Consett went top of Group D in the League Cup with a comfortable away win at 2nd Division strugglers Bedlington Terriers. A dominant first-half performance laid the foundations for the victory in the Steelmen’s first visit to Doctor Pit Welfare Park since April 2016.
Manager Terry Mitchell made six changes to his starting line-up from the weekend’s game against Stockton, using the cup to rotate some of his squad. Nick Allen, Simon Jakab, Dan Hawkins and Andrei-Vasile Ardelean returned, there was a ‘second debut’ for Thomas McAloon, and Jake Orrell made his first start.
Consett were in command from the off, and their first chance came on six minutes, when McAloon’s cross from the right found Ardelean, who couldn’t quite direct his backward header on target.
But the No 9, whose chances have been limited since the arrival of Dale Pearson, was in the mood to remind the manager what he can do, and Ardelean opened the scoring on 15 minutes with his first goal in 10 games, controlling Jake Stafford’s ball into the box superbly before turning and shooting into the far corner.
A minute later Calvin Smith made it 2-0, firing in from the edge of the box, with the ball beating the keeper with the aid of a wicked bobble. It was the midfielder’s 9th goal of the season – his best-ever tally for the club.
The chances kept coming for the Steelmen as they took complete control of the game: Hawkins saw a shot well blocked by a defender, Orrell fired just wide of the left-hand post from the edge of the box, and Jakab headed just over from Smith’s corner.
Another goal looked just a matter of time, and it arrived a minute before the break, when Orrell made it 3-0. Jermaine Metz was fouled out wide on the right, and with everyone waiting for the No 10 to deliver the free-kick into the box, he spotted a gap at the near post, and beat the keeper from an acute angle.
Half-time: Bedlington Terriers 0 Consett 3
Consett made two substitutions for the second half, bringing on their latest signing, Dutch defender Wouter Verstraaten, for skipper Arjun Purewal, and Matty Slocombe for Jake Stafford in midfield, but the changes made no difference to the flow of the game.
Just three minutes in, Hawkins set up Metz for a shot which the full-back blazed wildly wide, then Hawkins chose to pull the ball back for Orrell instead of going for goal himself, but the midfielder ballooned his effort over.
Ardelean played in Hawkins, who couldn’t keep his shot down, then a superb through ball saw Ardelean outmuscle a defender and roll the ball past the advancing keeper, but inches wide of the right-hand post.
On 77 minutes Orrell had a clear sight of goal, but unselfishly set up Ardelean, whose touch on the bobbly pitch took him too close to the keeper. The ball was worked back to Orrell, whose well-struck effort bounced off and over the bar.
Hawkins and McAloon had further chances as the game drew to a close, but these were again squandered, and substitute Leighton Hopper grabbed a consolation for Bedlington in the 88th minute when a long clearance from the keeper saw him keep his cool to fire past Kyle Hayes to make it 3-1.
MATCH REPORT & PICTURES: GARY WELFORD
BEDLINGTON TERRIERS: 1 Joseph Brook, 2 James Lee, 3 Mackenzie Sharpe (sub Daniel Costello 64), 4 Andrew Burn, 5 Jordan Patterson, 6 Kyle Dobson, 7 Kevin Westphal (captain) (sub Chris Douglas 73), 8 Michael Bell, 9 Cameron Fenton (sub Leighton Hopper 64), 10 Michael Annang-Colquhoun, 11 Alex Berhan. Subs not used: Oliver Martin, Sven Hart.
CONSETT: 1 Kyle Hayes, 2 Jermaine Metz, 3 Nick Allen, 4 Jake Stafford (sub Matty Slocombe 46), 5 Simon Jakab, 6 Arjun Purewal (captain) (sub Wouter Verstraaten 46), 7 Dan Hawkins, 8 Calvin Smith, 9 Andrei-Vasile Ardelean, 10 Jake Orrell, 11 Thomas Mcaloon. Subs Not Used: Ross Wilkinson, Dale Pearson, Ali Alshabeeb.
|02/10/2019||7:45 pm||League Cup||2019-20|