Consett suffered their first defeat in seven games today when they lost 2-1 at West Auckland in a game they finished with only nine men.
The Steelmen took the lead in the 36th minute, slightly against the run of play, when Luke Carr’s superb pass sent Dale Pearson clear, and although keeper Tom Flynn got a foot to his shot, the ball looped up and over him and into the back of the net.
But things started to unravel for Consett just three minutes later when they were reduced to 10 men, after Carr was shown a straight red card for something he said to the referee.
Two minutes before time their one-goal advantage had been wiped out too, as West equalised. Anthony Bell’s cross was headed powerfully goalwards by Amar Purewal – the twin brother of Consett skipper Arjun – and although Kyle Hayes made a good diving save, ex-Steelman David Dowson reacted quickest to fire home the loose ball for 1-1.
Consett brought Nick Allen on for Ali Alshabeeb at half-time, and sat deeper after the break, content to soak up pressure and play on the break, but they almost came unstuck in the 74th minute when Arron Thompson’s shot rattled the crossbar, and Dowson fired over from the rebound.
The respite only lasted two minutes, however, as West sub Alex Francis scored a goal good enough to win any game, curling the ball into the top corner from 25 yards, to make it 2-1.
Consett’s 10 men almost grabbed an equaliser in the 85th minute, when a superb run down the right by Jermaine Metz saw him set up sub Andre-Vasile Ardelean, but the striker’s shot on the turn was denied by Flynn, who always seems to save his best performances for when he faces his former club.
There was a final sting in the tale for Consett in the 90th minute when Jake Stafford was shown a second yellow and then the inevitable red card after a last-man foul on Francis. It left them to play out the five minutes of added time with only nine men.
The result means Consett remain third in the table, a point ahead of Shildon and Billingham Town, who both have games in hand.
- Full match report and more pictures to follow.