Consett went second in the Northern League after a 3-1 win over Bishop Auckland at a soggy Belle View Stadium. Manager Terry Mitchell stuck with the same starting XI which had beaten Billingham Town seven days earlier.
The game was one of only four top-flight matches to beat the weather, and the Steelmen would have recorded a much bigger win had it not been for yet another excellent display by visiting keeper Nick Liversedge.
After a cagey opening 10 minutes the game came to life when Matty Slocombe’s slide-rule pass picked out Jake Orrell’s run, but the midfielder’s shot went inches wide of the left-hand post.
A minute later Consett took the lead when Ali Alshabeeb outmuscled defender Darren Richardson to beat him to the ball and pulled it back for Calvin Smith to fire home from 12 yards, for his 12th goal of the season.
Liversedge then made half a dozen good saves to keep Bishops in the game. On 13 minutes he denied Orrell at close range after another great run into the box was spotted by Luke Carr. Four minutes later he saved from Alshabeeb after more trickery from the little wide man.
Alshabeeb was causing Bishops all sorts of problems, and was disappointed not to get on the scoresheet midway through the half when, at the end of a slick passing move, he fired just over the bar. Then another flowing move saw Smith’s cross from the left just too high for Carr to direct his header on target as the Steelmen attacked at will.
The home side were launching wave after wave of attack, and Liversedge came to Bishop’ rescue again on the half hour when he made his best save yet from Alshabeeb.
The winger then beat his man for the umpteenth time of the afternoon and pulled the ball back again for Smith in a carbon copy of the earlier move, but this time the midfielder placed his shot just the wrong side of the post.
Liversedge denied Pearson twice in as many minutes as the onslaught continued, and then he saved from Alshabeeb again, before centre-back Liam Potter headed over his own bar from a yard out to deny Pearson what looked a certain goal.
All the pressure was bound to tell eventually, and the resistance was finally broken three minutes before half-time when Orrell threaded a pass through for Ali Alshabeeb, who rifled the ball into the roof of the net to make it 2-0.
Carr almost made it three in the 52nd minute, only to be denied by a superb Liversedge save, with the big keeper going full-stretch down to his left to get a good hand to the playmaker’s well-struck 25-yarder.
But on 55 minutes it was 3-0, as Alshabeeb’s cross from the right picked out Dale Pearson at the back post, and although Liversedge appeared to have saved the striker’s shot, the linesman signalled that the ball had crossed the line before Carr made sure. It was the big striker’s 19th goal in 20 games since joining the club from Blyth Spartans, and he has only failed to get on the scoresheet once in the last 13 games.
On 72 minutes Pearson thought he had his 20th of the season, only for the linesman to flag for an offside earlier in the move and rule out the ‘goal’. Bishops did reduce the arrears on 75 minutes when a poor defensive clearance let in James Fairley to make it 3-1.
But Consett went back on the front foot to quell any thoughts of a late comeback, and might have added to their tally through Jermaine Metz and Orrell, who both fired shots just wide, and sub Andrei-Vasile Ardelean, who put an effort straight at the keeper. The game finished 3-1, but it could have been much, much worse for the visitors.
MATCH REPORT & PICTURES: GARY WELFORD
CONSETT: 1 Kyle Hayes, 2 Jermaine Metz, 3 Darren Holden, 4 Matty Slocombe, 5 Arjun Purewal (captain), 6 Nick Allen, 7 Jake Orrell, 8 Calvin Smith (sub Wouter Verstraaten 67), 9 Dale Pearson, 10 Luke Carr (sub Thomas McAloon 85), 11 Ali Alshabeeb (sub Andrei-Vasile Ardelean 74). Subs not used: Ross Wilkinson, Michael Brown.
BISHOP AUCKLAND: 1 Nick Liversedge, 2 Ryan Robinson, 3 Michael Hoganson (captain), 4 Liam Potter, 5 Jamie Tumilty, 6 James Fairley, 7 Kyle Morris, 8 Kyle Fryatt (sub Regan Nixon 65), 9 Darren Richardson, 10 Kieron Parnaby (sub Aidan Hart 61), 11 Jackson Waller (sub Andrew Johnson 52). Subs not used: Chris Winn, Jamie Marshall.
|16/11/2019||3:00 pm||Northern League Division One||2019-20|