SEAHAM Red Star missed the chance to seal promotion from Ebac Northern League Division Two last night, as they lost a feisty encounter 2-0 at Willington.
But Mark Collingwood’s men require still require only two points from their final six matches to confirm the step-up.
Goals either side of half-time, along with a red card for Star’s captain Chris Scott, condemned the visitors to only their fifth league defeat of the season.
Seaham had a couple of early efforts blocked and a goal disallowed for offside. However, they fell behind midway through the first half when Marc Bell had time to bring the ball down just inside the penalty area and fire into the corner of the net.
Just before the interval, Seaham were reduced to 10 men when captain Scott’s reckless tackle was adjudged to warrant a red card.
It was 2-0 on 51 minutes when the Star gave the ball away in a dangerous position, allowing Jason White to skip into the box and bury his shot in Shaun Newbrook’s net.
Seaham struggled to get back into the game, which threatened to boil over at times with strong tackles going in from both teams.
Defeat means the side have to wait until at least Saturday to clinch promotion when they travel to relegation-threatened Tow Law.
Manager Collingwood was disappointed in his team’s display, admitting: “Willington were the better team on the night and deserved the victory.”
Washington and Team Northumbria are second and third respectively and Hebburn Town are also very much in contention, especially after defeating fourth-top Norton and Stockton Ancients with a goal by Channon North last night.
Red Star look certain to be promoted with four teams battling it out for the other two places. Just four points separate the contestants.
WILLINGTON: Moffat, Gibson, Goodey, Lazenby, Howe, Movter , White, Seymour, Burnice, Bell, Comby
SEAHAM RED STAR: Newbrook, Storey, Donnelly, Wing, Thorp, Scott, Reay, Nicholson, Byrne, Palmer, Shaw