What would progress into an ultimately disappointing afternoon began promisingly for Seaham. Tumilty gave them their 14th minute lead when he bravely converted a diving header from close-range after centre-back partner Liam Gillesphey headed Paul Weldon’s corner back across goal.
Mark Collingwood’s side had started largely on the front-foot and continued to look comfortable enough for the remainder of the half, despite Michael Chilton being forced off after only 18 minutes.
Long-range efforts from Fernando Moke and Ross Daly shortly after the half-hour mark that whistled over and found the gloves of Chris Bannon respectively were the closest the visitors would come in the opening 45. And while both Richard Coulson and Dan Hailes tested Graham McLachlan in the final minutes of the first-period, the hosts never truly looked close to their best.
“I didn’t think we were good enough in the first-half,” reflected Management Team member Simon Johnson post-match, who felt the signs of a comeback from the visitors were already present.
Indeed, within two minutes of the restart Stephen Crawford had won them a penalty. Anthony Flynn couldn’t capitalise though, as he thumped the bar with the spot-kick.
Such an opening did seem to give the Ammers a further lift though. Harrison Blakey and Leon Henry both came close with well-struck but off-target volleyed attempts in the next 15 minutes, before the former then kick-started their recovery.
In the 70th minute, the ball came loose in the Seaham box and Blakey raced onto it ahead of the home defenders to drill a powerful right-footed shot under the dive of Bannon and in.
The Star responded positively and urgently though, with Sean McRoberts forcing a good save out of McLachlan from a 25-yard free-kick that almost found the same corner as his goal against Sunderland RCA a week earlier.
But the increasingly stretched game was also giving the Northern Counties East League Premier Division side more room to break. Moke looked set to score when he was sent clean-through in the 77th minute, but Bannon did exceptionally well to claw the ball out from under his feet as the midfielder attempted to round him.
Substitute Taylor Richardson who, along with fellow youngster Jaden Cahill-Taylor, made a superb impact upon his second-half introduction, sent a right-footed shot just wide of the bottom-right corner from range three minutes later. But it was the visitors who would instead hit the front.
Stephen Smith’s brilliantly flighted ball from his own half got Savory in-behind the home back-line in the 83rd minute and, after cutting back inside onto his left-foot to evade Tumilty, he slotted the ball past Bannon and into the bottom-left corner.
The fact the goal was so impressively created and finished made it no less frustrating for Seaham. They kept coming and McLachlan had to make an excellent stop from Richardson’s close-range attempt in the 87th minute, but their opponents’ menace on the break simply got more pertinent.
Substitute Cameron Lyn virtually grazed the right-hand post with an effort from the edge of the box in the 89th minute, before their place in the second-round was all-but sealed in the 90th.
Savory was central again. He led the charge on another counter after being sent clear and then had the composure to square the ball to the supporting Crawford to his right who, with similar coolness, took a touch inside onto his left-foot to open up the angle before sliding a side-footed finish into the net from 18-yards.
It was a highly disappointing result for The Star, particularly having taken the lead, but the Ammers deserved immense credit for the way they managed the game at different stages of a highly impressive second-half display. Something that will serve them well in the Second Round and potentially beyond.
Seaham, meanwhile, will be hoping to take advantage of Tuesday’s League Cup meeting with Billingham Synthonia and swiftly get back to winning ways.
Injuries and availability could mean it will represent another chance to give more of the club’s young players some first-team action, with Johnson emphasising the importance of switching the focus to that contest: “I know we’ve got to win the next two games in the League Cup to qualify so we will be putting a team out to win. We’ve just got to move on from here.”
Seaham Red Star (4-4-2):
1. Chris Bannon; 2. Scott Young, 5. Liam Gillesphey, 6. Matthew Tumilty, 3. Paul Weldon (Richardson, 69’); 7. Joseph Hailes, 4. Paul Gardiner (Cahill-Taylor, 64’), 10. David Robinson (C), 11. Richard Coulson; 8. Michael Chilton (McRoberts, 19’), 9. Dan Wilson
12. Anthony Myers, 14. Sean McRoberts, 15. Jaden Cahill-Taylor (YC), 16. Taylor Richardson, 17. Aaron Steavens (GK)
Manager: Mark Collingwood
Yorkshire Amateur (4-2-3-1):
1. Graham McLachlan; 4. Stephen Smith, 2. Adam Field, 5. Niall Heaton, 3. Leon Henry; 7. Luke Sharry (Blakey, 54’), 6. Ross Daly (YC); 8. Stephen Crawford, 10. Fernando Moke, 11. Matthew Sykes (Lyn, 88’); 9. Ashley Flynn (Savory, 62’)
12. Aiden Savory, 14. Harrison Blakey, 15. Cameron Lynx
Manager: Neil Sibson and Philip Harding
Referee: Zac Kettle
Seaham Red Star:
Tumilty (14’), Assist: Gillesphey
Blakey (70’), Assist: N/A
Savory (83’), Assist: Smith
Crawford (90’), Assist: Savory