minute and the Number 11 took it under control before coolly guiding a shot inside the left-hand post.
It was a strike that became all the more valuable given Gillesphey’s dismissal three minutes later.
Wilson and Coulson both saw attempts from range well-dealt with by Hoggins, before Seaham were forced onto the back-foot by their increasingly forward-thinking opponents.
Bailey had sent a header just wide from a corner between those two Seaham efforts but it was the captain, Charmey, who led the charge in the game’s final ten minutes.
He saw one long-range attempt thump the post and another palmed away by Steavens in the 85th and 91st minute respectively before his through-ball set up the visitor’s second goal in the fourth minute of stoppage-time.
Wright raced onto it and found the net with a delicate chip over the head of the advancing goalkeeper. A moment of such quality was, in truth, an appropriate way to end such an engaging contest.
Collingwood and his side will be hoping to produce a similarly entertaining - and effective - display when they visit fifth-placed Shildon on Saturday.
Seaham Red Star (4-4-2):
1. Aaron Steavens, 2. Alex Sakellaropoius, 5. Anthony Myers, 6. Liam Gillesphey (C) (YC/RC), 3. Paul Weldon; 7. Jaden Cahill-Taylor, 4. David Henderson, 8. Paul Gardiner, 11. Richard Coulson; 10. Morgan Dart, 9. Dan Wilson
12. Michael Chilton, 14. Joseph Hailes, 15. Matthew Tumilty, 16. Jacob Dow, 17. Chris Bannon (GK)