A depleted Easington Colliery side were knocked out of the Northern League Cup with a 4-1 defeat at First Division Seaham Red Star on Tuesday night.

The Colliers were missing several key players including the likes of Chris Pearson, Shaun Smith and Jack Pounder and a squad of only 13 travelled to Seaham.

David Vincent and Chris Freeman made the bench but they were both carrying injuries and were to only come on in the worst case scenario.

Brian Smith got his first start for the Colliers and there was also starts for Ryan Lincoln Barrow and Ian Redman. Liam Adamson and Michael Cooke led the line while Brennan Ball was forced to play in an unfamiliar midfield role.

Despite the depleted squad, the Colliers took the lead through Shane O’Brien’s header but goals from Alex Ramshaw, Liam Hodgson and a Robbie Bird brace ensured Seaham of a spot in the quarter-finals.

The scoreline probably flattered the hosts but they were worthy of a win.

Despite a bright start from the Colliers, it was Seaham who created the first chance as Ramshaw tried his luck from 25 yards but his effort darted well wide.

A couple of testing through balls almost played Liam Adamson in within the opening ten minutes but they were both slightly over hit and collected by Seaham’s keeper Jordan Harkess.

A quick counter attack gave Seaham a chance in the ninth minute but Kyle Donaldson was on hand to save Lee Chapman’s eventual effort.

In the 14th minute, the Colliers took the lead. Ethan Wood’s good work found Cooke and he won a corner. The resulting corner was floated into the penalty area where O’Brien rose highest to power a header beyond Harkess and into the net.

Now ahead, Easington looked to settle down but Red Star had other ideas. The Colliers became slightly sloppy in possession and the hosts were looking to punish that sloppiness.

Bird and Chapman both had efforts blocked before they pulled level in the 26th minute. A clever through ball took the whole of the Easington defence out of the game and Ramshaw picked up possession to drift into the six-yard box and beat Donaldson from close-range.

And, only four minutes later, Seaham were ahead. A similar through ball again beat the Easington defence and this time it found Hodgson. Despite questions being raised for offside, the assistant referee kept his flag down and the former Collier slotted home to put Seaham ahead.

There seemed to be big gaps in the Easington line up and every attack the Colliers mounted seemed to breakdown.

A couple of minutes before the half hour mark, Seaham doubled their lead. Easington were caught trying to play out from the back as Bird pinched possession from Redman and the former Whitley Bay man raced down on goal before slotting beyond the stricken Donaldson.

A couple of half chances did fall the way of Easington before the break. Firstly, James Talbot’s cross found Lewis Green but his effort was blocked, before Cooke’s effort from the edge of the penalty area was held by Harkess.

Going into the break two goals down, the Colliers had it all to do in the second half. Knowing it was all or nothing, the Colliers came out  with an attacking mentality.

Green fired not too far wide within the opening two minutes and Wood’s effort in the 50th minute suffered the same fate.

The evening became frustrating for the Colliers when further attacks broke down and the clock was ticking away.

Just before the hour mark, the referee stopped play as he had picked up an injury. After two separate stoppages, he was happy to continue and the game went ahead.

Although they weren’t creating a great deal, Seaham looked dangerous when they attacked. A big chance came in the 61st minute but Chapman put his effort wide.

In the 66th minute, O’Brien, looking for his second of the night, headed a corner harmlessly wide. Shortly after, Cooke was played in but ruled offside in a very tight call.

As time began to run out for the Colliers, the pitch hardened with the freezing temperature and the extra bounce on the ball began to cause some problems.

Luke Bailey, a half-time substitute for the Star, fired a dipping half volley just wide with 19 minutes to play.

Ball, playing in a more advanced role than usual, tried his luck from long-range a couple of times but failed to find the target.

Seaham wrapped up the win with 10 minutes to play. Smith lost out in the centre of the park and Seaham burst forward to find Bird who slotted home his second and Seaham’s fourth.

O’Brien fired Easington’s last chance wide and it was Seaham who booked a spot in the quarter-finals of the Brooks Mileson Memorial League Cup.

 

Easington Colliery: Donaldson, Brian Smith, Lincoln Barrow, O’Brien, Ian Redman, Ball, Wood (c), Green, Adamson, Cooke, Talbot

Unused subs: Freeman, Vincent

Seaham Red Star: Harkess, Munro, Price, Hetherington, Staunch, Gilhespy, Ramshaw (Scott, 69′), Johnston (Bailey, 46′), Chapman, Hodgson (Bramley, 87′), Bird

Unused subs: Scorer, Wilkinson