West Auckland Town 2-0 Seaham Red Star
Goals from Denver Morris and Steven Snaith ensured West Auckland Town of a comfortable 2-0 win over Seaham Red Star.
Morris opened the scoring on 35 minutes with a wonderful finish past Chris Bannon before Snaith doubled West’s lead just after the hour-mark with a vigorous strike as Gary Forrest’s side secured a second consecutive victory in the space of three days.
The result leaves West in 10th in the Northern League Division One table with just five games to go.
West made two changes from Wednesday evening’s victory over Whickham with Mackenzie Heaney and Morris replacing Tom Price and Alex Francis.
Seaham were forced into an early change six minutes in when Paul Weldon limped off and was replaced by Dean Clarke as it proved to be a slow start from both sides.
West had the first sight at goal on 15 minutes when Amar Purewal played in Tom Portas, who found space on the edge of the box before firing just wide of Bannon’s right-hand post.
With either side unable to gain the initiative inside the opening half hour, West broke the deadlock via a moment of brilliance from Morris as the defender charged towards Seaham’s goal, cruising past multiple players before producing an instinctive strike beyond Bannon into the top right-corner.
And Forrest’s side nearly doubled their lead moments later though Heaney dragged his effort inches wide as West edged a scrappy first-half lead at the Wanted Stadium.
Mark Collingwood’s side began after the restart with a point to prove and almost found an equaliser through Nathan Greenwood after good work from skipper David Robinson, though he could only divert his shot narrowly wide of Shane Bland’s goal.
On 56 minutes, West were almost gifted a second following a failed clearance from Bannon, though Snaith was unable to capitalise as his right-footed shot was tipped around the post.
However, seven minutes later, Snaith made no mistake this time round as the midfielder increased West’s lead with a tremendous finish, curling his shot into the roof of the net to give Bannon no chance whatsoever.
Seaham failed to register a shot on target throughout the game though they did come close in the 70th minute as Robinson fired inches over the bar in what was a brief scare for West.
Purewal, looking to add to his 21 goals he’s already scored this season, came within a whisker away from adding a third as his close-range header from Adam Mitchell’s delivery was superbly kept out by Bannon as West dominated the final proceedings.
In truth, substitutes Adam Burnicle and Anthony Bell should have inflicted more damage as they both missed the target in the closing stages as Seaham fell to a second defeat in five matches.
Next up for West is the second Auckland derby of the season against local rivals Bishop Auckland at Heritage Park on Saturday (15:00).
West Auckland – Bland, Morris, Mitchell, Cobain, Hunter, Portas, Hegarty, Dodds (c), Purewal (Burnicle, 74) Snaith(Dowson, 74), Heaney (Bell, 69)
Subs not used – Coulson
Goals – Morris (35), Snaith (63)
Seaham Red Star – Bannon, Gillesphey, Weldon (Clarke, 6), J. Hailes, Myers (Wilkinson, 78), Gardner, Taylor (D. Hailes, 56), Kerr, Wilson, Robinson (c), Greenwood
Subs not used – Johnson, Chilton
Referee – James Bancroft
Attendance – 167
Report by Harry Crowe
Picture by Andy Mitchell.