Mark Davison’s second hat-trick in seven days helped Morpeth Town to a 5-2 home win over Seaham Red Star at Craik Park on Saturday afternoon.
A frantic first half saw three lead changes, with Seaham going ahead through Paul Gardiner only three minutes in before Davison replied for the Highwaymen.
Ben Sayer’s fifth in five games put Town in front, but the visitors then equalised through Robbie Bird only for Liam Henderson to restore Morpeth’s lead in first-half injury-time.
The second half saw Davison add the home side’s fourth before Bird was given a straight red for Seaham after an off the ball incident. Davison then completed his hat-trick late in proceedings.
Nick Gray and Dave Malone’s side were coming off two clean sheets in a week, but gifted the visitors their opener.
Gardiner ghosted through Morpeth’s back four to advance onto a Bird through pass before dinking the ball over Dryden and into the bottom left hand corner.
Davison went close to opening his account soon after but his effort was tipped round the post by Shaun Newbrook in the Red Star goal.
But the former Washington striker was not to be denied for long. A right wing corner saw Sayer pick out Davison in the six-yard box and he powered a header home to equalise.
The Highwaymen then took the lead on 21 minutes. Keith Graydon finding Sayer in space, the midfielder beating a defender on the edge of the area before shooting low into the bottom left hand corner.
Sayer then hit the crossbar direct from a corner before Joe Walton was denied by Newbrook from the rebound.
With seven minutes remaining in the first period, the visitors equalised. Bird was allowed time and space on the left edge of the area and he hit a low effort across goal and into the bottom right hand corner.
On the stroke of half-time, Graydon’s 25-yard free kick was tipped round the post by Newbrook.
The resulting corner was taken by Sayer and his left wing set-piece was bundled home at the near post by Henderson as Town re-took the lead.
The second half saw the visitors dominate the opening five minutes, but it was Morpeth who managed to extend their lead on 50 minutes.
Davison was played in by Sayer and he made no mistake with a low finish to the keeper’s left to make it 4-2.
Just as Seaham looked to be getting back into the game they were awarded a free kick as Stephen Forster fouled Bird and received a booking.
As Forster returned to his position, Bird kicked out at him, knocking the defender over. Referee Adam Herczeg had no choice but send the forward off, leaving a difficult last half an hour for Red Star.
Morpeth made the extra man count on a heavy pitch and had multiple chances to extend their lead.
Firstly it was Davison who went close, curling a delightful 20-yard effort off the top of the crossbar and over.
Soon after, Henderson broke the offside trap with a clear path to goal, but his effort was comfortably saved by Newbrook.
Seaham still posed a threat at the other end, Gardiner forcing a low stop from Karl Dryden with a long range effort.
Davison completed his hat-trick with five minutes to play. Sayer was again involved with the goal as he found the striker six yards out and ‘Sparky’ madeg no mistake.
Substitute Steven Anderson was then denied by Newbrook twice, but Morpeth will be happy to come away with the three points.
Morpeth now face a trip to Hallam FC on Saturday as their FA Vase defence gets under way in Sheffield.