Consett tasted defeat for the first time in pre-season in today’s final friendly against Morpeth Town – but will take plenty of positives from their 4-3 loss.
The Steelmen gave as good as they got for much of an incident-packed game against a team who will be playing two divisions higher than this season.
Although it was a friendly, both teams played it like a cup tie, and Consett manager Terry Mitchell will be delighted with some of the football his side played.
Morpeth, who won the Northern Premier League East Division title last season, went in front after just two minutes, when Sean Reid was allowed to carry the ball deep into the Consett half, and smashed a shot past Kyle Hayes from 20 yards.
On 31 minutes Consett levelled with a fine goal. Luke Carr‘s pass sent Darren Holden surging down the level, and his perfect return ball saw the No 10 sweep the ball past Morpeth’s trialist keeper.
Morpeth regained the lead in the 39th minute when Ben Sayer’s free-kick was headed down by Jeff Henderson at the back post, and Ben Harmison slammed the loose ball in from close range.
A minute later it was 2-2 as Consett equalised with another well-worked goal. Teenager Max Russell did well down the flank, and his cutback found Andrei-Vasile Ardelean, who fired home from eight yards.
On 52 minutes Morpeth got their noses in front again with an excellent solo goal from midfielder Ben Sayer, who danced through the Consett defence before finishing past Hayes.
Consett responded well, and on 66 minutes made it 3-3 through Darren Holden. Deployed again in a more advanced role, he advanced up the left and fired into the far corner from the edge of the box when the Morpeth defence stood off him.
The final goal of a pulsating game came in the 76th minute, when Jack Foalle grabbed the winner for Morpeth, curling a beautiful strike into the corner to make it 4-3.
- Full match report and more pictures to follow.