Consett rose to fourth in the 1st Division after a battling 2-1 win at Penrith, but were left to count the cost of a bruising encounter.
Manager Terry Mitchell made five changes to the side which had beaten Newcastle Benfield in the League Cup in midweek, with Darren Holden, Ross Wilkinson, Calvin Smith, Matty Slocombe and Luke Carr returning to the starting line-up.
The Steelmen started the game brightly, and had their first chance after seven minutes, when carr went on a mazy run before releasing the ball to Smith. His cross found Dale Pearson, but the striker’s header was just too high.
A minute later Ali Alshabeeb tumbled over in the box after a clumsy challenge from left-back Stu Johnson, was after consulting her assistant, referee Helen Conley decided the foul had taken place just outside the area. Carr fired the resulting free-kick into the wall, and Pearson’s follow-up was blocked too.
On 11 minutes Penrith’s goalkeeper Dan Staples seemed to handle outside the box as he went down at the feet of Pearson as he ran through on goal, but play was waved on, and centre-back Kyle May was able to complete the clearance.
Penrith had their first chance in the 12th minute, and it was a good one. Bobby Atkinson won the ball in midfield and fed Chris Wraighte, whose pass found Max Brown. The No. 11 looked well placed to score, but Consett keeper Kyle Hayes made a good stop with his legs. The home side then went close again through Sam Bell, who fired just wide from 25 yards. It was a good spell for Penrith, and Ric Faustino was next to test Hayes with a well-struck effort, but the keeper was equal to it.
As the half reached its midway point the game was wide open, with both sides creating chances. Pearson headed over for Consett, and Smith put a free-kick straight at Staples, while at the other end the ever-dangerous Martyn Coleman turned his marker and fired just over the bar.
A goal looked to be on its way, and when it arrived in the 28th minute it was Consett who got it. Good work by Pearson set up Alshabeeb, and his well-struck effort from 15 yards found the back of the net with the aid of a slight deflection, though it looked goalbound anyway.
The home side almost equalised immediately when Johnson hit a low effort from 20 yards, but Hayes saved at the foot of his post, and the Consett keeper again kept his goal intact five minutes before the break when he made a good save from Wraighte.
Half-time: Penrith 0 Consett 1
The second half started as the first had ended, with both sides creating chances. Coleman’s shot was saved by Hayes, while Pearson had a glorious chance to double Consett’s lead after Smith’s pass got him in behind the Penrith defence, but he rolled his shot wide of the far post. Pearson then wanted a penalty after he went down under challenge as he chased another Smith ball into the box, but nothing was given.
On 53 minutes Carr’s lay off gave Consett’s top scorer Smith the chance to add to his goals tally, but his placed shot was inches wide of the post. Alshabeeb was causing problems with his pace, and it was him who set up Pearson, but Staples made a good save from his well-struck effort.
Penrith’s height meant they were always a danger at setpieces, and they almost levelled things up when May powered a back-post header goalwards at a corner, but Hayes made a point-blank stop. Just how important a save was highlighted 30 seconds later as Consett broke, and Alshabeeb’s ball found Smith, whose slightly scuffed strike had enough on it to beat Staples and make it 2-0.
It was the midfielder’s seventh goal of the season, and five minutes later it gave him the confidence to chest down Jake Stafford’s ball into the box and let fly with a thunderous volley, but this time he couldn’t find the target. Pearson had another chance to seal the points in the 69th minute when Stafford’s pass set him clear, but Staples stood up well to save against his old club.
Consett, who had already lost Slocombe to injury at half-time, and replaced Metz and then Alshabeeb after they suffered knocks, suffered a blow in the 78th minute when Nick Allen, who’d come on at right-back, was felled by a poor tackle by home midfielder Adam Main.
It looked like the Steelmen were going to have to see out the game playing with 10 men, but after lengthy treatment Allen came back on, and hobbled about up front. With four minutes to go Consett had a double opportunity to wrap up the win when Andrei-Vasile Ardelean was denied by a fine save from Staples, and Smith, with the goal at his mercy from the rebound, blazed over the bar.
Right on 90 minutes the visitors had another chance, when Stafford’s pass put the injured Allen clean through, and although his lob beat the advancing Staples, it also cleared the bar.
Penrith spent the closing stages bombarding the Consett goal, and although the home side got on the scoresheet in the 93rd minute, as Brown finished from Main’s flick-on, the visitors saw the game out to take home all three points.
MATCH REPORT & PICTURES: GARY WELFORD
PENRITH: 1 Dan Staples, 2 Ric Faustino, 3 Stu Johnson, 4 Sam Bell (sub Matty Moynan 60), 5 Kyle May, 6 Grant Davidson (captain), 7 Chris Wraighte, 8 Adam Bain, 9 Martyn Coleman (sub James Metcalfe 72), 10 Bobby Atkinson, 11 Max Brown. Subs not used: Stu Forrester, Willy Paul.
CONSETT: 1 Kyle Hayes, 2 Jermaine Metz (sub Nick Allen 56), 3 Darren Holden, 4 Jake Stafford, 5 Arjun Purewal (captain), 6 Ross Wilkinson, 7 Calvin Smith, 8 Matty Slocombe (sub Max Russell 46), 9 Dale Pearson, 10 Luke Carr, 11 Ali Alshabeeb (sub Andrei-Vasile Ardelean 71). Subs not used: David Brown, Simon Jakab.
|14/09/2019||3:00 pm||Northern League Division One||2019-20|