Seaham Red Star Reserves v Stockton Town FC
We went into this game not having had a game for two and a half weeks since we played Newton Aycliffe in the Durham Challenge Cup. Chris Stockton was missing through suspension and the injured trio of Michael Arthur, Sonni Coleman and Scott Meehan were also absent.
In the early stages the play was scrappy as both sides misplaced passes on a heavy but flat pitch. Kallum Hannah was finding space between the Seaham centre halfs but couldn't quite finish a couple of chances. At the other end a great covering tackle from Tom Coulthard prevented a Seaham strike on goal at the expense of a corner that Stockton cleared.
The breakthrough came on 15 minutes when a Max Craggs cross from the left hand side was headed home by Captain Stav Roberts.
Seaham were a different proposition to the team that visited Stockton only a month earlier and were lively on the break and it took a smart save from Liam Jordan to prevent an equaliser. At the other end Kallum Hannah flashed two shots across goal. As half time approached Seaham threatened down Stockton's left and Jimmy Ward deflected their effort behind for a corner. From Seaham's corner the ball was in the back of their net with seconds, Stockton cleared to Tony Johnson who made ground and crossed for Tom Coulthard to send his header beyond the Seaham keeper for a 2 nil half time lead.
Stockton's passing showed a marked improvement at the start of the second half and they were the first to threaten when Max Craggs dragged his right foot effort from 25 yards narrowly wide. Stockton though were not to be denied when the impressive Joe Scaife Wheatley claimed our third when he robbed a Seaham defender on the edge of the area and made no mistake when striding forward to emphatically finish.
As gaps started to appear Stockton were creating chances freely and Kallam Hannah fired two 25 yarders narrowly over the bar, while at the other end Seaham forced a number of corners that Stockon's defence dealt with easily. The best goal of the game was saved until the end when great interplay involving Jimmy Ward, Max Craggs & Kallam Hannah saw Chris Dunwell released into the box and he cleverly finished to see Stockton through to the semi finals.
The semi final will be a home tie against either Boldon CA or Sunderland West End at a date yet to be confirmed.