Seaham Red Star 0-3 West Auckland Town – West punish injury-stricken Red Star
Goals from David Dowson, Adam Mitchell and Jamie Cobain saw West Auckland Town claim a convincing Northern League Division One victory over Seaham Red Star.
Mark Collingwood featured five U18 players due to the hosts injury pile up and Dowson took full advantage as West took the lead just six minutes in at the Ferguson Motor Repairs Stadium.
And second half goals in the space of two minutes from Mitchell and Cobain guaranteed West a third win in five matches.
The result sees West rise up to seventh in the Division One table with 21 points while Red Star drop to the bottom with just one win all season.
Debutant Daniel Greenfield joined Tom Flynn, Lewis Dodds, Jamie Harwood, Alex Francis and Dowson in the starting line up as Gary Forrest made six changes.
West began brightly and opened the scoring after a short corner by Mitchell was laid into the feet of Greenfield, who arrived on a one-month loan from National League side Gateshead, and his low deep cross was flicked in via Dowson for his ninth goal of the season.
Chris Bannon avoided disaster, ten minutes later, when an attempted clearance inside his own box was intercepted by Amar Purewal, who was off balance when he took aim and only for lack of pace on the ball prevented the hosts from going further behind.
Francis led the next attack for West midway through the first half following an electrifying run, which brought him wide on the right-hand side before finding Greenfield unmarked in the centre, who side-footed his shot narrowly over the crossbar.
Seaham’s best chance before the interval fell to Dan Wilson and a significant touch by Flynn stopped the ex-Blyth and North Shields forward from taking it round him and placing into an empty net.
Eight minutes after the restart, West continued to search for a decisive second. It nearly arrived when Purewal’s towering header connected with Mitchell’s corner and sailed fractionally wide of Bannon’s right-hand post.
At the other end, Red Star posed rare glimpses of danger. The most notable through Joe Hailes whose cross was met by Wilson but his header, at full stretch, flew high and wide.
While Seaham’s attacking moments were minimal, they were required defensively a lot more frequently and in the 75th minute, there was little that could be done to thwart West from sealing the win.
Mitchell gathered the ball on the edge of the ‘D’ and curled a magnificent right-footed strike into the roof of the net.
More misery followed for the Star just two minutes later, as a defensive mix up allowed Cobain with the simplest of finishes to round off a comfortable afternoon for Forrest’s side.
Seaham Red Star – Bannon, Young (Richardson, 58), Weldon, Wade, Tumilty, Gardiner, Hailes, Lawson, Wilson, Dart, Coulson
Subs not used – Dow, Steavens
West Auckland – Flynn, Hegarty, Dodds (c), Cobain, Harwood, Greenfield (Bell, 65), Thompson, Francis, Dowson (Guy, 78), Purewal (Burnicle, 83), Mitchell
Subs not used – Colquhoun, Greenwood
Goals – Dowson (6), Mitchell (75), Cobain (77)
Referee – Alex Clarke
Attendance – 117