03 Feb 2020 in News
Richard Coulson’s 91st minute effort won Mark Collingwood’s side a valuable three points at Teesdale Park on Saturday afternoon after Dan Wilson’s early opener was cancelled out by Jamie Poole‘s 55th minute header.
“It was a must win game and, to be fair, I felt we deserved it,” reflected Collingwood after seeing his team go six points above their opponents and leapfrog Penrith to take 16th place in the process.
The value of three points in this one was on display throughout. And arguably after, too, with home left-back Scott Howes shown a red card moments after full-time for striking Seaham substitute Jaden Cahill-Taylor.
On the whole, the importance of this game was on display in a positive sense, though. Both sides looked capable of coming away with a win in the final minutes, just as both appeared keen to take the game to each other early.
It was end-to-end in the opening exchanges and it was the visitors who capitalised on one of the early openings.
Thornaby goalkeeper James Dawson was unfortunate to slip as the ball was played forward in the 13th minute, with Wilson capitalising characteristically swiftly to get get onto the ball and slide it home.
There wasn’t too much in the way of clear cut chances for the remainder of the half, but the intensity and purposeful approach of both sides remained.
Liam Gillesphey’s thumping header from a 34th minute corner was one of the most notable openings. It looked on course to double The Star’s lead but a defender in the six-yard box did well to get in-front of it before it could reach the top-left corner.
The second period continued in largely the same manner, but opportunities were materialising that bit more often.
Thornaby took one of theirs a little under 10 minutes after the break when Poole met a far-post free-kick with a superb header that looped back across goal and into the top-right corner.
Luke Drummond could have given them the lead with a header of his own two minutes later but he nodded wide.
At the other end, meanwhile, both Seaham’s goalscorer on the day would come close in the next four minutes.
First, Wilson did superbly to cleverly flick the ball away from a defender in the box before he poked over. Then Coulson, after being played in, beat the advancing goalkeeper but not the covering Howes with a left-footed effort that would have rolled in otherwise.
A slight lack of ruthlessness was often the one thing preventing the game’s scoreline from reflecting the prevalence of chances.
Joe Carter, for instance, did superbly to evade a marker and cut inside onto his left-foot at the end of a 67th minute counter-attack, but he shot straight at Chris Bannon.
David Henderson then flicked a near-post corner against the post with a clever 72nd minute header, while captain David Robinson sent a low right-footed shot narrowly wide of the left-hand post a little over 10 minutes later.
It felt like there was another goal in the game, even as the clock ticked down. It so nearly came for the hosts. Drummond was teed-up 18-yards out in the 87th minute and thumped a superbly struck right-footed shot against the underside of the crossbar.
Seaham’s own threat was sharpened by now, though, with both Cahill-Taylor and Morgan Dart introduced to add a bit of extra pace and energy, something they’d already done impressively in Wednesday’s 3-2 League Cup defeat at West Allotment Celtic.
That scare likely offered an additional shot in the arm. They sustained pressure for a couple of minutes as the game entered stoppage time and then Coulson capitalised.
The No.11 hung back from the crowd in the box, meaning he was perfectly stationed when a second ball fell to him 15-yards out. He stepped onto it and fired a first-time right-footed shot into the bottom-left corner.
It proved the decisive moment in the game and Collingwood and co will hope it proves a defining moment in Seaham’s season, with the manager after a similar display when Whickham visit next week.
“Exactly the same — we’ll go to war. That’s what we’ve got to do; we’ve got to attack teams, we’ll go to war and that’s what we’ll do from now until the end of the season.”