Seaham Red Star 5-0 South Shields
By Daniel Prince
South Shields were soundly beaten as Seaham Red Star kept up their promotion bid with a 5-0 win.
The Mariners performed well for much of the first half, but when the home side got in front, they went through the gears and showed why they are third in Northern League Division Two.
Shields started with the wind at their backs, and Chris Feasey caused some problems for the Seaham defence with his deliveries into the box.
Stephen Ramsey saw an effort palmed away on 10 minutes for the Mariners, who put their opponents under some early pressure.
With the wind playing such a big part, the long-throw of Ben Riding was utilised throughout the first half, but Shields struggled to get players on the end of them.
Elliot Cutts did see a stinging shot in the aftermath of a Riding throw blocked, but the Mariners could not take advantage of their pressure and went a goal behind against the run of play.
A disputed free-kick was given on the Seaham right, and when the ball was lofted into the box, it bounced around and was eventually bundled in by Josh Home-Jackson on 33 minutes.
From then, the home side started to take control, and they doubled their lead six minutes before half-time.
A good ball in from the left fell perfectly onto the head of the unmarked Adam Johnston, who nodded the ball into the opposite corner.
Adam Burnicle saw a decent effort from a tight angle on the right stopped on the stroke of half-time, and saw another chance blocked at the beginning of the second period.
Shields’ failure to take their chances was then punished when Chris Locke was adjudged to have committed a foul in the box and Seaham were handed a penalty.
The Mariners protested, with Locke booked for dissent, but Johnston stepped up to make it 3-0 from the spot as he sent Wells the wrong way on 49 minutes.
Johnston had a great chance to score his hat-trick five minutes later after he was sent through on goal with a ball over the top, but he mis-controlled the first-time shot and it went wide.
Shields had a good chance to get a goal back when Luke Richardson’s cross was headed goalwards by Ramsey, but a superb one-handed save by Shaun Newbrook denied him.
Any chance of a Mariners comeback was snuffed out on the hour mark, though, when Home-Jackson scored his brace with an unstoppable drive from 25 yards that arrowed into the top corner.
It was five on 69 minutes when Shields goalkeeper Jak Wells failed to deal with a free-kick, with Seaham’s Christopher McCabe on hand to tap into an empty net.
The Mariners showed some decent signs early in the game, but were ultimately comfortably beaten in just their second completed league game of 2014.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Wells, Henderson, Riding, Hall, Locke (Davidson 77), Cutts, Logan (Clark 62), Richardson, Ramsey (c), Burnicle, Feasey (Lynch 71).