Dale Pearson scored his third double in four games as Consett beat Sunderland RCA 3-1 at a sunny Belle View to go second in the league. Manager Terry Mitchell made one change to the side which had beaten Guisborough in midweek, with Matty Slocombe returning in place of Max Russell. New signing Thomas McAloon had to be content with a place on the bench against the club he joined from on the eve of the game.
RCA have been a bit of a bogey team in the past few years, but were missing eight regular first-teamers for a variety of reasons, so the Steelmen were never going to have a better chance of beating them, and it took just five minutes to carve them open.
Slocombe’s pass played in Luke Carr, whose shot was blocked, and Jermaine Metz fired the rebound over the bar. Two minutes later Carr’s low cross across the six-yard box found Calvin Smith, who guided his shot the wrong side of the post.
Ali Alshabeeb was causing lots of problems for the visitors with his pace, and it was his pass which Dale Pearson collected in the eighth minute, and rolled into the far corner past the helpless keeper.
Two minutes later Smith’s pass saw Alshabeeb beat the offside trap, but this time RCA keeper Robert Dean stood up well to save. It took RCA 15 minutes to register a proper effort on goal, but former Consett winger Josh Gray was well off target after a run down the left.
Alshabeeb continued to be a thorn in the side of the RCA defence, and jinked past two challenges before laying the ball off to Smith, who fired just wide from 20 yards. The respite didn’t last long, however, and on 18 minutes Consett doubled their lead when Alshabeeb’s pass set up Pearson, who beat Dean with a first-time strike to make it 2-0.
The big No 9 had a couple of chances to score a quickfire hat-trick, but blazed one wide while off balance and was denied by RCA keeper Robert Dean in a one-on-one. Alshabeeb’s trickery won a free-kick to the right of the penalty area on the half-hour, and Carr’s pinpoint delivery saw skipper Arjun Purewal flash a header across goal.
The game lost a bit of its tempo when the referee called a drinks break in the sweltering temperatures, but Smith looked a certain scorer on 38 minutes when Dean’s poor clearance was worked to him by Alshabeeb and Pearson, until the keeper redeemed himself with an excellent save.
As the half moved into its last five minutes Dean was called upon once again as the RCA defence stood mesmerised when a good passing move between Carr and Pearson saw the ball moved to Smith, but once again the keeper made a five save with his feet.
Alshabeeb had the ball in the net at the end of a slick passing move which cut the visiting defence apart, but the linesman’s flag denied Consett the third goal their dominance deserved. They were not to be thwarted, however, and a minute before the break Luke Carr made it 3-0 when he put the finishing touch to an excellent cross from Metz.
Half-time: Consett 3 Sunderland RCA 0
RCA stepped up their game in the second half, and Connor Slack flicked an effort over the bar, while Dylan Elliott at last brought a save out of Kyle Hayes, who had been a virtual spectator for much of the opening half.
Consett were still creating chances, and should have been out of sight; Pearson tested Dean with a well-struck effort to his near post, Smith fired narrowly wide, and Pearson fired another into the side netting from an acute angle.
Another shot from Smith went narrowly wide, then one from Pearson was tipped over by Dean. From the corner Alshabeeb had a shot blocked for another flag-kick, and this time Wilkinson headed wide.
Alshabeeb’s pass then set up Carr, who was denied by a superb last-ditch tackle by Alex Storey, then Alshabeeb’s 20-yarder was superbly saved at full stretch by Dean.
RCA were starting to enjoy some possession and when Dylan Elliott played the ball over the top of the Consett defence, Connor Slack ran onto it and looked certain to score, but Hayes stuck a foot to save, and the ball looped up and onto the bar before being cleared by Nick Allen.
Andrei-Vasile Ardlean, on for Pearson, should have put the game beyond RCA’s reach in the 76th minute when a pass sent him clear, but his touch let him down and Dean was able to smother at his feet. Carr then won a free-kick right on the edge of the box, and Jake Stafford’s set-piece was tipped over by the keeper.
RCA almost got a consolation gaol in the 85th minute when Elliott spotted the run of Ryan Leonard, who slipped past his marker before cutting inside the penalty area and unleashing a terrific shot which Hayes managed to get a fingertip to and deflect onto the post and away for a corner.
In the 89th minute the visitors did eventually get a consolation, Leonard was set free on the right by Slack and his cross was met by Dylan Elliott who guided the ball home from close range.
The goal robbed Consett of the clean sheet that all managers like, but only a superb goalkeeping display by Dean and some slack finishing prevented RCA going home on the wrong end of a hammering.
MATCH REPORT & PICTURES: GARY WELFORD
CONSETT: 1 Kyle Hayes, 2 Jermaine Metz, 3 Darren Holden (sub Nick Allen 46), 4 Jake Stafford, 5 Arjun Purewal (captain), 6 Ross Wilkinson, 7 Calvin Smith (sub Dan Hawkins 72), 8 Matty Slocombe, 9 Dale Pearson (sub Andrei-Vasile Ardelean 68), 10 Luke Carr, 11 Ali Alshabeeb. Subs not used: Simon Jakab, Thomas McAloon.
SUNDERLAND RCA: 1 Robert Dean, 2 Clayton Davis, 3 Ross McNab (captain), 4 Alex Storey, 5 Sam Lilley, 6 Aaron Croft sub Henry Dorward 80), 7 Ryan Leonard, 8 Dylan Elliott, 9 Connor Slack, 10 Kyle Davis, 11 Josh Gray (sub Michael Charlton 46). Sub not used: Kieron Ezard (GK).
|21/09/2019||3:00 pm||Northern League Division One||2019-20|