Seaham Red Star manager Mark Collingwood cut a frustrated figure in the aftermath of his side’s home defeat against Hebburn Town.
Red Star matched the top-five contenders for large spells of the game, but defensive errors cost them dearly as they fell to a 5-2 defeat at the Ferguson Motor Repairs Stadium.
The two sides went into half-time on level-terms after Dan Wilson cancelled out an opener from Hornets’ Michael Richardson.
A second-half hat-trick from Graeme Armstrong and a goal from Luke Sullivan gave the visitors all three points and meant that Michael Chilton’s strike was merely a consolation.
However, three of Hebburn’s came from defensive errors and Collingwood was annoyed conceded goals so easily.
He said “We haven’t been beaten by Hebburn, we beat ourselves.
“That is what annoyed us because, for 45 minutes, we were as good, if not better than them.
“We got back in the game just before half-time and I felt there was a lot more to come from us.
“We talked about not making mistakes and within 15 minutes of the second-half we are 3-1 down because of two mistakes.
“Seaham Red Star have beaten Seaham Red Star.”
Despite the defeat Collingwood is upbeat about his side’s recent improvement. The Red Star boss admitted that his side now believe they can match the stronger sides in the Northern League’s top tier.
“Nobody is coming here and having comfortable nights now.
“As much as it’s 5-2, and it looks comfortable, it’s us that have dictated that scoreline.
“We played really well for 70 per cent of that game, but the other 30 per cent, with the errors, cost us.
“There has been a massive improvement, we now know we can compete with the better teams in the league.
“We need to have a better second half to the season, because the first-half hasn’t been good enough.”
There was also frustration for Ryhope CW as they threw away a two-goal lead in their draw at West Auckland Town. Goals either side of half-time from Chris Wallace and Robbie Bird looked to have put Gary Pearson’s side on their way to victory.
But Amar Purewal halved the deficit and Tom Portas grabbed an equaliser six minutes from time to ensure that the points were shared.
Ryhope were dealt a further blow when striker Jack Devlin was shown a red card and assistant manager Chris McCabe admitted that the decision was a ‘massive turning-point’.
“To be two up and to draw is a bit disappointing,” he explained. “But, to be fair to West Auckland, they are a really good side and they put us under a lot of pressure.
“In the first-half we were the better side and they did everything we asked of them.
“But we came unstuck and obviously having Jack Devlin sent off didn’t help.
“It was definitely a red card, he’s been a little bit stupid, but he has apologised.
“It was a massive turning-point in the game.”
Consett moved to the top of the Division One table as Daniel Craggs (2), Michael Sweet and Michael Mackay goals earned them a 4-0 home win against Penrith.
Dunston UTS saw their unbeaten league record ended when an Andrew Johnson penalty gave Bishop Auckland a 1-0 win at the UTS Stadium.
Whickham’s struggles continued with a 4-1 defeat at in-form North Shields.
Callum Johnston, Ryan Carr, Jordan Summerly and Cameron Cunningham all found the net for the Robins.
A James Risbrough hat-trick put Stockton Town on their way to a 3-1 home win against Ashington and Paul Brayson grabbed a late winner in Newcastle Benfield’s 2-1 win at Guisborough Town.
A Kurt Matthews brace looked to have put Newton Aycliffe on their way to a 2-1 win at struggling Whitley Bay. But an Olly Martin penalty helped claim a point.