Consett suffered their first defeat in seven games when they lost 2-1 at West Auckland in a game they finished with only nine men. After ringing the changes for the midweek cup game, manager Terry Mitchell reverted to virtually the same team which had drawn at Stockton in their last league match, with Jake Orrell for Calvin Smith the only change.
The first chance fell to the home side in the sixth minute, when Amar Purewal – the twin brother of Consett skipper Arjun – was inches away from getting on the end of a cross from Rees Greenwood as he arrived late at the back post.
Two minutes later the Steelmen carved out their first opportunity when Orrell won the ball in midfield and fed Ali Alshabeeb down the right. His pass found Dale Pearson eight yards out, but the striker was leaning back as he shot and blazed well over the bar.
West were enjoying lots of possession without really hurting their visitors, but Purewal had a great chance to put them ahead in the 16th minute when he beat the offside trap, only to see his effort saved by Consett keeper Kyle Hayes. Two minutes later Greenwood had another chance, but his shot on the turn was an easy take for Hayes.
Midway through the half Ross Wilkinson headed well wide from Orrell’s cross as Consett mounted a rare counter-attack, but they found themselves increasingly being pushed back by their hosts.
Purewal fired straight at Hayes, the keeper then stood up well to save Greenwood’s well-struck effort, and Callum Guy hit a 20-yarder over the bar as West began to take control. So it was against the run of play that the Steelmen took the lead in the 36th minute. Luke Carr’s superb pass sent Dale Pearson clear, and although keeper Tom Flynn got a foot to his shot, the ball looped up and over him and into the back of the net.
Hayes, diving low to his right, did well to push away a shot from Greenwood as West went straight back on the attack, but things started to unravel for Consett in the 39th minute when they were reduced to 10 men, after Carr was shown a straight red card for something he said to the referee.
Two minutes before half-time their one-goal advantage had been wiped out too, as West equalised. Anthony Bell’s cross was headed powerfully goalwards by Purewal, and although Hayes made a good save, ex-Steelman David Dowson reacted quickest to fire home the loose ball for 1-1.
Half-time: West Auckland Town 1 Consett 1
Consett brought Nick Allen on for Alshabeeb at half-time and he went to left-back, with Darren Holden switched to right midfield. The Steelmen sat deep, content to soak up pressure and play on the break, but they almost came unstuck in the 71st minute when Purewal headed narrowly wide. Three minutes later they had an even closer call when a tremendous effort from Arron Thompson rattled the crossbar, and Dowson fired over from the rebound.
The respite only lasted until the 76th minute, however, as West sub Alex Francis scored a goal good enough to win any game, curling the ball into the top corner from 20 yards, to make it 2-1.
Consett’s 10 men almost grabbed an equaliser in the 85th minute, when a superb run down the right by Jermaine Metz saw him set up sub Andre-Vasile Ardelean, but the striker’s shot on the turn was denied by Flynn, who always seems to save his best performances for when he faces his former club.
There was a final sting in the tale for Consett in the 90th minute when Jake Stafford was shown a second yellow and then the inevitable red card after a last-man foul on Francis. It left them to play out the five minutes of added time with only nine men, and even then they had another chance to grab a point, when Ardelean headed wide from Metz’s cross. The result means Consett remain third in the table, a point ahead of Shildon and Billingham Town, who both have games in hand.
MATCH REPORT & PICTURES: GARY WELFORD
WEST AUCKLAND TOWN: 1 Tom Flynn, 2 Liam Hegarty, 3 Anthony Bell, 4 Tom Price, 5 Dan Mitton, 6 Arron Thompson, 7 Adam Mitchell (captain), 8 Rees Greenwood, 9 David Dowson (sub Adam Burnicle 77), 10 Amar Purewal, 11 Callum Guy (sub Alex Francis 68). Subs not used: Lewis Dodds, Paul Connor, Mark Bell.
CONSETT: 1 Kyle Hayes, 2 Jermaine Metz, 3 Darren Holden (sub Andrei Ardelean 80), 4 Jake Stafford, 5 Arjun Purewal (captain), 6 Ross Wilkinson, 7 Jake Orrell, 8 Matty Slocombe, 9 Dale Pearson (sub Calvin Smith 58), 10 Luke Carr, 11 Ali Alshabeeb (sub Nick Allen 46). Subs not used: Simon Jakab, Dan Hawkins.
|05/10/2019||3:00 pm||Northern League Division One||2019-20|