South Shields 2 VS 1 Seaham Red Star
South Shields secured their first win of the season as they deservedly beat Seaham Red Star 2-1.
The Mariners had been winless in their opening four competitive games of the campaign.
However, they looked in good form against Red Star, despite a nervy ending in front of a Mariners Park crowd of 916.
Before the game, Shields announced Michael Turner had left the club because of work commitments, and Julio Arca slotted into his place at left-back.
He was heavily involved early in proceedings, with his dangerous delivery from the left headed behind under pressure.
Shields took a nerve-settling lead in the 10th minute as David Palmer released Barrie Smith down the right, and his cross was headed in by Gavin Cogdon for his fourth goal in as many games.
Cogdon was a constant threat against Red Star, although worryingly for Shields fans, he limped off in stoppage time with what appeared to be a hamstring injury.
After Cogdon's goal, the Mariners looked in the mood to kill the game off early, but they couldn't add a second despite creating several openings.
Jon Shaw went the closest when his shot was cleared off the line, and Palmer also had an effort saved.
To their credit, Seaham did not let their heads drop, but at times they were unable to get out of their own half as Shields played some superb football.
Palmer curled a shot just wide and Arca hit a free-kick just over, and the Mariners went into half-time wondering how they had not extended their advantage.
After failing to create a clear-cut chance in the first half, Seaham almost equalised less than a minute into the second when Thomas Price got in behind and flicked an effort not far wide.
Shields were struggling to get their football flowing as well as it had been in the first half, but they burst back into action when they added their second goal on 64 minutes.
Palmer received the ball in the box with his back to ball, turned and then fired into the bottom corner as he netted against his former club.
David Foley went close to sealing the win soon after when he drove at the visiting defence, but his low shot was well held by Shaun Newbrook.
With 15 minutes left, any hopes of a Seaham comeback appeared as good as over when defender Dan Kirkup was given a straight red card for a reckless foul on Cogdon.
However, the visitors regrouped, and possessed more of a threat with 10 men as Shields retreated.
They gave themselves a lifeline in the 77th minute when they capitalised on a mistake at the back, and Paul Gardiner rolled the ball home.
Seaham then put their hosts under some real pressure, but Shields held out for the three points, much to the delight of the large home support.
They will look to build on their victory over the weekend, with trips to Chester-le-Street Town on Saturday and Penrith on Monday.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Carmichael, Smith, Arca, Storey, Danny Carson, David Carson, Palmer, Scroggins (c) (Briggs 71), Shaw, Cogdon (Morse 90+2), Foley (Phillips 68). Subs not used: Elliott, Byrne.
Goals: Cogdon (10), Palmer (64).
WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGE: Peter Talbot.