By Andrew McDonnell
Dan Wilson scored a brace to edge Blyth AFC past Seaham Red Star in their first home game of the new season.
Wilson opened the scoring from the penalty spot on 15 minutes, but Warren Byrne equalised, five minutes later, for the visitors.
Blyth were back ahead when Wilson scored his fifth goal in two games, shrugging off his marker and heading home.
The Braves were pushed hard in the final 10 minutes of the game, but they managed to hold on for their second victory of the season – they’re now up to second in the league.
Jon McDonald and Ian Skinner made no changes to the side that beat Ashington 4-3 on the opening day of the season.
The first opening of the game came on 15 minutes when Dylan Williamson was brought down in the area and Blyth were awarded a penalty.
Wilson stepped up and rifled the spot kick home to hand the hosts an early lead in the game.
However, the lead was short-lived when Seaham fired straight back and scored an equaliser, just five minutes later.
The ball was threaded through to Byrne, who beat the offside trap and calmly slotted past Chris Bannon.
Blyth went on to get another foothold in the game and went close to going back ahead. Williamson narrowly flicked an effort wide and David Robinson glanced a header off-target.
On the half-hour mark, Andrew Hunter produced a stunning save to keep out Williamson’s curling effort.
The ‘keeper was thankful to see Wilson’s thunderous effort, on 35 minutes evade the crossbar by inches.
Red Star went close to going ahead themselves on the stroke of half-time, Harry Jewitt handed the ball off to Paul Gardiner, who curled wide of the post.
After the break, the hosts picked their performance up and went back ahead, just six minutes into the second-half.
Craig McFarlane’s cross from the right looped up into the penalty area, Wilson held off his marker with ease and nodded home.
Jonathan Evans’ drilled free-kick, on the edge of the area, was easily gathered by the untroubled ‘keeper on the hour mark.
The Braves went on to control the game for the next 20 minutes, while also creating a host of clear-cut opportunities.
Taylor glanced a header inches wide and struck over the bar before Michael Chilton’s first-time strike evaded Hunter’s goal.
Last seasons top-goalscorer was in among the action again, on 80 minutes, his curling effort was tipped brilliantly round the post by the ‘keeper.
Seaham put pressure on Blyth going into the final stages of the game, and went close on a few occasions, including the unmarked Byrne missing a glorious chance on 83 minutes.
Despite the pressure, the Braves held their nerve and closed the game out, picking up another three points in the process.
Blyth AFC: Bannon, McFarlane, Walker, Forster, Coppen, Gillesphey, Williamson (Rundle, 81), Oliver (Ben Harmison, 86), Wilson (Chilton, 72), Robinson, Taylor
Subs Not Used: McRoberts, Hudson
Seaham Red Star: Hunter, Toward, Weirs, Jewitt (Steele, 63), Myers, Lowrie, Gardiner, Johnston (Martin, 72), Byrne, Palmer, Evans
Subs Not Used: Howe, Crosby, Harkess
Goals: 1-0, 15 min, Wilson (Pen); 1-1, 20 min, Byrne; 2-1, 51 min, Wilson
Referee: Graeme Hopper
Assistants: Paul Mosley and Steven Liddle
Photo: Chris Chambers/CJC Photo