When I got back from Holland on Sunday morning, I wouldn’t have minded a game yesterday. Darlington RA vs Marske United was the only game I knew of and that was too far out of the way really. Tonight, this was the closest game by some distance and so I was always going to attend. Seaham advertised it as a Darlington XI while Darlington seemed to lean towards it being their reserve side. But, looking at the team sheet, it was fair to say that it was a Darlington XI. There were five or six first teamers in the starting XI with the rest of the reserve regulars also in the squad. This was the first time I’ve seen Seaham in pre-season (I would have seen them last Wednesday against Easington if I wasn’t in Holland) and I was quite impressed with what I saw tonight. They’ve maintained most of the squad of last season and added a new player or two with the likes of Grant Hickman.
Lynch hat-trick succumbs strong Darlington to defeat
Craig Lynch bagged a hat-trick as Seaham Red Star claimed a 4-2 win over a strong Darlington XI on Tuesday night.
Lee Hetherington also carved his name into the score-sheet for the Red Star who looked strong and sharp throughout.
Lynch, who played professionally for Sunderland and Hartlepool United amongst others, opened the scoring in the eighth minute and Hetherington doubled that lead before the break.
Josh Heaton halved the deficit early in the second half but Lynch collected his second with a fine strike in the 74th minute. Lynch collected his hat-trick two minutes later and Nathan Stephenson’s late goal proved to be nothing but a consolation.
Darlington’s strong starting XI included the likes of Peter Jameson, Liam Marrs, Tom Portas, Aaran Wearmouth, Harvey Saunders and Stephen Thompson.
It was the Quakers who created the first chance as a fine crossfield ball found Wearmouth but his volley was well saved by Jordan Harkess.
Liam McBryde then dragged wide for Seaham, before the same man sliced another effort wide after good build up play between Lynch and Robbie Bird.
Seaham’s first goal came in a case of third time lucky. Lynch’s clever ball played McBryde in and his original effort was saved. Lynch’s rebound was saved too but he back on hand to find the net at the third attempt.
Clever football saw Lynch and Hetherington link up well in the 13th minute with the latter finding room to shoot but he appeared to be pushed when shooting and Jameson was able to save.
Twenty-four minutes in, Darlington’s Thompson spotted Harkess off his line and attempted a 40-yard lob but his effort dipped over the crossbar.
Wearmouth was next to try his luck but failed to find his target while Lynch fired a matter of inches wide at the other end.
Just after the half hour mark, Lynch’s superb work teed up the second goal. His strength and skill saw him beat numerous defenders before playing a ball across the penalty area where McBryde helped it onto Hetherington who applied the finishing touch.
The second half was only five minutes old when Heaton halved the deficit. A cross dropped in the penalty area and Seaham failed to clear meaning Heaton was able to prod home.
Thompson almost levelled the score-line in the 56th minute when he cut in from the left wing but his fine effort was superbly palmed onto the crossbar by Harkess.
And, Harkess was forced into another fine save six minutes later. Once again palming the ball onto the crossbar, the former Durham City ‘keeper this time prevented Saunders.
Substitute Stephenson linked up well with Saunders halfway through the second half but Saunders failed to find the target while Adam Cocks fired wide.
Sixteen minutes from time, Seaham Red Star regained their two goal lead. Lynch cut in and fired a fine effort into the far corner beyond the reach of Jameson.
Lynch’s hat-trick came only a few minutes later with another fine finish and his exploits more or less finished off the game.
Darlington were to pull a goal back late on as a good ball across the penalty area was met by Stephenson who finished well.
Full-time: Seaham Red Star 4-2 Darlington XI
Next up for me is probably Hartlepool United vs Middlesbrough U23s on Friday night.
Seaham Red Star: Harkess, Munro, Price, Bertram (Hetherington, 78′), Staunch (Goodman, 69′), Hickman (Scorer, 81′), Hetherington (Bailey, 58′), Brown (Davis, 48′), McBryde, Lynch, Bird
Unused sub: Johnston
Darlington XI: Jameson, Marrs (McClay, 62′), Walton (Pearson, 62′), Portas (Webster, 62′), Heaton (Cocks, 60′), Wade (Smith, 66′), Wearmouth, Hume (O’Connor, 72′), Saunders, Milburn (Stephenson, 62′), Thompson (Steel, 62’)
Admission: £5 adults, £3 concessions
Attendance: About 100
Team sheet: Free
Can of Pepsi: 60p
Referee: Helen Conley