06 Dec 2019 in News
Goals from Dan Wilson in the 50th minute and Max Brown in the 80th saw The Bolly Blues and The Star take a point apiece from Frenchfield Park on Saturday afternoon.
It was a result that saw Penrith move ahead of Northallerton Town and into 17th place come Saturday evening, while Seaham moved themselves a point above bottom of the table Whickham.
Boss Mark Collingwood, reflecting on his side’s first outing in 14 days, admitted post-match that it felt like two points dropped, having narrowly missed the chance to leapfrog their hosts and go into 17th themselves, but believed there were still plenty of positives:
“It’s another game undefeated. It’s an away point against a team that’s sort of in and around you so, whilst there’s negatives, whilst we’re saying it’s two points dropped, any point in the Northern League First Division is a good point in the position we’re in and hopefully it’s another point towards getting away from the bottom-half of the table”.
The visitors started impressively quickly. David Robinson floated a clever right-footed effort narrowly beyond the far-post from 18-yards only a minute in while Wilson saw a drive from a little further whistle over.
Penrith began to work their way into the game from there, marked by Kyle May heading narrowly wide from a corner just before the quarter-of-an-hour mark. But the visitors remained the side with the stronger foothold in the contest.
Sean McRoberts sent a 25-yard free-kick into the gloves of Luke Miller a little over 10 minutes later and shortly after that The Star had their most promising moment yet.
Richard Coulson’s powerful first-time — and seemingly goalbound — shot in the box was well-blocked by Ric Faustino before the loose-ball was swiftly picked up and then thumped against the bar by David Robinson with a rasping 25-yard attempt.
Despite Robinson — who was influential throughout — drilling another effort across the face of goal and narrowly wide of the bottom-left corner in the 39th minute and Wilson sending a header straight at Miller in stoppage-time at the end of the half, the score remained 0-0 as the sides headed in at the break.
That changed within five minutes of the restart, however, when an eye-catching Seaham move saw Matthew Wade float a pass out to McRoberts on the right whose perfectly flighted cross allowed Wilson to head it back across Miller and into the bottom-right corner.
It gave the visitors a well-earned lead but the Billy Blues responded impressively.
Within seconds, Brown sent an inviting low delivery across the face of goal which had no takers while Shaun Gardner twice tested Bannon in the next 10 minutes; first with a header and then a relatively tame free-kick.
Kingsley Grandison didn’t miss the top-left corner by too much with a well-struck 30-yard volley in the 62nd minute either. Yet The Star still looked relatively comfortable — and remained a threat.
Robinson and Wilson exchanged passes intricately on the edge of the Penrith box two minutes later, with the goalscorer then stinging the palms of Miller with a right-footed shot.
And the away side’s full-backs almost combined to great effect in the 71st minute when Scott Young timed his arrival at the far-post to perfection to meet Paul Weldon’s stood-up cross on the volley. Miller got across to make a sharp stop, though.
Another inviting home delivery, this time from Jonny Studholme, again went without a recipient and rolled behind in the 78th minute. Substitute Michael Chilton then almost made the hosts pay instantly when he met Wilson’s left-footed cross-shot but, with the ball bobbling up awkwardly, he could only steer over from point-blank range.
Instead, it was Penrith who would capitalise on a late chance. The ball was back down the other end moments later and when it crept in-behind Seaham’s backline Brown raced onto it before clipping a superbly composed right-footed finish over the advancing Bannon and into the net.
It was reward for the home side battling their way back into the game but, with the equaliser representing their first really clear chance of the afternoon, it was still a frustrating moment for The Star.
They looked to respond, with Robinson brilliantly battling his way into a shooting position in the box on 84 minutes, but his shot went a couple of yards wide.
Both sides were clearly after three points rather than one as the match became increasingly stretched in the closing stages.
Seaham kept knocking on the door but it was Penrith who came closest to a winner when a swift counter-attack in the first minute of stoppage-time ended with Brown slicing Gardner’s lay-off wide from 18-yards.
The game’s conclusion reflected that, while neither would have been fully satisfied with the full-time scoreline, not losing was a notable plus.
And Collingwood felt his side could go into Tuesday’s trip to second-placed Consett with a spring in their step.
“We’ve got a good record at Consett. Yeah they’re brilliant on their own pitch and they could absolutely give us a hiding to nothing if they’re on their day but, if we’re on our day, we’re more than capable of playing anybody in this league. We fear no one so we’ll go there full of beans and what will be will be.”