Whickham narrowly defeated 10-man Seaham Red Star 1-0 at home WRITES BEN ROBINSON.
Scott Robson broke the deadlock for the home side, smashing the ball in from an uncleared corner seven minutes into the game.
The visiting manager Mark Colllingwood was sent off after a dispute with the linesman early into the second-half.
The hosts missed a big chance to double their lead through Mark Fitzpatrick after he broke free inside the area with 10 minutes remaining.
Red Star were then also a man down in the last minute of additional time when Thomas Bott was shown a straight red for swearing at the referee.
Both sides had opposite form coming into the game with Whickham having only one win since August, meanwhile Seaham had only two defeats in their last 12 fixtures.
The hosts started brightly, with Zak Atkinson driving a shot from tight angle straight at the ‘keeper following a long pass from Michael Hoganson.
Robson then smashed the ball into the bottom corner, from just inside the area to give his side the lead after The Star failed to clear a Hoganson corner.
James Anderson was tested for the first time 25 minutes in when a looping header from Jordan Patterson from a wide free-kick needed to be tipped over by the Whickham shot-stopper.
Andrew Jennison then denied Scott Jasper a goal on his debut 7 minutes later, as the forward’s volley was saved by the ‘keepers legs following Atkinson’s through ball.
Seaham boss Mark Collingwood was then shown a red card six minutes into the second-half for a verbal dispute with the linesman.
Joseph Hailes came close for Red Star just after the hour-mark, heading a whipped cross from Joshua Baggs into the grateful arms of Anderson.
The Lang Jacks lead was nearly wiped away with 12 minutes remaining when an in-swinging corner was headed goalwards By Liam Haywood, but with a defender deflecting the shot off the post.
Fitzpatrick then missed a huge opportunity minutes later when Atkinson scrambled a shot at goal from the floor, with the rebound being sliced wide by the former Dunston man.
Fitzpatrick then missed another one-on-one in the 7th minute of injury time when Atkinson slipped him in on goal but the forward fired over.
Bott was then shown a straight red for Seaham a minute later for hurling abuse at the referee, following a decision going against the striker.
Red Star Team : Jennison, Baggs, Hailes, Heywood, Nelson, Patterson (Robinson J), Kerr, Bott, Weldon (Kerridge), Robinson M. Sayer