Consett earned a point with an excellent display in a 2-2 draw at high-flying Stockton, however they will be disappointed at not taking all three points after conceding a 90th-minute equaliser. In-form striker Dale Pearson had given the visitors the lead, only for Jamie Owens to level for the home side before half-time. Luke Carr restored the lead in the second half and it looked as though that would be enough for the win before Michael Roberts’ last-ditch equaliser.
The Steelmen went into the game with an unchanged starting line-up, although new signing Jake Orrell made his debut from the bench. Stockton started the game with the league’s only 100% record and had the familiar face of ex-Consett keeper Ross Coombe in goal. The young stopper had recently signed on loan from South Shields to solve a goalkeeping crisis, with Stockton’s regular two keepers suspended and injured respectively.
Our previous meetings with Stockton had seen goals galore and this one looked like it would be no different as Luke Carr forced Coombe into an excellent save with a 20-yard strike in the first minute. However, Stockton were soon into their attacking stride and James Risbrough forced an excellent low save from Kyle Hayes after he had cut in from the left wing in the 10th minute.
The first golden chance of the game came on 19 minutes as a fine pass from Carr sent Dale Pearson down the left channel. The forward cut inside past a defender to leave himself one on one with Coombe, but the Stockton goalkeeper made a fine save.
It only took two further minutes for Consett to open the scoring and it was again Carr playing in Pearson down the left channel. This time the marksman made no mistake as he cut inside and buried the ball into the bottom right corner past the despairing dive of Coombe.
Stockton were soon back on the front foot and enjoying lots of possession, but a well-organised Consett side with Jake Stafford and Matty Slocombe tireless in protecting the back four meant that Hayes remained largely a spectator. That changed on 39 minutes though as the prolific Jamie Owens conjured a goal out of nothing, collecting the ball on the right flank before carrying it inside and unleashing an unstoppable shot into the top-right corner from 20 yards.
Right on the stoke of half time, the visitors lead could have been restored as Calvin Smith met a Carr corner, but his header took a deflection and then hit the bar, sending the teams into the break level at 1-1.
Half-time: Stockton Town 1 Consett 1
The home side started the second half the stronger and were almost rewarded in the 51st minute as midfielder Jordan Robinson almost broke the bar with a thunderous effort from the edge of the area following a corner.
Gradually though the Steelmen worked their way into the half and on 55 minutes there was almost a carbon copy of the goal as Carr played an identical through ball to Pearson, who unluckily lost his footing just as he was about to shoot when he was clean through on goal. Carr was having an increasingly influential role in the game and almost restored the lead on the hour mark but his shot after a wonderful mazy dribble went agonisingly wide of the right-hand post with Coombe a spectator.
Consett continued to press and were deservedly rewarded on 71 minutes as Carr buried an excellent low shot from 20 yards into the bottom-right corner after good initial work from substitute Jake Orrell and then Ali Alshabeeb. It was no more than Consett and Carr in particular deserved.
The visitors continued to soak up pressure reasonably comfortably and looked likely to add to their lead on the break. Firstly, Orrell curled just wide from 25 yards on 72 minutes, but the big chance came 10 minutes later as once again Carr released Pearson with a sublime ball and although his effort was well saved by Coombe, the striker managed to work the rebound back to the onrushing Alshabeeb, who blazed over from eight yards out.
There was a nervousness among a very healthy travelling contingent of fans that Consett may rue the missed chances as Stockton set up camp in their visitors’ half for the last five minutes, but with Arjun Purewal and Ross Wilkinson excellent in central defence it looked as if the danger would be seen off. That was until the 90th minute when left-back Dan McWilliams sent in an excellent cross from the left which substitute Michael Roberts met at the far post with a thumping header which gave Hayes no chance.
Stockton continued to press for four minutes of injury time and there were a few scares in the visiting defence, but an extremely entertaining game finished 2-2, and while Consett will think they could have had all three points, they can reflect on an excellent performance in which they created all manner of headaches for a very good Stockton side, who had only conceded two goals thus far in the league campaign – and both of those were from penalties.
MATCH REPORT: ANDY BALL
MATCH PICTURES: JOHN PAUL HARDY
STOCKTON TOWN: 1. Ross Coombe, 2. Lewis King, 3. Daniel McWilliams, 4. Tom Portas, 5. Adam Nicholson (captain), 6. Tom Coulthard, 7. Kevin Hayes (sub Peter Bulmer 73), 8. Jordan Robinson, 9. Max Craggs, 10. Jamie Owens (sub Michael Roberts 77), 11. James Risbrough (sub Cieran Jackson 84). Subs not used: James Ward, Fred Woodhouse.
CONSETT: 1. Kyle Hayes, 2. Jermaine Metz, 3. Darren Holden, 4. Jake Stafford, 5. Arjun Purewal (captain), 6. Ross Wilkinson, 7. Calvin Smith (sub Jake Orrell 67), 8. Matthew Slocombe, 9. Dale Pearson, 10. Luke Carr, 11. Ali Alshabeeb (sub Andrei-Vasile Ardelean 86). Subs not used: Simon Jakab, Dan Hawkins, Nick Allen.
|28/09/2019||3:00 pm||Northern League Division One||2019-20|