Seaham Red Star’s Vase dream dashed by last-gasp Morien heartbreaker

Seaham Red Star (stripes) battle Dunston UTS in a foggy affair at Consett's Belle View Stadium in Saturday's FA Vase clash
Seaham Red Star (stripes) battle Dunston UTS in a foggy affair at Consett's Belle View Stadium in Saturday's FA Vase clash
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Once again, the weather caused the vast majority of games in the North East to be postponed on Saturday.

Only one fixture in the entire Ebac Northern League went ahead and three of the five FA Carlsberg Vase ties were also called off.

A decision on Sunderland RCA’s match with Sleaford Town was taken on Friday to save the Lincolnshire club an unnecessary journey.

And, despite their best efforts, South Shields had once again to postpone their attractive tie with Morpeth Town. Newton Aycliffe’s game with Atherton Collieries also fell foul of the elements.

The two ties which were played only went ahead because clubs forfeited home advantage.

Dunston UTS were due to host Seaham Red Star, but when it became obvious earlier in the week that their ground would probably be unplayable, both sides agreed to play on Consett’s all-weather pitch.

Seaham, in the third round for the first time in their history, failed to progress further as the Tynesiders won by the only goal, which came just two minutes from the end of a fog-marred match.

Red Star goalkeeper Shaun Newbrook was outstanding throughout the 90 minutes, denying Dunston time and time again.

Early on, he saved twice from Alex Francis and there was a scare for Mark Collingwood’s men as Francis struck the outside of the post from a free-kick.

It was not all one-way though. Seaham forced two corners and Ryan Noble broke clear only to fire over the crossbar.

Dunston enjoyed more of the possession, but, with Newbrook in terrific form, they were unable to break the deadlock.

In fact, Red Star almost grabbed the lead on 71 minutes. Paul Gardner’s goalbound effort was deflected outside the post by goalkeeper Liam Connell.

Just before the end, however, Seaham’s hopes faded as Malcolm Morien, who has proved to be an excellent signing following his close-season move from Jarrow Roofing, headed home a Dan Halliday cross.

With almost the last move of the game, Newbrook went up to join the attack and from the corner, won the ball – but his effort from the edge of the box was blocked.

Dunston join Sunderland RCA, North Shields and Marske United in the fourth round.

Marske agreed to switch their fixture with Team Northumbria to Tyneside, where they left it even later than Dunston had done.

Adam Wheatley headed them into a first-half lead and, after Paul Antony levelled, Team North missed a great opportunity as David Dormand’s spot-kick four minutes later was easily save by Robert Dean.

The Tynesiders paid the penalty when, in the 95th minute, Adam Preston managed to force the ball into the net following a goalmouth melee.

The only league game to go ahead was at Billingham Synthonia, who have one of the best draining grounds.

They were rewarded with a 2-0 win over Tow Law Town when Jamie Clarke and Joe Taylor netted.

The win lifted Synners up to fourth place in Division Two – just three points behind Chester-le-Street and four adrift of second-top Ryhope CW.

Chester-le-Street arranged a friendly with Bishop Auckland and lost 3-1, despite a Scott Heslop opener on the artificial surface at Ushaw Moor. South Shields beat West Allotment 3-1, courtesy of Robert Briggs, Leepaul Scroggins and Adam Sakr.