Dale Pearson’s first two goals of the season helped Consett to a 3-2 win over his old club Newcastle Benfield at Belle View Stadium – but they had to come from two goals behind to do it.
The big striker, who was top scorer with 30 goals last season, had yet to hit the net this time round, but made up for that with a brace in a goal-laden first half.
The Steelmen made just one change from the side which won 6-2 at Seaham in midweek, with skipper Arjun Purewal returning in central defence in place of Ross Wilkinson as manager Terry Mitchell continued his policy of rotation.
The first chance came on five minutes when the lively Ali Alshabeeb won possession deep in the visitors’ half and fed Calvin Smith, who fired straight at the keeper. Smith then turned provider for Jake Orrell, putting in a great cross from the right which his midfield colleague couldn’t direct on target.
Benfield had come to take Consett on, and served notice of their goal threat on seven minutes when Kyle Hayes had to save with his feet from Daniel O’ Reilly.
On 10 minutes Dale Pearson saw a well-struck shot beaten out by Benfield keeper Andrew Grainger, but the loose ball just wouldnt fall for the lurking Smith, and was scrambled clear. Pearson then took a cross from Darren Holden on his chest, went past his man, but Grainger read the situation perfectly and was off his line quickly to thwart him.
It was against the run of play that Benfield took the lead on 14 minutes. Consett failed to deal with a long ball, which left veteran striker Paul Brayson with only the keeper to beat, and he obliged.
Consett went straight back on the attack, with Alshabeeb setting up Smith, whose effort was deflected wide, while Pearson fired a free-kick into the wall, and Orrell tested Grainger with a firm 20-yarder.
Having ridden the onslaught, Benfield doubled their lead on 22 minutes, with Paul Brayson showing his predatory instincts again after a deflected cross fell kindly for him.
Consett were awarded a penalty on 27 minutes after Orrell was brought down in the box by left-back Ethan Renney. The visiting players were incensed, not by the decision, but by the fact one of their players, Jack Cooper, had gone down injured in the build-up.
Sadly, he ended up being stretchered off with what looked like a serious injury, and after a three-minute delay Dale Pearson stepped up to convert the penalty and halve the deficit.
Metz played a neat one-two with Pearson but fired wide, but in the 42nd minute Consett were level when Ali Alshabeeb chested down a great crossfield ball by Darren Holden, beat his man, and finished into the far corner.
Two minutes into the time added due to the Benfield injury Consett took the lead. Orrell swung in a cross from the left, Renney could only head it down into the six-yard box as he tried to clear, and Dale Pearson reacted quickest, pictured top, to turn it home.
Half-time: Consett 3 Newcastle Benfield 2
After a goal-packed first half the sell-out crowd of 300 were probably expecting more after the break, and Consett were straight back on the attack.
Pearson was looking for his hat-trick, and fired over from 25 yards, then brought a good save from Grainger with a free-kick, while Carl Lawson had a shot saved, and Alshabeeb and Lewis Green both had efforts which missed the target.
On 70 minutes Consett replaced Lawson with teenager Daniel Marriott, who was given his debut after impressing in pre-season, and it was his clever cross which set up Orrell for a header which looped over the keeper but came back off the bar and was cleared.
Benfield had Grainger to thank for the fact they were still in the game, and he made a good save from Green, before denying Pearson again as the No. 9 deliberately placed a low shot into the corner from Alshabeeb’s pullback.
The final whistle saw Consett make it two wins from two in the league, though the scoreline in no way reflected their domination, particularly of the second half.
|19/09/2020||3:00 pm||Northern League Division One||2020-21|