|5 January 2024
|Northern League Division One
|Seaham Red Star
The night before the much anticipated Sunderland v Newcastle FA cup tie, the Stan travelled to Seaham for the 1st Wearside v Tyneside match of the weekend. Both teams were up for it especially given the lack of matches over the last 2 months due to weather induced postponements. There was plenty of action, especially in the 1st half, & it was the hard working Stan who deservedly came away with the 3 points. There were 4 changes from the Stan’s last match on 23 December, a 3-2 home win over Penrith. Brass, who took ill pre-match, Hornsby, Stephenson & Greenwood were replaced by Corkhill, Sayer, Slaughter & Lashley.
On a surprisingly pleasant evening, given that most other matches were postponed, both teams started positively with the Stan shooting over the Seaham bar in the 2nd minute. Sayer then had a shot deflected but a bye kick was given. Red Star got their 1st attack in 4 minutes, but the Stan defence easily dealt with it. There was more Seaham pressure for 3 minutes ending with a good clearance by Turnbull. It was the Stan though who scored in the 9th minute. Lamb advanced but was blocked in front of the right corner flag although he managed to get the ball back to Evans behind him who sent a fantastic cross into the busy box for Carr to head confidently into the net. The goal spurred on both teams although the Stan were getting more attacks in than their hosts. Hopper made a great run forward in 19 minutes, but Lamb couldn’t get on the end of his pass. In 23 minutes, Seaham shot over from close range. It was end to end now as things heated up. In 31 minutes, a Red Star free kick was deflected for a corner from which they headed into the Stan net for the equaliser. In 34 minutes, Lamb was brought down & the resulting free kick was sent into the box, but Scott’s header was caught by the home keeper. Seaham countered but were blocked & the rebound shot from the edge of the box went just wide. Corkhill then sent the ball up the pitch & a mix up between the Seaham keeper, who was out of his box, & a defender allowed Lamb to collect the ball & walk it into an empty box then net to make it 2-1 to the Stan in 35 minutes. In 38 minutes, after some good work by Lashley, Hopper sent the ball into the box but it was caught by the home keeper. It was now one way traffic as the Stan continued to keep the pressure on the Seaham defence. In 43 minutes, a Lashley free kick into the home box was cleared &, supplied by Hopper & Reid, Lamb had a shot cleared. Evans then supplied Hopper who sent the ball across the edge of the home box but Lashley’s long range effort went well over. The half ended loudly, thanks to the very vocal home manager, who was booked, & his little helper in his Santa hat.
Red Star started the 2nd half on the attack as they knew they could still take something from this match. Both teams were trying to attack but with no clear end product. Hopper made a great run & cross in 54 minutes, but the ball was cleared. Red Star then sent a ball into the Stan box which was blocked with the rebound shot going just over the bar. In 57 minutes, Corkhill parried the ball from a Seaham free kick then caught the rebound shot. There was more Seaham pressure & a long range effort went just wide in 61 minutes. 2 minutes later & Corkhill had to get down to make a save. The Stan then had some pressure including in 66 minutes when a sub Stephenson free kick was deflected by the wall but went just wide for a corner. The ball from the corner was cleared & Lamb’s rebound shot went wide. 2 minutes later Carr’s shot in a busy Seaham box was blocked with Evans then shooting just wide. A Red Star attack was then cleared followed by Corkhill getting down to easily catch another home effort. The end-to-end action continued but the teams were cancelling each other out. There was some late Red Star pressure as they frantically sought an equaliser, but the Stan held on & actually still tried to get forward when they could as the referee blew the final whistle in the 96th minute.
The 2nd half was quieter overall than the 1st half & also goalless. It wasn’t helped by the rain which started in 60 minutes. The Stan got an important win but had to work hard for it during a competitive game. They are now back on Tyneside on Wednesday but away again at North Shields.