Consett kicked off their pre-season preparations with a 3-2 win over Northern Alliance opponents Newcastle Blue Star.
A strong side took to the field at Scotswood Sports Centre, containing nine of the XI which started our last game, at Atherstone in the FA Vase 6th Round back in March.
Blue Star had a host of former Northern League players in their side, including ex-Steelmen Josh Scott and Andrew Bulford, while their recently-appointed director of football Lee Clark was among those watching the behind-closed-doors fixture.
It was the home side who took the lead in the 12th minute. Callum Johnston – one of several new signings made for a big promotion push – lobbed keeper Kyle Hayes from the edge of the box.
Consett responded well, with Dale Pearson missing a couple of chances, and Calvin Smith hitting the post with a first-time effort from Darren Holden’s cross.
Blue Star almost doubled their lead in their 32nd minute when Connor Lane hit the bar with a free-kick from 25 yards, but the next goal came from Consett five minutes later when Matty Slocombe’s pass sent Pearson in on goal, and he rounded the keeper to make it 1-1.
Right on half-time the Steelmen took the lead, with Alshabeeb’s precise through ball leaving Pearson with only the keeper to beat, and he obliged to make the half-time score 2-1 to Consett.
Both sides made a plethora of substitutions at the break, with only four of Consett’s starting line-up emerging for the second half. One of the subs, the returning Matty Cornish, played a big role in the goal which made it 3-1 in the 57th minute, setting up new signing Carl Lawson, who curled a peach of a finish into the top corner, pictured top.
On 64 minutes it should have been four when the keeper saved from Lawson, and two Thomas McAloon follow-ups were stopped first by the post and then a defender on the line.
With both sides now making rolling subs, it was hard to keep track of who was where, but Blue Star did get a goal back on 71 minutes when Consett lost possession at the back, and Liam Anderson stroke the ball home.
Cornish, who has been playing college football in the USA, looked lively up front, and it took a good save to deny him a goal in the 73rd minute, and another chance right at the death glanced the outside of the post.
It finished 3-2 to Consett, and both sides were happy with a good, competitive workout for their first post-lockdown game.
- Consett’s next game is against Tow Law Town on Tuesday 4 August, but again Government/FA guidance on stopping the spread of Covid-19 means it must be played behind closed doors.