South Shields 1-3 Seaham Red Star
By Philip Reay. Match sponsored by: CVN Print.
Title favourites Seaham Red Star came from behind to beat South Shields 3-1 at Peterlee on Saturday in a game that saw both sides reduced to 10 men.
Shields went in at half-time with a 1-0 lead, and had also had a penalty saved, but Seaham responded strongly after the break to take the three points at Eden Lane.
Seaham had started the game on the front foot, and inside the first five minutes, former Mariner Liam McBryde collected a ball from Warren Byrne before firing his shot wide of the upright.
Shields responded instantly as Craig Roberts collected the ball from Chris Renshaw and outpaced his man before shooting wide of the post.
As the game approached the 10 minute mark, a Lewis Wing shot was deflected beyond the post for a Seaham corner.
The resulting corner was cleared by Chris Feasey to Lee Maitland, and he in turn played the ball into the path of Barrie Smith, but he saw his shot strike the bar. The ball fell into the path of Baptiste Fixot, but he sent his shot wide of the post.
Shields maintained the pressure, and on 13 minutes they had a penalty appeal waved away by the referee as a Feasey shot appeared to strike the arm of a defender.
The pressure bore fruit a minute later as Paul Kane rounded Red Star goalkeeper Shaun Newbrook to fire in to give Shields the advantage.
On the quarter-hour, Shields had a golden opportunity to double their advantage. Stephen Ramsey was fouled inside the box and the referee awarded a penalty, but Kane was foiled by a comfortable save from Newbrook.
The Mariners continued to press forward, and on 20 minutes Craig Roberts, starting his first game following injury, collected the ball on the right flank before cutting in towards goal, but again he was unable to trouble the keeper as his shot flew over the bar.
A minute later, Roberts again caused problems for the Seaham defence as he outpaced his marker before releasing Kane, but his shot also flew over the bar.
As the 25 minute mark approached, Seaham were reduced to 10 men when Carl Thorp was shown a red card.
Despite being a man short, Seaham pressed forward, and Byrne, with only the keeper to beat, mis-hit his shot, and the ball flew well wide of the post.
Two yellow cards within three minutes for Maitland saw Shields also reduced to 10 men on the half hour.
The hosts continued to dominate possession, though. Kane collected the ball wide on the left and combined with Feasey, but he was unable to trouble Newbrook as his shot flew wide of the post.
With 10 minutes remaining in the first half, a flowing move started by Smith and involving Kane and Ramsey created an opportunity for Roberts, but he was denied by a fine save by Newbrook.
On 40 minutes, Feasey turned past his marker on the left flank before slipping the ball into the path of Kane, and he in turn found Roberts on the edge of the box. Roberts fired a shot at goal that was blocked by a Seaham defender and the ball fell into the path of Kane, but he fired his shot wide.
In the last action of the first half, Smith fired the ball into the Seaham box where it was met by Kane, and he headed on to Ramsey. However, with the goal at his mercy, he headed wide, and the sides left the park with Shields holding the slenderest of advantages.
At the start of the second half, Alex Kempster replaced the injured Feasey for Shields.
Seaham restored parity on 52 minutes when they were awarded a penalty, with Dean Nicholson making no mistake with his spot kick.
The goal spurred the visitors on. Byrne picked the ball up 25 yards from goal and fired the ball towards the top corner, only to be denied by a superb fingertip save by Niki Lawson in the Shields goal.
As the hour mark approached, Ryan Bolam replaced Fixot, and the youngster was soon in action. A long throw from Ben Riding eventually fell for Bolam, but his shot flew wide of the post.
From the clearance, Seaham pressed forward and McBryde collected the ball inside the Shields box, but having beaten his man, he was unable to get his shot on target.
Red Star were beginning to look more like a side challenging for the league title, and with the second half 20 minutes old, Wing fired the visitors into the lead with a well-taken shot from 20 yards.
Seaham quickly increased their advantage as McBryde collected a poor clearance on the edge of the box and chipped the ball over the keeper to put his side 3-1 up.
Shields manager Jon King made his final change of the game with 70 minutes on the clock as another of Kevin Bolam’s successful Under-18 side, Ewan Simpson, came on to make his senior debut, replacing Ramsey.
Seaham, with the cushion of a two-goal advantage, barely threatened again as Shields looked to get back in the game, but try as they might, they were unable to create the vital opening.
In the closing minutes, second half substitute Kempster had two opportunities, but was unable to beat Newbrook as the visitors claimed the points.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Lawson, Roberts, Feasey (Kempster 46), Locke (c), Riding, Renshaw, Smith, Fixot (Bolam 59), Ramsey (Simpson 70), Maitland, Kane. Subs not used: Talbot, Hubery.
Goal: Kane (10).
Sent off: Maitland.
SEAHAM RED STAR: Newbrook, Reay, Burton, Thorp, Wing, Donnelly, Scott, Nicholson (Shaw), Byrne, Kerr, McBryde (Storey).
Goals: Nicholson (pen 52), Wing (64), McBryde (68).
Sent off: Thorp.