Consett were left licking their wounds when a late goal saw them beaten 2-1 at home by Newton Aycliffe at Belle View Stadium. It was the Steelmen’s first home defeat of the season, but they couldn’t complain after a well-below-par performance.
Manager Terry Mitchell made one change to the side which had lost at North Shields in midweek, with Ali Alshabeeb coming in for Jake Stafford. The visitors had two ex-Consett players in their ranks, defender Nick Green and midfielder Shaun Ryder.
The home side started brightly, creating a trio of chances in the first 10 minutes. On six minutes Luke Carr’s pass created an opening for Dale Pearson, whose first-time effort went into the side netting. Three minutes later Carr tried his luck from 20 yards, but his shot flew wide of the right-hand post.
The best chance of all came when Andrei-Vasile Ardelean beat a defender to a ball, reached the byline and pulled it back for Alshabeeb, who scuffed his shot and gave the keeper an easy save when a better strike would surely have opened the scoring.
The next 15 minutes of the game belonged to the visitors, as they created chance after chance, and Consett were grateful to keeper Kyle Hayes for a string of saves.
On 13 minutes he got down well low to his left to turn Alex Barnes’s well-placed effort round for a corner, and a minute later he saved again in a goalmouth scramble. Barnes burst through again on 16 minutes, but Hayes again stood up well to save with his feet.
The Consett keeper then denied Johnson Ballan, and Barnes yet again, while left-back Liam McNamara headed over the bar when well-placed.
After riding the visitors’ pressure Consett began to create chances of their own, and Alshabeeb had another great chance after letting the ball drop over his should from skipper Arjun Purewal’s headed clearance, only to put his volley straight at Aycliffe keeper Adam Pickford.
Right at the end of the half Consett took the lead, in slightly fortunate circumstances. McNamara was judged to have barged over Pearson out wide, and the referee gave a free-kick. The defender was still seething from the award when Carr floated in the ball, and the unfortunate No 3 planted a firm header past his keeper for an own goal.
Half-time: Consett 1 Newton Aycliffe 0
An improved start to the second half saw Consett create and squander a handful of opportunities. On 50 minutes Carr created a shooting opportunity for himself just outside the box, and his well-struck effort was heading inside the post until Pickford palmed it away.
A minute later Nick Allen’s low, hard cross from the left picked out Calvin Smith’s run into the box, but the midfielder’s first-time shot was straight at the keeper. Then Alshabeeb was thwarted by a combination of the keeper and a defender, and Smith crashed the follow-up inches wide.
Alshabeeb and Pearson also had efforts which were off target, and the mounting tally of missed chances came back to haunt Consett in the 66th minute when Gerard Richardson crossed for Dean Thexton to make it 1-1 from close range.
The game was now anybody’s, and on 73 minutes Aycliffe had the chance to take the lead when substitute Ryan Redford burst through, but curled his shot wide of the far post. At the other end Ardelean created a chance for himself, but the keeper saved low down.
Consett rang the changes, bringing on Dan Hawkins and Joe Sloan for Purewal and Ardelean, but the young winger had only been on the field five minutes when he was shown a straight red card for a two-footed tackle.
Most Consett fans would have settled for a point as their side saw out the game with 10 men, but they were denied that. As they pressed for a winner in the third minute of added time, a clearance found goalscorer Thexton, who turned provider for old boy Shaun Ryder to round Hayes and slot home the winner.
Full-time: Consett 1 Newton Aycliffe 2
MATCH REPORT & PICTURES: GARY WELFORD
|07/09/2019||3:00 pm||Northern League Division One||2019-20|