Allotment share the spoils with Seaham

Tony Lancaster scoring Allotment's first goal. Picture by Graeme Jackson
Tony Lancaster scoring Allotment's first goal. Picture by Graeme Jackson

West Allotment Celtic made it eight games unbeaten in all competitions on Saturday afternoon when they came from two goals down to draw at Seaham Red Star.

Despite dominating the game with their attractive brand of football, Allotment had gifted their promotion rivals a two-goal headstart, but hit back to level proceedings just after the hour mark.

Celtic were on the front foot from kick-off, David Dormand dragging an effort across goal and Sean Reid forcing keeper Shaun Newbrook to tip over a dangerous free kick.

Dormand went close once more, injuring his back in the process, before Hudson found space on the edge of the area only to flash the ball high and wide of goal.

By contrast, Star had rarely threatened. Chris Scott’s wide strike their only real foray forward in the opening period.

That all changed after 21 minutes as the home side took the lead against the run of play.

Josh Allan’s initial header was parried away well by deputy Bob Rodgerson, but the ball was soon squared back into the path of the midfielder, who took advantage of the defence’s delayed reaction to slam home at the second attempt.

Reid and Dormand both volleyed over as a stunned Allotment looked to peg back the hosts immediately, but an uncharacteristic error at the back soon handed Seaham a healthy two-goal advantage.

Player-manager Paul Stoneman left a back pass for Rodgerson to collect, but the ball did not have the desired length, allowing Scott to rob the keeper and slide into an empty net.

The second did not deter Allotment, who deservedly reduced arrears within minutes.

Left back Chris Douglas’ lofted ball into the area was flicked on by Liam Hudson towards the back post, where Tony Lancaster nipped in to nod past Newbrook.

Celtic almost went one better before half-time, but David Henderson’s low drive following a fine move down the left was well held by the Seaham stopper.

It set the scene for a barnstorming second half of end to end football, with Allotment pressing and Star looking dangerous on the counter.

Both Hudson and Reid saw goalbound shots blocked by the sturdy back line.

Seaham broke quickly after the latter’s effort, working the ball forward to prolific marksman Adam Johnston. The former Spennymoor striker looked set to restore his side’s two goal advantage when one on one with Rodgerson, but Celtic’s keeper stood strong, denying the veteran with a fine low block.

Reid skewed wide and saw another blocked, whilst Connor Winter went close for the hosts, but Allotment’s in-form playmaker was not to be denied, hauling his side deservedly level with 25 minutes still to play.

Seaham’s otherwise impressive back four failed to clear a Chris Douglas corner, allowing Reid to find a yard of space and hammer the ball through the crowd and across the line.

A dramatic three-goal turnaround looked even more likely when the home side were reduced to ten men.

Full back Anth Laidler clattered Hudson on the left flank, picking up a second yellow card and receiving his marching orders as a result.

Allotment pressed for the win that their play deserved, Reid skewing wide once more and Dormand heading over, but ultimately had to settle for a point against their dogged opponents.

With Heaton Stannington’s game postponed, the draw sees West Allotment go one point clear in second place, occupying a promotion spot for the festive period.