Consett showed their class to ease into the 2nd Round of the FA Vase, recovering from an early hiccup to win 5-2 at Winterton Rangers of the Northern Counties East League 1st Division.
Manager Terry Mitchell was without Luke Carr and Jake Stafford, who were both suspended after being sent off at West Auckland seven days earlier, which meant starts for Nick Allen and Jake Orrell.
Winterton were third in their division – the equivalent of the Northern League 2nd Division – having only conceded four goals at home all season, and they showed why by putting their visitors under pressure from the start. Consett had already survived one penalty shout when Ross Wilkinson was judged to have pushed over Luke Anderson in the box in the fifth minute, and Paul Grimes made no mistake from the spot to make it 1-0.
But in the space of 15 minutes the Steelmen had turned the game on its head and led 3-1. Immediately after conceding they had a chance when Darren Holden, being used in a more advanced role, beat his man and found Dale Pearson, who miskicked, and Calvin Smith’s follow-up was blocked.
There was a close call at the other end when Liam Nelthorpe’s free-kick picked out Jaime Ture, whose header went inches wide. The near-miss spurred Consett into life, and right-back Jermaine Metz levelled in the 10th minute, picking up the ball in midfield, carrying it forward, and smashing an absolute screamer into the top corner from 25 yards.
On 12 minutes Allen fed Holden, who skinned his man again, and again found Pearson in the box, but this time the No 9’s header was just wide of the left-hand post. The home defence were finding it Although they were a big side, the home defence were finding Pearson hard to handle, and in the 13th minute gave Consett them the lead with his 10th goal of the season. He got possession 25 yards out, drove into the box past his marker and fired left-footed past Nathan Popple to make it 2-1.
In the 19th minute more good work down the left by Holden saw his cross laid back by Alshabeeb for Nick Allen to fire home left-footed from just inside the box, for his first goal for the club.
On 25 minutes Smith almost made it four when his well-struck half-volley from 25 yards cannoned back off the bar, and a couple of minutes later Pearson had what he thought was a good penalty claim turned down when he went down under a challenge by centre-back Oliver Fisher right on the edge of the box, but the referee waved away his appeal.
Consett were well in control, but had another warning on the half-hour when another free-kick into the box saw Anderson allowed a free header. Luckily for the visitors, he couldn’t steer the effort on target. Otherwise, for the rest of the half, it was the Steelmen who created all the chances. Pearson fired just wide after a surging run, Holden volleyed wide after good play by Alshabeeb and Smith, and the keeper just beat Holden to a return pass after a great one-two with Pearson.
Half-time: Winterton Rangers 1 Consett 3
Consett started the second half how they had ended the first, looking for another goal to put the game beyond their hosts reach. They almost got it two minutes in when a good passing move swept from right to left and gave Holden a chance from 15 yards, but the keeper made a fine save at the expense of a corner. Then Pearson saw a well-placed 25-yard free-kick palmed over by the keeper.
Winterton were still posing the odd threat, with their more direct play a contrast to Consett’s passing style, and the Steelmen were grateful to Kyle Hayes in the 58th minute when he beat out a fierce effort from Callum Foster to preserve their two-goal lead.
Pearson had a good chance to put the result beyond doubt when Metz and Alshabeeb worked the ball down the right, and the winger’s cross found the striker at the back post, but he placed his shot just the wrong side of the post. But within a minute another attack down the right saw Alshabeeb and Pearson combine superbly to set up Jake Orrell to make it 4-1.
To the home side’s credit they kept looking for a way back into the game, and thought they had it on the hour, when Consett gave away possession cheaply in midfield and Grimes advanced into the box and beat Hayes at his near post to make it 4-2.
But Orrell’s second goal of the game a minute later ended any flickering hopes of a comeback. The midfielder picked the ball up 25 yards out, looked up at goal, and buried a superb effort in the bottom left corner, giving the keeper absolutely no chance and making it 5-2.
It could have been more, but Pearson had another decent penalty shout turned down, as he was pulled back by Fisher, and Matty Slocombe missed two gòod chances, seeing the first saved by the keeper and blazing a second over the bar when he seemed certain to get his first goal of the season.
The last 15 minutes saw the flow of the game interrupted by a series of substitution and a rush of yellow cards – three for Winterton and one for Consett’s centre-back Wilkinson – from a referee who probably let too much go earlier in the game, and finally ran out of patience. In the end it was a comfortable win for Consett, who await Monday’s draw to see who they will face in the 2nd Round.
MATCH REPORT & PICTURES: GARY WELFORD
WINTERTON RANGERS: 1 Nathan Popple, 2 Oliver Hamilton, 3 Robbie Start (sub Gareth Barlow 46), 4 Callum Foster, 5 Oliver Fisher (sub Thomas Phillips 76), 6 Kieran Wressle (captain), 7 Callum Chapman (sub Billy Ball 20), 8 Liam Nelthorpe, 9 Luke Anderson, 10 Paul Grimes, 11 Jaime Ture. Sub not used: Matthew Graves.
CONSETT: 1 Kyle Hayes, 2 Jermaine Metz, 3 Nick Allen, 4 Matty Slocombe, 5 Arjun Purewal (captain), 6 Ross Wilkinson, 7 Ali Alshabeeb (sub Andrei-Vasile Ardelean 70), 8 Calvin Smith (sub Wouter Verstraaten 75), 9 Dale Pearson, 10 Jake Orrell, 11 Darren Holden (sub Thomas McAloon 81). Subs not used: David Brown, Simon Jakab, Michael Brown, Joe Sloan.
|12/10/2019||3:00 pm||FA Vase||2019-20|