Consett dominated from start to finish in their first league visit to Northallerton Town in more than 10 years, but had to settle for a point after a goalless draw. The Steelmen started the new decade how they finished the old one, by being by far the better side, but lacking a finishing touch to defeat dogged opponents.
Before the game, both teams and the healthy crowd of 208 held an impeccably-observed minute’s silence for Northallerton life member and ex Treasurer Nigel Simmonds, who died recently.
Consett, who fielded arguably their strongest starting XI, took the game to their bottom-of-the-table hosts from the start, and had enough chances in the opening 15 minutes to have been out of sight by half-time.
Ali Alshabeeb had the first after two minutes, but chipped the ball just wide in a one-on-one with the keeper after Luke Carr played him in, and Matty Slocombe saw a 20-yarder deflected over a couple of minutes later.
Jermaine Metz fired over after a short corner routine on six minutes, and 60 seconds later Consett should have taken the lead when the keeper fumbled Alshabeeb’s effort from the edge of the box, but Carr fired the loose ball over the bar.
On 11 minutes Dale Pearson broke quickly from a corner and carried the ball half the length of the field before playing in Jake Orrell, but keeper Tom Dawson stood up well to save. From the resulting corner skipper Arjun Purewal powered a header goalwards, which came back off the post with the keeper beaten.
Orrell had another chance on 32 minutes after a patient passing move, and although the keepr failed to gather his shot properly, no one was following in to capitalise. A minute later Carr thought he should have had a penalty after appearing to be hauled over by centre-back Neil Pattinson as he cut in from the right, but the referee waved away his appeals.
The chances kept coming, and another short corner routine saw Carr’s cross pick out Ross Wilkinson a the back post, but he couldn’t keep his header down. Then Orrell and Slocombe both had efforts which were on target, but didn’t greatly trouble Dawson in the home goal.
Half-time: Northallerton Town 0 Consett 0
Northallerton made a double substitution at the break, but the opening minute of the second half brought another good chance for Consett, after Orrell played the ball across the face of the goal after a neat one-two, but no one attacked the pass and another opportunity had gone begging.
Then Carr’s cross from the left picked out the marauding Metz, whose header was tipped round the post by Dawson. Carr then flighted a 25-yard free-kick just wide of the left-hand post as the virtually one-way traffic continued, with Northallerton enjoying the odd foray into their opponents’ half, without ever threatening their goal.
Consett had another shout for a penalty on 63 minutes when Orrell’s pass picked out Pearson, who went down under challenge from Jack Proctor, but again the referee waved away the visitors’ appeals.
Consett brought on two attackers, Andrei-Vasile Ardelean and Michael Mackay, as they strived for a winner, but the next chance fell to Purewal from a right-wing corner, but he headed wide of the right-hand post. Then a great cross by Mackay teed up Ardelean in the 79th minute, but he missed the ball and the chance was gone.
Carr hooked an effort just wide from Metz’s cross, and you got the feeling it might not be the Steelmen’s day in the 83rd minute when Mackay flicked the ball goalwards after good work by Orrell, only to see it come back off the bar, and Lee Brockbank’s superb block denied Dale Pearson an easy finish from the loose ball.
Consett laid siege to the Northallerton goal in the closing minutes, but the home side defended resolutely, as they had all afternoon, and their frustrated visitors had to settle for a 0-0 draw – just their second of the season. The point was still enough to take them back into fourth, a place above North Shields, who lost at home to Sunderland RCA.
MATCH REPORT & PICTURES: GARY WELFORD
|04/01/2020||3:00 pm||Northern League Division One||2019-20|