Seaham Red Star held on to a 2-1 win against Newcastle Benfield on Saturday after a dramatic last 15 minutes.
David Palmer opened the scoring for Seaham seven minutes in, and the lead was doubled late into the second half by Robbie Bird.
Matthew Cornish scored a consolation goal for Benfield just before the full-time whistle.
Visiting side Newcastle Benfield started the game on top and nearly took the lead straight away. Striker Paul Brayson volleyed just over the bar, nearly converting after great build up play.
Although, it was the Star who struck first through Palmer. The winger took advantage of a poor clearance after a cross wasn’t dealt with and smashed home the opener to make it 1-0 to Seaham.
Benfield came dangerously close to an equaliser several times before half time, the first chance having to be cleared of the line by full back Thomas Price before keeper Shaun Newbrook made a diving save to deny the away side a way back into the game minutes later.
The second half was frustrating for both teams as neither could create a good enough chance to change the game. Half time substitute Lee Hetherington forced Benfield keeper Andrew Grainger into a great save to deny his 25-yard free kick going in.
Eventually, as both sides tired, the game was put to bed by Bird 79 minutes in. Seaham countered quickly and Palmer was in behind the defence down the right-hand side – he simply squared the ball across to his teammate, Bird, who powered the ball home making it 2-0 Red Star.
Cornish did give his side a late lifeline by smashing the ball past Newbrook just before added time from the edge of the area. They came close to an equaliser seconds before full time but Newbrook tipped a looping header onto the cross bar to keep the score line at 2-1.
This win was the first for Seaham since a 4-0 win over Guisborough Town back in January. The Star next face Newton Aycliffe away on Tuesday 14 March.
Seaham Red Star XI: Newbrook, Walker, Staunch, Galbraith, Price, Johnston, Kane, Hodgson, Palmer, Bird and Lynch.
Subs Used: Hetherington, Proctor and Skidmore.
Subs Not Used: Scorer and Goodman.
Newcastle Benfield XI: Grainger, Bramley, Turnbull, Coghlan, Lobin, Duncan, Cornish, Scorgie, Brayson, McCarthy and Scott.
Subs Used: McCardle and Parker.
Subs Not Used: Esdaille, Mullen and Berhan.