22 Jan 2020 in News
Joe Hailes struck the winning spot-kick to ensure Mark Collingwood’s side reached the last four of the competition on Tuesday night after coming through a closely fought tie at the Ferguson Motor Repairs Stadium, which saw Dan Wilson’s 41st minute opener cancelled out by Ross Wilkinson’s 89th minute header, either side of Matty Slocombe’s straight red card.
“Tonight I just said: ‘Listen, go for it. You know, if we get beat, we get beat’.
“And I made a promise to the lads in there, I said listen, every game we approach now we’re just going to attack teams, we’re going to have a proper go,” reflected Collingwood post-match.
It was an approach which certainly seemed to pay dividends on this occasion.
Seaham may have eventually earned their place in the Durham Challenge Cup semi-finals through the fine margins of a penalty shootout, but earn it they undoubtedly did.
They’d set about earning it from the off.
Within 30 seconds, Wilson had whistled the ball across the Consett six-yard box and won a corner after evading a marker down the left.
Within three minutes, he’d forced Kyle Hayes into an excellent save with his left-boot after bursting through.
Purpose and proactivity were visible throughout the home display in opening exchanges. They pinned their visitors — who currently sit 13 places above them, in 4th, in Northern League Division 1 — back for much of the opening 10 minutes.
But, once The Steelmen got out and gained a foothold, they enjoyed the better openings for much of the remainder of the half.
Calvin Smith’s 25-yard free-kick was just about forced over the bar by Chris Bannon — who would prove a key player in the shootout — in the 12th minute.
Thomas McAloon cut in from the left before shooting just wide of the bottom-left corner on 19 minutes and missed the right-hand one by a similar distance when he raced through from the other wing nine minutes later.
Left-back Darren Holden was next in line to try his luck as he fizzed a 34th minute attempt narrowly beyond the left-hand post from 20-yards.
Smith had another try soon after, but this time he too was guilty of missing the target when he side-footed an intelligent cut-back over the bar from inside the box.
Then the hosts came back.
Paul Gardiner stung the palms of Hayes with a powerful 39th minute shot from an inside-right position. Before he turned provider.
In the 41st minute, Seaham worked their way up the pitch superbly.
David Robinson found Mark Waite on the edge of the box. Waite split the defence with a superbly threaded pass into the path of Gardiner and, one-on-one with Hayes, the midfielder kept his head. He unselfishly squared it to Wilson and the No.9 duly tucked the ball into the empty net.
1-0 at the interval. And it could very easily have been 2-0 moments after it when Richard Coulson released Wilson down the right but the striker shot just wide of the far-post upon driving into the box.
Taylor Richardson replaces Waite, who’d picked up a knock, in the 50th minute but sadly his contribution would be a brief one.
He looked lively within his short stint but four minutes after being introduced he was caught by a worryingly knee-high tackle from Slocombe as he looked to burst away from the midfielder.
The challenge earned the Consett man a straight red card from referee Jamie Cann and meant Richardson had to be carried off after receiving treatment. “It looks like he’s done some serious ligament damage,” said Collingwood.
Fellow youngster Jaden Cahill-Taylor took his place and provided significant energy and quality of his own for the remainder of the contest.
It stayed largely tight in the minutes that followed but Consett steadily began to push that bit harder for a leveller, despite the man disadvantage.
Seaham’s Scott Young was forced into a brilliant last-ditch sliding challenge in the 72nd minute when it looked like the visitors were going through on goal, while Jake Orrell curled a 25-yard free-kick narrowly wide of the right-hand post six minutes later.
The hosts’ rearguard action was largely a good one, but the persistence of Terry Mitchell’s men was rewarded less than two minutes from the end of normal time.
Holden’s free-kick from the right was flicked on and centre-back Wilkinson bravely got in ahead of the advancing Bannon to nod home and take the game to penalties.
It would, though, have been even better for Consett had Gardiner not been so sharp in the fifth minute of stoppage-time.
Substitute Antonio Agostino’s close-range effort had beaten Bannon but the midfielder was back on the line and managed to adjust his body swiftly enough stretch and divert the ball away.
The shootout only confirmed the significance of his contribution.
Substitutes Michael Chilton and Daniel Hawkins got their respective sides off to scoring starts. Wilson made it 2-1 to the hosts. And then Bannon came to the fore.
First he dived to his right to palm Smith’s effort away. Paul Weldon sustained the advantage by converting coolly to make it 3-1. Then he dived to his left and did brilliantly to first block Holden’s powerful attempt and then claw the ball away as it threatened to drop over the goalline.
David Robinson was then himself impressively denied by Hayes, who got down to his right to push what would have been the winning penalty wide, before Jermaine Metz scored to get it back to 3-2.
But Hailes made it second time lucky. His spot-kick — swept assuredly into the top left corner — did win it, much to the delight of his teammates and the Seaham faithful in attendance.
As well as being delighted with now having a semi-final to look forward to, Collingwood felt it was a performance that offered a potential blueprint for Saturday’s visit league visit of North Shields and beyond.
“We need to approach the North Shields game like we approached tonight’s game, like it’s a cup final, you know, we need to approach every game like that. We just need to go for games.”
Seaham Red Star (4-2-3-1):
1. Chris Bannon; 2. Scott Young, 6. Liam Gillesphey, 5. Anthony Myers (Chilton, 80’), 3. Paul Weldon; 4. Mark Waite (Richardson, 50’), 8. Paul Gardiner; 7. Joe Hailes, 10. David Robinson (C), 11. Richard Coulson; 9. Dan Wilson
12. Michael Chilton, 14. Matthew Tumilty, 15. Morgan Dart, 16. Taylor Richardson (Cahill-Taylor, 58’), 17. Jaden Cahill-Taylor
Manager: Mark Collingwood
1. Kyle Hayes; 2. Jermaine Metz, 5. Arjun Purewal (C), 6. Ross Wilkinson, 3. Darren Holden; 8. Calvin Smith, 4. Matty Slocombe (RC), 10. Max Russell (Hawkins, 65’); 7. Jake Orrell; 11. Thomas McAloon (Agostino, 85’), 9. Michael Mackay (Briggs, 62’)
12. Simon Jakab, 14. Nick Allan, 15. Daniel Hawkins, 16. Dean Briggs, 17. Antonio Agostino
Manager: Terry Mitchell
Referee: Jamie Cann
Seaham Red Star:
Wilson (41’), Assist: Gardiner
Wilkinson (89’), Assist: Holden