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16 August 2014

Consett made it through the Extra Preliminary Round of the FA Cup for the first time in five years with a 2-0 win over North West Counties League side Silsden at their blustery Angel Telecom Stadium in West Yorkshire. Michael Mackay had already had an effort cleared off the line when Luke Sullivan put the Steelmen in front on 17 minutes with a diving header from Calvin Smith's pinpoint cross, pictured above. Four minutes into the second half, Mackay made it 2-0, placing his shot into the top corner from Mark Eccles' pullback, pictured below . Consett - debuting their new white and black away strip - never looked in danger of conceding, and the only surprise was that they didn't turn their dominance of the game into more goals. Their reward is a home game in the next round on 30 August against the winners of Sunday's Whickham v Bacup & Rossendale tie.

Tuesday's scheduled away game at Bishop Auckland is POSTPONED, as they drew their FA Cup tie v Sunderland RCA on Friday night, and will be replaying the tie. Our next game is now our first home league game of the season v Newton Aycliffe on Saturday, kick-off 3pm.

13 August 2014

Consett had to settle for another point on their travels tonight when they drew 4-4 at Billingham Synthonia in a game reminiscent of so many last season. They led twice and had to come from two goals down in a rollercoaster 90 minutes. Luke Sullivan gave them the lead after nine minutes, after a great crossfield ball by Adam Nicholls and lovely lay-off by Mark Eccles. They could have added three more before the home side levelled on 21 minutes with a looping header from ex-Steelman Luke Richardson. Two minutes later Synners were in front after Consett gave the ball away and Michael Sweet took full advantage. And on 32 minutes Sweet struck home a half-volley to make it 3-1. Consett looked stunned, but to their credit went in level at half-time, through Nicholls' first goal from the club on 37 minutes, pictured, and then an equaliser from Michael Mackay five minutes before the break. Both sides looked vulnerable to the other's pacey attacks, and Consett regained the lead on 52 minutes when Mackay beat Billingham keeper James Briggs. It wasn't to last, however, and on 67 minutes Jack Bradbury made it 4-4. The game seemed to swing in Consett's favour with 15 minutes to go when Synners captain Stephen Gibson was adjudged to have tripped Mackay as last man and was shown a red card. But Consett could not make the extra man count and had to settle for a share of the spoils. Full match report and pictures to follow.

9 August 2014

Consett began the new campaign with a well earned point away to Whitley Bay with goals form Michael MacKay and Michael Pearson countering two strikes from perennial nemesis Paul Chow at a sun-drenched Hillheads. Whitley Bay took the lead against the run of play on 9 minutes as Paul Chow's strike from the angle of the area somehow found its way through keeper Dan Regan. Consett got the equaliser their play deserved on 35 minutes when Gilbert Chapim collected the rebound from a saved Adam Nicholls effort to tee up Mackay who made no mistake. On 54 minutes Consett took the lead through the unlikely source of full back Michael Pearson, who ran onto a Calvin Smith throw in and finished into the bottom left hand corner. Chow levelled for Whitley from the penalty spot twelve minutes from time after he had been fouled by Mark Eccles. The referee deemed the infringement to be inside the area, although Consett disputed the penalty believing the foul to have taken place outside of the box.

> Match report

5 August 2014

Consett brought their pre-season programme to an end with a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Blyth Spartans at Belle View. The game was a big step up from the previous eight friendlies, and Consett had to spend much of it keeping their shape and discipline against opponents two divisions above them in the non-league pyramid. They had goalkeeper Dan Regan and one of his posts to thank for reaching half-time level at 0-0, but he could do nothing about Neal Hooks' opener on 54 minutes, as he found time and space to lob the keeper. Dan Maguire made it two on 68 minutes, rounding the keeper after the Steelmen were punished for giving away possession. And although Luke Sullivan pulled one back on 81 minutes with a header from David Brown's cross, pictured, Blyth's winning margin could have been greater. Now onto the real thing at Whitley Bay on Saturday…

1 August 2014

Consett enjoyed another goal-fest when they entertained nearest neighbours Tow Law Town in their latest pre-season friendly, romping home 9-0. The Lawyers actually had the ball in the net first, on 11 minutes, but the ‘goal' was disallowed for offside. Three minutes later Consett were ahead, with Aris Guerin-Lokonga latching onto a long ball, forcing a mistake from a defender, and firing home from 10 yards. On 23 minutes it was 2-0, as Adam Nicholls and Mark Eccles combined well down the left to set up Michael Mackay, who rifled home from the corner of the six-yard box, pictured. Two minutes later, good work by Mackay and Nicholls set up Guerin-Lokonga to sidefoot home his second. And on 28 minutes it was 4-0, as a deft pass by Matty Slocombe played in Mackay, who dinked the ball over the advancing keeper. Six minutes before the break Mackay completed a first-half hat-trick from the penalty spot after Nicholls was tripped.

Starting the second half 5-0 in front, Consett made seven changes at the break, and within two minutes, two of the half-time substitutes had added their names to the scoresheet. First, a surging run by David Brown set up Chris Youldon to fire home, and then a great ball out from the back gave Luke Sullivan the chance to lob the keeper from 20 yards, and he finished in style, pictured. On 72 minutes Calvin Smith smashed home a 25-yarder from Brown's lay-off, and with a minute to go David Scorer made it 9-0 with a thundering header from Brown's corner.

26 July 2014

Consett’s pre-season friendly continued with a comfortable win over more Northern League 2nd Division opponents as they beat Esh Winning 5-1 at Belle View Stadium. Esh – who stepped in after scheduled opponents Hebburn Town pulled out in midweek – took the lead on 11 minutes when Luke Wilson was fouled in the box and converted the resulting penalty. It took 20 minutes for Consett to restore parity. Mark Eccles put in a deep cross from the left, Josh Gray fired the ball back into the middle and Luke Sullivan finished from six yards. Two minutes before the break Consett took the lead, when an Esh defender was adjudged to have handled in the area, and Sullivan stepped up to make it 2-1 at half-time. Four minutes into the second half the lead was extended when a burst of acceleration took Gray into the box, and his pass set up Michael Mackay for a simple finish. On 53 minutes it was 4-1, as Sullivan completed his hat-trick with an assured strike from the edge of the box. Not to be outdone, Mackay made it 5-1 on 84 minutes with an even better finish from virtually the same place (pictured). It was nearly six, but Ryan Bell – making his first pre-season appearance after returning from injury – hit the bar from 20 yards.

22 July 2014

Consett continued their pre-season build-up with a good win over Northern League champions Spennymoor Town. Moors, who will be playing in the Evo-Stik League Division One North this season, sent a young side, containing just half a dozen first-teamers, to Belle View Stadium. And they paid the price, heading home on the wrong end of a 5-1 hiding. Michael Mackay opened the scoring after six minutes from a Luke Sullivan pass, and Sully made it 2-0 on 19 minutes with another for his growing collection of ‘worldies’. Calvin Smith picked him out with a diagonal pass and he let it bounce on the right-hand corner of the box before smashing it home right-footed, (pictured). Josh Gray also hit the post, and with better finishing, Consett could have been more than 2-0 up at the break. It took just 47 seconds of the second half to increase the lead, however, as Chris Youldon – one of four half-time substitutes – fired into the top corner after surging forward from midfield. Spennymoor replied within a couple of minutes, when Dan Taylor pulled one back from the edge of the box. But another of the subs, Aris Guerin-Lokonga, restored the three-goal advantage on 58 minutes, finishing from 15 yards, and he made it 5-1 on 72 minutes after being fouled in the box and tucking away the resulting penalty. It could have been more, but Adam Nicholls’ effort was superbly cleared off the line by a defender after he had rounded the keeper.

19 July 2014

Consett were in the mood for goals again in their latest warm-up game, beating Wearside League neighbours Annfield Plain 7-0 in the annual friendly. Luke Sullivan set things rolling on eight minutes with a well-taken goal. He received the ball from Dan Madden in midfield, spread it wide to Adam Nicholls, took his return pass and fired into the bottom left corner from 22 yards (pictured). On 26 minutes Aris Guerin-Lokonga made it two from the penalty spot after he had been hauled down from behind. And six minutes later it was three, when Sullivan’s cross from the left byline was chested home by Matty Slocombe from point-blank range at the back post. Calvin Smith made it 4-0 on 35 minutes after being set up by Aris following a good move down the right. And four minutes before the break Sullivan got his second from inside the six-yard box after a good run down the left and low, hard cross from Mark Eccles. On 43 minutes Adam Nicholls made it 6-0, cutting in from the left and letting fly from 25 yards. Consett made seven changes at half-time, and the ‘second half’ team took some time to get going. But one of the substitutes, Michael Mackay, made it 7-0 on 62 minutes with a deft chip over the advancing keeper after he was sent clear by a good pass from Kieran Martin. It could have been more, but Tony Coe rattled the post, and the Plain keeper made a couple of good saves.

15 July 2014

Consett recorded their best pre-season result so far tonight, with a crushing 9-1 win over Northern League 2nd Division opponents Brandon United. The visitors, playing their first friendly, found themselves behind after just 47 seconds when Adam Nicholls played in Michael Mackay, who finished clinically. The next goal came on 21 minutes, and fell to Luke Sullivan. His initial shot, a falling volley, came back off the bar, Mackay kept the ball alive in the box, and Sully made no mistake at the second attempt. The No 9 hit the post and the bar again before Mackay rifled home a 20-yarder into the bottom corner on 27 minutes to make it 3-0. A minute later it was four when Calvin Smith fired home from eight yards after Brandon failed to clear their lines. On 33 minutes Mackay completed his hat-trick, taking advantage of another mistake in the visitors' defence to make the half-time score 5-0.

Consett again rang the changes at the break, making eight substitutions, including centre-half David Scorer's first game back after a year off from football. Within four minutes of the restart it was 6-0, when Josh Gray cut in from the right and fired home left-footed from just inside the box. Two minutes later it was seven, with Matty Slocombe - also playing his first pre-season game, at left-back - popping up on the edge of the box to smash home a 20-yarder. On the hour it was 8-0, with Nicholls' cross from the right finished by a close-range header from Chris Youldon. Two minutes later it was nine, as Nicholls seized on a poor kick-out by the Brandon keeper, lifted the ball over a defender's head, surged to the byline and set up Gray's second goal of the night on a plate, (pictured). To their credit, Brandon, who had a team packed with triallists, didn't give up, and got their reward when George McCain headed a consolation goal on 66 minutes.

12 July 2014

Consett tasted defeat for the first time in their pre-season build-up as they were beaten 3-2 at Belle View Stadium by Northern League 2nd Division opponents South Shields. The Steelmen, playing their second game in less than 24 hours, started with only three of the team which took the field against Ryton. But like the previous night, it was the visitors who took the initiative, when ex-Consett player David Malloy took advantage of some poor defending to fire home on 14 minutes. Two minutes later it was 1-1, as good work from Aris Guerin-Lokonga set up Luke Sullivan to burst through and slip the ball home. On 27 minutes Consett took the lead with a well-worked goal. A Mark Eccles pass set Sullivan away down the left, and although the Shields keeper saved his effort, he retrieved the loose ball and crossed to the back post, where Ryan King - back for the summer from his scholarship in America - rose to head home from barely a yard out, (pictured). It was 2-1 at half-time, and the usual raft of changes meant Consett rarely convinced in the second half. Nine minutes in they found themselves pegged back when lively Mariners striker Damian Stevens was fouled, picked himself up and slotted away the resulting penalty. Shields claimed the victory with a minute to go when James Talbot found a gaping hole on the left, and lobbed the advancing keeper for the winner.

11 July 2014

Consett continued their pre-season preparations with another game against Northern League 2nd Division opposition, but had to be content with a 1-1 draw with Ryton & Crawcrook Albion. There was a first appearance in the Steelmen's colours for new player-coach Steve Bowey, but it was the visitors who struck first, with triallist Kris Allington given time and space to finish a cross from the right after nine minutes. Ryton's keeper made good saves from on-trial Chris Youlden, Gilberto Chapim and Calvin Smith, but it was his team who had the ball in the net again five minutes before half-time, but the 'goal' was ruled out for offside. Consett rang the changes at the break, and it was one of the substitutes, Aris Guerin-Lokonga, who headed home the equaliser from Michael Mackay's left-wing corner on 72 minutes. Consett dominated the half, but could not find a winner against a Ryton side who defended resolutely and look a big improvement on the one who only avoided relegation in their last game of last season.

In other news, Yorkshire side Armthorpe Welfare, who were due to visit Belle View Stadium on Saturday, 19 July for a friendly, have pulled out. Our Wearside League neighbours Annfield Plain have agreed to step in, with the game kicking off at 3pm.

8 July 2014

Consett began their pre-season build-up with a comfortable 4-1 win over Northern league 2nd Division neighbours Whickham. The starting XI contained five summer signings, but it was a familiar face, Michael Mackay, who scored the opening goal after just three minutes, finishing from close range after good work from one of the new boys, Josh Gray. A minute later it was 1-1 as the Highwaymen swept up the other end and equalised with a well-worked goal from ex-Steelman Steven Aiston. On 20 minutes Aris Guerin-Lokonga restored the lead, sliding the ball home after a great pass by another new face, former Hartlepool United midfielder Jonny Wright. Yet another new signing, Adam Nicholls, set up Mackay to make it 3-1 on 33 minutes, and that remained the score at half-time. Consett made six changes at half-time, and more during the second half, so it was no surprise that the game lost some of its rhythm. The only addition to the scoreline came on 49 minutes, when Scott Martindale's ball down the left sent Mackay away, and he pulled the ball back for Guerin-Lokonga to claim his second of the game (pictured above).The only Steelmen to play all 90 minutes were goalkeeper Dan Regan and defenders Michael Pearson and David Brown.

4 July 2014

The draws for the FA competitions have been made. Consett begin their FA Cup campaign on Saturday 16 August with an Extra Preliminary Round tie away to Silsden of the North West Counties League. Should we win through that game we have home tie against the winners of the Whickham v Bacup & Rossendale Borough game. Success in that match would bring a 1st Qualifying Round trip to Workington.

In the FA Vase we begin on Saturday 6 September with home game against Northern Counties East side Thackley in the 1st Qualifying Round. The winners face a trip to Hall Road Rangers four week later.

3 July 2014

Consett have made two more new signings as they build their squad for the coming season. One is Adam Nicholls, a fast, skillful 25-year-old winger who spent last season at Crook Town, but played at Wembley for West Auckland in the 2012 FA Vase final, and won a Northern League championship medal with Darlington the following season. The second is midfielder Jonny Wright, a 19-year-old local lad who attended Sunderland's Academy, and has just been released after three years at Hartlepool United. Both are quality additions to a squad which already includes the majority of last season's players.

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Next Game

Newton Aycliffe (H)
Northern League Division One, Saturday 23 August 2014, 15:00 kick off

Last Game

Silsden 0 Consett 2
FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round, Saturday 16 August 2014

Northern League Div 1
Pos Team Pl GD Pts
10 West Auckland 2 3 3
11 Newton Aycliffe 2 -2 3
12 Celtic Nation 3 -4 3
13 CONSETT 2 0 2
14 Ashington 2 -1 1
15 Jarrow Roofing 2 -2 1
16 Crook Town 2 -2 1

(17 August 2014)

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