A solitary strike from Calvin Smith was enough to give Jarrow Roofing victory over Seaham Red Star last night, extending their unbeaten run to four games.
The tireless midfielder scored the decisive goal midway through the first half in a game that saw a number of former Seaham players and staff return to the club for the first time since making the switch to South Tyneside earlier this season, including Roofing’s joint manager, Mark Collingwood.
After a breathless start to the game, with tackles flying in from both sides and Red Star’s Craig Lynch going close with a shot from 25 yards, it was Roofing who carved out the first clear-cut chance on six minutes through the in-form Dennis Knight.
Former Seaham midfielder Lee Kerr played a perfect ball over the top for Knight to race on to. He did and, although he was forced wide, he managed to fire in a low shot that rolled just past the post.
Knight, full of confidence after scoring three goals in his last two games, proved to be a thorn in Seaham’s side.
His next chance came on 22 minutes as Paul Chow intercepted Andrew Johnson’s clearance, Knight pounced on the loose ball and got to the byline. However, he decided to try his luck from a tight angle when support was arriving in the box.
Seaham had lost their last five games, but they were attacking like a side fighting it out at the top.
David Palmer was especially dangerous for the hosts – spurning two good chances in the space of five minutes. The first came on 32 minutes as Roofing lost the ball in defence and Palmer reacted quickest to control the ball and break through on goal.
However, he passed the ball well wide from 12 yards.
On 37 minutes, a long ball over the top carved Roofing in half and Palmer raced in behind the defence.
With goalkeeper Lewis Brass rushing out to meet him, he tried his luck with a chip that trickled just past the post.
Seaham were made to pay for their wastefulness on 42 minutes as Roofing edged in front.
Smith found himself with the ball at his feet 25 yards from goal. With no-one coming to challenge him, he took aim with a curling effort that took everyone by surprise before nestling in the bottom corner of the net.
Roofing continued to struggle wth the quality of Palmer in the second half, and it took a fantastic save from Brass to deny him on 51 minutes.
Seaham broke from a Roofing free-kick, the ball was slipped through to Palmer, whose low shot was blocked by Brass’s legs.
The hosts looked to really crank up the pressure from then on as Roofing struggled to get out of their own half.
Dan Kirkup had to be alert to clear a goal-bound header off the line, while Brass had to be at his best again on 64 minutes to tip Kane Nicholas’s low drive around the post.
That proved to be one of the last meaningful chances, allowing Roofing to seize control, run the clock down and kill the game off to ensure their mini revival continued in impressive fashion.
Roofing hit the road again on Saturday as they travel to Whitley Bay.