22 Sep 2019 in Supporters Club
Dean Thexton scored twice in each half, either side of a Gerard Richardson strike, as Newton Aycliffe comfortably saw off The Star at the Ferguson Motor Repairs Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
“I think the biggest positive was that it was only five,” reflected Mark Collingwood post-match.
It was an observation that gave an impression of the kind of afternoon the hosts had endured at the hands of an admittedly impressive Newton Aycliffe.
After a morale-boosting victory over Durham City in the Durham Challenge Cup on Tuesday night, the Seaham manager had been hopeful of carrying the momentum into the latest league outing, but the side currently sitting seventh in the division were in no mood to allow that.
Despite that, the game’s opening was relatively even.
A speculative effort by Shaun Ryder that sailed over and an impressive last-ditch challenge by Scott Young on Thexton represented the extent of the visitors’ chances prior to the 22nd minute opener, while Richard Coulson and Michael Chilton both found the gloves of Adam Pickford at the other end.
Upon taking the lead, though, Aycliffe rarely looked threatened.
They earned it with a flowing counter that saw Lewis Walton released down the left by Ryan Redford before the full-back found the perfectly timed run of Thexton who slid a left-footed finish past Chris Bannon and into the bottom-right corner.
Captain Sean McRoberts having to leave the field due to injury in the 27th minute then dealt a further blow to Collingwood’s side, especially given Matty Wade, Liam Gillesphey and David Robinson were already unavailable. Anthony Myers was also withdrawn at half-time with a knock of his own.
Dan Wilson did force Pickford into a good save with his feet just before the half-hour mark, but that was as close as The Star would come to levelling.
Five minutes later Thexton was through again, this time courtesy of a clearance that became a through-ball by Liam McNamara, and the striker found the same corner with a well-struck right-footed volley from 18-yards.
Bannon did well to hold Ryder’s 30-yard free-kick shortly before half-time, ensuring the deficit was limited to two heading into the break, but the visitors were soon back on the front-foot after the restart.
Within two minutes, Thexton had struck the post with a far-post header from an excellent Redford cross. More goals would arrive for Daniel Moore’s men, but they did have to see out a better Seaham spell for the next 15 minutes or so.
The newly introduced Morgan Dart teed-up Taylor Richardson in the 57th minute, but both of the midfielder’s efforts were blocked.
Pickford was then forced into a brilliant save two minutes later as he flung himself to his right to claw away half-time substitute Alex Sakellaropoius’ goal-bound header from a Paul Weldon free-kick.
Michael Chilton raced through and fired a left-footed attempt narrowly over soon after, but the increased threat seemed to make the visitors additionally determined to turn the screw.
Ethan Wood weaved cleverly into the box before being denied by Bannon in the 62nd minute and Matthew Tumilty did well to turn Richardson’s inviting cross over his own bar in the 66th.
From the resulting corner, however, came the first of three goals in a ruthless eight minutes.
Richardson got his reward for a tireless midfield display as he sent a right-footed half-volley into the bottom-right corner after the second-ball fell to him in the box.
Thexton then completed his hat-trick in appropriately slick style.
On 71 minutes, he was found in the box by Alexander Barnes’ pass before he worked the ball onto his left-foot and coolly side-footed into the bottom-left corner of the net.
And the chance for his fourth and Aycliffe‘s fifth came soon enough.
Walton was brought down in the box by Chilton and the striker duly stroked the resulting spot-kick down the middle as Bannon went to his right.
Chilton nodded a Weldon corner over in the 90th minute as The Star searched for a goal that they would, in truth, have been good value for. But this was still a chastening afternoon.
The impact of injuries and the suspension of club captain David Robinson shouldn’t be overlooked and was an undeniable handicap on the hosts, but Collingwood and Simon Johnson still hoped for more and are looking for a response on Tuesday with the visit of Heaton Stannington in the Northern League Cup.
“Hopefully we’ll get it out of our system and then we’ll put a performance in, get a reaction,” stated Johnson when speaking on that topic post-match.
Seaham Red Star (3-4-1-2):
1. Chris Bannon; 2. Scott Young (YC), 5. Anthony Myers (Sakellaropoius, 46’), 3. Paul Weldon; 7. Sean McRoberts (C) (Tumilty, 27’), 4. David Henderson, 6. Paul Gardiner, 11. Richard Coulson; 8. Taylor Richardson (YC); 10. Michael Chilton, 9. Dan Wilson (Dart, 56’)
12. Morgan Dart, 14. Joseph Hailes, 15. Matthew Tumilty, 16. Alex Sakellaropoius, 17. Aaron Steavons
Manager: Mark Collingwood