Consett’s home FA Vase semi-final v Bitton is an all-ticket game – they’re available from 11am on March 11 – cash sales only

Consett have decided to make the home leg of their FA Vase semi-final v Bitton AFC – the biggest game in the club’s history – an all-ticket match.

The second-leg tie takes place at Belle View Stadium on Saturday, March 28, a week after the first leg down in Gloucestershire.

Tickets are on sale from the club from 11am on Wednesday, March 11. Admission has been kept at our usual matchday rate – £7 for adults, £5 for concessions, and £2 for under-16s.

It is hoped making the game all-ticket will ease queueing on the day, as a record crowd is expected. Tickets are available in person from the ground, to cash sales only.

The attendance of 866 for the FA Vase 5th Round game v Deal Town last month was the biggest for a competitive fixture at Belle View since it opened in 2013.

On this day in our history: 6 April 2007 – Consett’s 38-year wait for a county cup win comes to an end

It was a very Good Friday indeed for Consett as they lifted the Durham Challenge Cup on this day in 2007 for the first time in 38 years with a 3-2 win over Chester-le-Street Town.

Despite the inconvenience of the venue – the Nissan Sports & Social Club, off the A19 at Washington – and the kick off time (10.45am) on a Bank Holiday, a good-sized crowd were in attendance. Club sponsors Hargreaves put on two coaches to take supporters to the final, with free travel for under-16s, which meant a sizeable Consett contingent in the crowd to cheer on the Steelmen.

Of the 20 players that make up Consett’s current first-team squad, Steven Istead, Ian Robson and Steven Johnson were all cup-tied. So when Michael Brown pulled out due to work commitments the 16 named by manager Kenny Lindoe effectively picked themselves. Chester’s side included Andrew Cuthbertson, who would later join his former Brandon boss Lindoe at Belle Vue Park.

Consett kicked off attacking the Social Club end, resplendent in their new all-red kit with white trim, produced specially for the final. The game had barely settled into any kind of pattern when Consett found themselves a goal down, to an unfortunate own goal. Carl Piecha overhit a backpass to keeper Craig Turns who, despite his valiant attempts to control it, couldn’t prevent the ball trickling agonisingly over the line to hand Chester the lead before they’d even mounted an attack.

Thankfully the lead lasted only 13 minutes as Consett were grateful to a piece of quick thinking by Kraig Wilkinson. Consett were awarded a free-kick some 25 yards out for a foul on Gary Ormston. With the Chester keeper at one side of his goal trying organise the wall, Wilkinson took the free-kick quickly, curling it left-footed into the far corner to level the scores.

Consett’s Kraig Wilkinson turns away from his marker. Pic: John Paul Hardy

Chester almost regained the lead within a minute when a long throw was headed clear only as far as Anthony March, who headed it back towards goal, but Turns was on hand to make the save.

Nerves were still very much in evidence, with the play generally scrappy and genuine chances rare. David Pounder caused a scare on the half-our mark when he ran on to a loose ball and slipped it past Cestrians’ keeper Aitken, but Rob Houghton got back to clear the ball off the line.

This effort by David Pounder was cleared off the line. Pic: John Paul Hardy.

Consett were starting to get on top now, and in the 37th minute Neil Wilkinson headed John Ewart’s right-wing corner just wide. Wilkinson’s defensive partner Piecha went even closer on the stroke of half time, seeing his towering header from another Ewart corner tipped over the bar by Aitken.

Half-time was reached with the scores level and very little between the teams, but with the Steelmen having fashioned the better chances. The second half was far more one-sided, with Consett always looking the more dangerous. The two Wilkinsons combined 11 minutes into the second half, when Neil’s long throw was flicked on to Kraig, but he flashed his shot well wide.

Consett pile on the pressure at a corner. Pic: John Paul Hardy.

The Steelmen were unable to turn possession into goals, and almost paid the price 20 minutes from time when Chester mounted a swift counter-attack which culminated in March’s cross-cum-shot clipping the far post and running away to safety, to the relief of all present from Derwentside.

Consett finally made the breakthrough and scored the crucial second in the 73rd minute. Kraig Wilkinson went on a run into the Chester penalty area and cut inside Houghton, who brought him down with a clear trip.

Penalty! Kraig Wilkinson is brought down by a defender. Pic: John Paul Hardy.

The opposition were understandably annoyed with the decision, but there seemed little doubt to neutrals that it was a foul. David Pounder stepped up to send Aitken the wrong way with the penalty and Consett were 2-1 up.

David Pounder despatches the penalty to put Consett ahead. Pic: John Paul Hardy.

Four minutes later Mark Patterson came close to extending the Steelmen’s lead, but Aitken pushed his drilled shot from outside the area round the post.

The Chester keeper could do nothing about Consett’s third five minutes from time though. Pounder dispossessed Colin Wake inside his own area and reacted superbly to send a crashing volley flying past Aitken. There was a moment of confusion as the ball somehow flew straight through the net, leading many in the main stand to think the shot had actually gone wide. There was a delay of several seconds before the celebrations could begin.

David Pounder fires Consett’s third goal. Pic: John Paul Hardy.

The Cestrians, to their credit, refused to throw in the towel and came back at Consett. With 90 minutes up Jonny Wightman went on a jinking run into the area, but was denied by a saving tackle from David Johnson. From the resulting corner though Armstrong powered a header towards goal and Gary Shields turned it home from close range. The ball only crossed the line by inches before being cleared, but the assistant referee was well placed to award the goal.

Chester had left their fightback too late though, and the final whistle was blown soon afterwards to signal Consett’s first Cup success since their Sunderland Shipowners Cup triumph in 1998, and their first county cup since 1969. Skipper David Johnson went up to collect the trophy to the delight of the traveling hordes from Consett.

Consett captain David Johnson collects the cup from Durham FA President Frank Pattison. Pic: John Paul Hardy.

A delighted Kenny Lindoe, winning a Durham Challenge Cup Final at the third attempt, said afterwards: “I thought Chester out-battled us in the first half, whether we were nervous or not I don’t know. But in the second half there was only one team in it, and it was a definite penalty!”

Chester-le-Street: 1 Ian Aitken, 2 Chris Hunter, 3 Colin Wake, 4 Rob Draper (sub David Fairless 82), 5 Andy Armstrong, 6 Rob Houghton, 7 Jonathan Wightman, 8 Andy Cuthbertson (sub Mark Anderson 67), 9 Gary Shields, 10 Anthony March, 11 Sam MacIntosh (sub Michael Cook 87)

Consett: 1 Craig Turns, 2 Gary Ormston, 3 David Johnson, 4 Jonjo Dickman, 5 Carl Piecha, 6 Neil Wilkinson, 7 Mark Patterson, 8 Steven Brown (sub Craig Robson 74), 9 Kraig Wilkinson, 10 David Pounder, 11 John Ewart.

  • Many thanks to John Paul Hardy for the pictures used with this article, many of which are previously unpublished.

On this day in our history: 5 April 2008 – Mattie makes it a magnificent 50 as Consett tame Terriers

A Consett striker made history as they consolidated third place in the Arngrove Northern League First Division table with a 5-1 win over relegation-threatened Bedlington Terriers at Dr Pit Welfare Park on this day 12 years ago.

Prolific striker Manager Kenny Lindoe made one change to the side that had beaten Morpeth in midweek, with Mark Patterson replacing Craig Robson in the centre of midfield. Bedlington’s goalkeeper was Dan Regan, who would go on to sign for Consett a few seasons later.

Consett got off to a great start when they took the lead after nine minutes. A long ball was knocked forward, which Milner tried to head back to the keeper, but it fell short, and Mattie Moffat nipped in to round the stranded Regan and shoot into the empty net.

Steven Brown controls a high ball. Pic by Denise Haworth.

Moffat almost doubled the visitors’ advantage when he ran onto Jonjo Dickman’s through ball, but Regan managed to turn his shot for a corner. Regan was called into action again after 21 minutes when, from Moffat’s ball into the box, Steven Brown turned and shot, but the keeper parried his effort wide.

Five minutes later Bedlington went close to levelling when Ludlow ran onto Regan’s clearance, but he lobbed the ball over the bar with only keeper Paul Gilmore to beat.

Consett keeper Paul Gilmore clears a corner. Pic by Denise Haworth.

Eight minutes before the interval Patterson’s ball found Moffat whose cross just eluded the onrushing Dickman who looked certain to score.
When half-time arrived Consett were holding on to a slender 1-0 lead.

Two minutes after the interval Moffat headed just over from Dickman’s cross, while at the other end Bedlington’s best player Shandran forced Gilmore to make a save.

Just after the hour Brown shot narrowly wide from the edge of the box. From the resulting clearance The Steelmen doubled their advantage. Regan’s goal kick was headed forward by Carl Piecha, and Moffat let the ball run past him before unleashing a 25-yard shot that gave the keeper no chance.

Shandran shot just wide from a free-kick after 67 minutes, but a minute later Consett made the game safe by adding a third. Brown’s shot from the edge of the box was blocked, but it fell to Moffat, who lashed the ball home from 18 yards to complete another hat-trick and make it a magnificent 50 goals for the season for Consett’s top scorer.

Some of the football being played by the Steelmen was reminiscent of earlier in the season when they topped the table, and they looked dangerous every time they attacked. The irrepressible Moffat headed just over from Patterson’s cross, and then he set up substitute Andrew Thompson, who made space for the shot but fired straight at Regan.

The fourth goal came after 79 minutes when Gary Ormston headed into the bottom corner from David Colvin’s cross.

Shandran was the home side’s only real threat, and after cutting in from the right he saw his shot tipped over the bar by Gilmore. However, a minute later the Terriers got on the scoresheet when Shandran back-heeled the ball into the path of Ludlow, who made no mistake.

But Consett were to have the last word and went nap with three minutes to go. From a pass into the box David Pounder controlled the ball and played it across the face of goal, leaving Moffat with a simple tap in.

Steven Brown and David Pounder celebrate with Mattie Moffat. Pic by Denise Haworth.

Consett went on to finish as runners-up in the league, 16 points behind runaway champions Durham City, while Bedlington finished 15th, four points and five places clear of relegation.

Mattie Moffat finished the season with a remarkable 56 goals in 51 appearances, smashing the club record of 43, set by Michael Mackay the previous season. Moffat’s record still stands today.

Bedlington: 1 Regan, 2 Lowrie, 3 Lowther, 4 Milner (sub Kitchen 69), 5 Carr, 6 Latimer, 7 Eastway (sub McFarlane 46), 8 McAlindon, 9 Ludlow, 10 Shandran, 11 Laing (sub Stobb 75)

Consett: 1 Paul Gilmore, 2 Mark Gaffney, 3 John Ewart, 4 Jonjo Dickman (sub Andrew Thompson 71), 5 Carl Piecha, 6 Mark Patterson (sub Steven Johnson 76), 7 Gary Ormston, 8 Steven Brown, 9 Mattie Moffat, 10 David Pounder, 11 David Colvin (sub John Clark 82).

On this day in our history: 4 April 2012 – a last-gasp goal at Norton lifts the threat of relegation from Consett

Consett finally dispelled any lingering relegation doubts with a last-gasp win at the Station Road home of Norton & Stockton Ancients on this day eight years ago.

They dominated from start to finish, playing some of their best football of the season, only to be let down by their final ball or their finishing. When they did break through, they found home keeper Jim Provett in imperious form.

Manager Kenny Lindoe made three changes to the side beaten by West Auckland two days earlier, Richie Slaughter, David Scorer and Lewis Teasdale coming in for Anthony Lund, John Ewart and Gavin Ross. Norton included two former Steelmen in the shaope of Andrew Burton and Steven Huggins.

David Scorer returned to the Consett starting line-up.

The game started very much in the same vein as the League Cup game five weeks earlier, with Consett enjoying by far the better of the early exchanges. They carved out their first chance after just five minutes when a good Teasdale pass sent Michael Mackay scuttling down the left, and he beat his man and crossed low and hard for Matty Slocombe, who just failed to get the touch needed to convert it.

Five minutes later, Teasdale was again the provider, but Mackay hesitated for a second, thinking he might be offside, and was beaten to the ball by Provett at the edge of the box. Teasdale then tried his luck from 25 yards, but his shot was rising all the way as it cleared the bar. Provett then denied the No 9, reaching his cross a fraction of a second before he could shoot after great work by Dale Burrell.

On the half-hour Norton finally threatened, when Theo Furness’s ball in from the right saw James Magowan hit a shot on the turn which wasn’t too far wide, but Consett were soon on the attack again. A good one-touch passing move down the left saw another chance created, this time for Ryan Bell, but his effort was too high. Burrell was having an excellent game down the left, giving ex-Consett man Burton a torrid time, but for all Consett’s possession, the Norton keeper hadn’t had a proper save to make.

As half-time approached, Provett thwarted Mackay again with a fine piece of goalkeeping. Young midfielder Jack Stanger sent the Steelmen’s top scorer through with a raking pass into the right-hand channel, but as he tried to go round the keeper he was driven wide, and a defender got back to block his pass to Teasdale, who was screaming for it in the middle.

Dale Burrell in battling mood at Norton.

The interval arrived with Consett very much in the ascendancy, but without a goal to show for their efforts, and the second half resumed with more of the same. It was just three minutes old when Michael Pearson and Slocombe combined down the right to set up a chance for Burrell, whose well-struck effort was blocked by a defender.

On 51 minutes another superb Stanger pass sent Teasdale racing through the middle. He outpaced two defenders to give himself a clear sight at goal, but Provett pulled off an excellent save, tipping his shot round the post.

A long ball out from the back by Scorer sent Teasdale away again, and although he was crowded out before he could get a shot away, he set up Stanger, whose effort was blocked. The loose ball fell for Burrell, whose stinging follow-up flew a yard over the top.

Lewis Teasdale waits for support at Norton.

Norton posed little threat, but almost got their noses in front when it took a combination of Pearson and Jameson to keep out Dale Mulligan’s goalbound header from a corner. Play switched straight to the other end, and when Slaughter dug out a cross from beside the corner flag, Provett’s positioning to take Mackay’s header made his save look much more comfortable than it was.

Midway through the half, Stanger flashed a 20-yarder just wide after Mackay’s cross for Teasdale was only half-cleared. Norton had by now used all three substitutes as they changed their shape to try to stem the constant tide of Consett attacks, and when Provett pulled off another excellent save from Burrell, who was put in by Mackay’s slide rule pass, it was beginning to look like it might not be Consett’s night.

A rare foray upfield with 11 minutes left saw Furness waste a golden chance for Norton as a break left them with three men running at two Consett defenders, but normal service was soon resumed, and the remainder of the game was played in the hosts’ half.

Slaughter had a shot blocked, Burrell put a tantalising cross across the face of goal which no one was able to apply a finishing touch to, and Mackay blazed wildly over as Consett started to snatch at chances. With time running out, young striker Ryan King was brought on for Teasdale, and he played a vital part in what was to prove the winning goal. He chased down a Norton backpass, refusing to allow Provett time to dwell on the ball. His pass to Stanger saw the young midfielder shoot, and the ball fell at the feet of Mackay, who tucked it away for his 39th goal of the season.

Michael Mackay’s goal was his 39th of the season.

The goal was no less than Consett deserved, and the three points made mathematically certain of 1st Division football next season. Consett went on to finish a disappointing campaign 15th, while Norton finished a place above them.

The teams lined up:
Norton: 1 Provett, 2 Burton (sub Garbutt 45), 3 Brown (Martin 52), 4 Mulligan, 5 Bishop (captain), 6 Scott, 7 Furness, 8 Hinchley, 9 Magowan (sub Harbron 59), 10 Huggins, 11 L Burrell. Sub not used: Grainger.

Consett: 1 Peter Jameson, 2 Michael Pearson, 3 Ryan Bell, 4 Richie Slaughter, 5 David Scorer, 6 Carl Piecha (captain), 7 Matty Slocombe, 8 Jack Stanger, 9 Lewis Teasdale (sub Ryan King 84), 10 Michael Mackay, 11 Dale Burrell. Subs not used: Damian Maw, Barry Poskett, John Ewart, Anthony Lund.

On this day in our history: 3 April 2013 – let’s all do Lokonga as Consett win at Penrith thanks to new boy Aris

Consett picked up three very welcome points on their travels at Penrith thanks to a dream debut by Aris Guerin-Lokonga on this day seven years ago.

He scored both goals as the Steelmen won 2-1 to maintain their unbeaten record at the Blues’ new home ground, Frenchfield Park.

Manager Kenny Lindoe made three changes to the side beaten at Billingham Town four days earlier. The absence of centre-backs Carl Piecha and Scott Martindale meant Matty Slocombe moved to left-back, and Ian Davidson and Ryan Bell into central defence, with Andrew Cuthbertson and Liam O’ Mahoney coming into midfield, while Guerin-Lokonga, a deadline-day acquisition from Sunderland RCA, took the place of Steven Aiston up front.

Penrith, who were only out of the relegation zone on goal difference, were desperate for points, but it was Consett who started the brighter, and they took the lead after just six minutes through Guerin-Lokonga. A cross from the left by O’ Mahoney went across the face of goal, and was picked up by Calvin Smith on the right, who put it back into the middle. The new boy, pictured top, headed home from 10 yards, giving home keeper Jonny Jamieson no chance.

Consett winger Liam O’ Mahoney.

On 12 minutes, Consett thought they had doubled their lead when a Smith free-kick found Guerin-Lokonga, and his scuffed shot fell to 24-goal top scorer Michael Mackay, but his celebrations were cut short by a linesman flagging him offside. This stung the home side into action and for much of the rest of the half they matched their visitors, with chances at either end.

Penrith’s Steven Ainsworth shot wide after Kevin Connelly had headed a cross down for him, while at the other end Consett right-back Michael Pearson hit the bar with a well-struck 20-yarder. The Blues’ top scorer Scott Allison had a shot charged down, and Connelly went close, but Ben Jackson had the best chance and was unlucky to see his shot drift wide with keeper Chris Elliott well beaten.

However, with just four minutes to go to half-time, a mix-up in the home defence allowed Mackay to steal possession, and he fed Cuthbertson, who made it to the by-line and supplied Guerin-Lokonga with a simple tap-in to put Consett 2-0 up.

Aris Guerin-Lokonga helped himself to a second goal just before half-time.

The second half continued in much the same vein, with midfield exchanges dominating the game. O’ Mahoney had a chance on 53 minutes from Mackay’s pass, but his shot looped over the bar. At the other end, Matthew Read tested Elliott with a low shot which he turned round his left-hand post.

Guerin-Lokonga had a chance to complete his hat-trick and put the game beyond Penrith’s reach on 71 minutes when Craig Robson played him in, but the striker shot tamely at Jamieson in the home goal.

The introduction of Martyn Coleman for Will Paul saw Penrith take on a much more attacking stance, and the change paid dividends when Grant Davidson’s powerful downward header on 79 minutes bounced over Elliott and into the net to give the hosts some hope.

Penrith put Consett keeper Chris Elliott under pressure.

The last 10 minutes saw Penrith camped out in the Consett half, but too often the final ball was missing. The best chance came on 82 minutes, when Allison hit a curling shot just over the top.

The Steelmen were mightily relieved to hear the final whistle, which meant they remain unbeaten in four visits since Penrith moved to Frenchfield, and gave them three points to lift them comfortably away from the relegation zone.

Penrith: 1 Jonny Jamieson, 2 Dion Barnes, 3 Craig Redhead, 4 Grant Davidson, 5 Alan Gray, 6 Matthew Read, 7 Willie Paul, 8 Ben Jackson, 9 Kevin Connelly, 10 Steven Ainsworth, 11 Scott Allison. Subs: Martyn Coleman, Kevin Holliday, Ricky Faustino.
Consett: 1 Chris Elliott, 2 Michael Pearson, 3 Matty Slocombe, 4 Ryan Bell, 5 Ian Davidson, 6 Craig Robson, 7 Andrew Cuthbertson, 8 Calvin Smith, 9 Aristote Guerin-Lokonga, 10 Michael Mackay (sub David Brown 88), 11 Liam O’ Mahoney (sub Luke Sullivan 64). Subs not used: Steven Aiston, Peter Jameson, David Robson

On this day in our history: 2 April 2012, League Cup quarter-final defeat provides hope for the future

Consett’s lingering hopes of salvaging anything from a disappointing season disappeared in the Belle Vue mist on this day back in 2012 when they were beaten in a Monday night League Cup quarter-final by FA Vase finalists West Auckland.

The Steelmen were languishing in 18th place in the 22-team 1st Division, while their visitors were 3rd, and on a high after clinching a trip to Wembley after completing a 4-3 aggregate win over Herne Bay just two days before.

With this being the second of four games his side faced in eight days, Consett boss Kenny Lindoe made three changes to the side which had lost at South Shields at the weekend. Peter Jameson returned in goal in place of Barry Poskett, and Matty Slocombe and John Ewart came into midfield in place of the unavailable David Scorer and cup-tied Lewis Teasdale.

The visitors made six changes to the team which had clinched a Wembley spot at the weekend, and though former Steelmen Steven Brown and Steven Johnson were in the starting XI, striker Mattie Moffat was on the bench.

The changes clearly gave West fresh legs following their weekend exertions, as they went ahead on seven minutes through Elliott Gardner, whose shot across and through young keeper Jameson crept in at the far post, and the teenager will feel he should have done better with it.

Young Consett goalkeeper Peter Jameson

He did better with a shot from Daniel Hindmarsh, while at the other end Michael Mackay was just wide with a chance from 15 yards which he made himself.

On 12 minutes West doubled their lead with a goal-of-the-season contender. Ewart lost the ball out on the left, and Brown picked out Hindmarsh on the left angle of the penalty area with a glorious 30-yard crossfield pass. The No 9 hit a dipping volley over Jameson’s head and into the top right-hand corner – an unstoppable effort.

On 38 minutes West carved out another chance. Mark Hudson exchanged passes with Gardner before playing in Hindmarsh, but Jameson was equal to his low shot.

Five minutes before the break Consett made a decent opportunity of their own, Dale Burrell feeding Mackay, whose shot was parried away by Billy Hanson. The ball looked like it was going to run loose to Gavin Ross, who was playing up front in place of Teasdale, but centre-half Ross Preston reacted quickest to hack the ball away.

The match programme for the quarter-final tie.

When the resulting corner was only half-cleared, Jack Stanger was unlucky to see his chipped effort from 25 yards clear the bar.

It remained 2-0 to Peter Dixon’s side at half-time, but Consett rallied in the second half, and pulled one back on 58 minutes through defender Ryan Bell, pictured top, who headed home Burrell’s free-kick for his first goal of the season.

A minute later Bell almost doubled his tally for the season when he wasn’t too far away with a low drive from 25 yards from a lay-off by Stanger. Consett were the better side now, but still had Jameson to thank for saving with his feet from Martin Young. who was sent through by Hindmarsh.

By the midway point of the half, it was all Consett. Slocombe couldn’t keep his header down from Burrell’s left-wing cross, and young sub Ryan King’s surge forward from the centre circle set up Burrell, who shot wide.

On 70 minutes, a good Ewart pass sent Mackay scurrying down the left. With two team-mates to his right, screaming for a pass, he chose to go for goal, and blazed over from the edge of the box.

Consett striker Michael Mackay

Five minutes later, a move down the right involving King and Burrell saw the ball fed out to Mackay, who made a yard of space for himself and unleashed a shot which went inches wide of the top-right corner.

Young substitute Daniel Halliday put in a great cross for King, who connected too cleanly with his header, and a good delivery by Burrell from a free-kick saw Bell rise highest, but Hanson claimed his header at the second attempt.

Consett even threw keeper Jameson up for a corner as they sought an equaliser to take the game into extra time, but it was not to be, and the visitors held on to keep alive their chances of a Northern League, League Cup and FA Vase treble. The encouraging thing from Consett’s point of view, apart from their overall performance, was the fact they ended the game with six teenagers on the pitch, which could only augur well for the future.

The Steelmen ended the season with two wins, two draws and two defeats from their remaining six games, and finished 15th, while West ended a campaign which had promised so much empty-handed. They were runners-up in the league – their best position for 51 years – surprisingly lost 4-1 to 2nd Division Team Northumbria in the League Cup final, and were beaten 2-0 by Dunston in the FA Vase final.

Consett: 1 Peter Jameson, 2 Michael Pearson, 3 Anthony Lund, 4 Jack Stanger, 5 Ryan Bell, 6 Carl Piecha (captain), 7 Matty Slocombe, 8 Dale Burrell, 9 Gavin Ross (sub Ryan King 61), 10 Michael Mackay, 11 John Ewart (sub Daniel Halliday 76). Subs not used: Damien Maw, David Robson, Barry Poskett.
West Auckland: 1 Billy Hanson, 2 Neil Pattinson, 3 Andrew Green (sub Matthew Coad 77), 4 Steven Brown (sub Paul Garthwaite 61), 5 Ross Preston, 6 John Parker, 7 Steven Johnson, 8 Mark Hudson, 9 Daniel Hindmarsh, 10 Stuart Banks (sub Martin Young 46), 11 Elliott Gardner. Subs not used: Mattie Moffat, Michael Rae.

On this day in our history: 1 April 2009, Consett’s title hopes suffer a blow

A disastrous home defeat, coupled with midweek wins for Dunston, Benfield and Spennymoor, dealt a fatal blow to Consett’s hopes of a first-ever Northern League championship on this day back in 2009.

For while the stuttering Steelmen remained top of the table, it meant their lead was cut to five points, with the chasing pack all having plenty of games in hand.

To be honest, Consett never looked like winning against one of the 1st Division’s awayday specialists, for whom this was a ninth league win of the season on the road. Ironically, only Consett have more, with 10.

Kenny Lindoe made one change to the side which had recorded a fourth 1-0 win on the trot against Chester-le-Street in their previous game, with fit-again Adam Emson returning up front in place of the injured Steven Johnson. But he went for a different formation from the off, starting with a back four, five in midfield and Emson as the lone frontrunner.

Striker Steven Johnson was missing through injury.

Consett had one former Nissan player, Chris Scott, in midfield, and another, Ian Davison, on the bench, but there was no sign of their third, ex-Newcastle striker Paul Robinson. The visitors included ex-Consett forward Andy Appleby among their subs, but there was no place for Carl Heiniger, who moved to Sunderland in the deal which had brought Robbo to Belle Vue Park. There were two future Steelmen in the Nissan ranks, centre-back Paul Collins and left-back Anthony Lund.

It was a lovely night for football, but there was little played in a scrappy opening, as both sides struggled for fluency on a bumpy pitch which had dried out rapidly in the last couple of weeks.

Scott put a header straight at Billy Hanson in the Nissan goal while David Pounder hit a half-volley well over, and Carl Piecha put in a good challenge at the other end as Anthony Chapman and Joshue Gillies threatened to carve a way through the home defence.

Michael Coulthard hacked clear a first-time shot from Gillies after the back-four failed to deal with a long punt forward, and Hanson then presented Consett with a half-chance, clearing a back-pass straight to Scott, but, with the keeper off his line, he couldn’t get his long-range effort on target.

Consett midfielder Chris Scott

A strong spell of pressure midway through the half earned Nissan five corners in succession, and from one of them Jack Norton had to be alert to turn Paul Collins’ header round his near post.

On the half-hour Consett had their best chance to break the deadlock when Andrew Cuthbertson picked up a loose ball and fed it to Scott, whose 20-yard drive was tipped onto the bar and over by Hanson.

Pounder, who seemed to have a roving role, came within inches of opening the scoring just before the break. Consett were awarded a free-kick just inside their own half after an aerial challenge by Rowe on Scorer, for which he was fortunate not to be booked. Mark Gaffney’s ball into the Nissan box was knocked down by Emson, and Pounder’s dipping snapshot dipped inches past the left-hand post.

Seven minutes into the second half Gary Ormston should perhaps have done better when he placed his header from eight yards out from Gaffney’s cross too close to the keeper, and at a comfortable height for him to parry away.

Gary Ormston had a great chance to break the deadlock.

Having defended well, Nissan began to come more into the game as an attacking force, and almost made Consett pay when they had the ball in the net on 57 minutes, but the whistle had already gone for offside.

Emson was largely fighting a lone battle up front, with little support from his midfield, and the warning signs were there when Nissan right-back Kallum Griffiths saw a dipping shot from 25 yards just clear the crossbar.

The visitors made a double substitution on 64 minutes, with Appleby and Andrew Stephenson coming on for Gillies and Anthony Lund, and within five minutes the Consett old boy had a chance when his former club’s defence failed to clear a free-kick, but couldn’t keep his shot down.

Consett brought on Richard Logan for the tiring Emson on 71 minutes, but a minute later the visitors were ahead. Anthony Chapman picked up the ball on the right and ran at Coulthard. The defender backed off into the box, giving the winger the chance to hit a bobbling strike past Norton into the bottom left corner.

Lindoe responded by bringing on Jonjo Dickman for Craig Robson, and reverting to three at the back, with Piecha going into midfield, and pushing on with Ormston.

Jonjo Dickman came on as Consett shuffled their pack.

Dickman had a scissor-kick which he couldn’t keep down, then Piecha had a shot charged down and Cuthbertson fired the rebound narrowly wide as Consett pressed for an equaliser.

But when a goal came it was at the other end, and it was down to a catastrophic mistake by young centre-half Scorer, who has impressed greatly in his recent run in the side. He was last man when a moment’s inattention a minute from the end saw him allow a ball to run under his foot on the edge of the centre circle, and he could only watch in horror as Nissan’s burly striker Neil Tarrant lifted his finish over the onrushing keeper.

That was effectively game over for Consett, though Logan still had time to squander a couple of opportunities to reduce the arrears, and the night eneded on a frustrating note when Pounder and Nissan midfield spoiler Rowe were booked for an off-the-ball squabble.

With an inactive weekend due to Whitley Bay’s FA Vase involvement, Consett faced seeing their lead at the top whittled away even further by the time they next take to the field against Seaham Red Star in seven days’ time.

Consett: 1 Jack Norton, 2 Mark Gaffney, 3 Michael Coulthard, 4 Carl Piecha, 5 David Scorer, 6 David Pounder, 7 Chris Scott, 8 Andrew Cuthbertson, 9 Adam Emson (sub Richard Logan 71), 10 Craig Robson (sub Jonjo Dickman 75), 11 Gary Ormston. Subs not used: Paul Curry, Ian Davison.

Nissan: 1 Billy Hanson, 2 Kallum Griffiths, 3 Anthony Lund (sub Andrew Stephenson 64), 4 Brian Rowe, 5 Richard Flynn, 6 Paul Collins, 7 Anthony Chapman, 8 Brian Fairhurst, 9 Neil Tarrant, 10 Richard Hodgson, 11 Joshua Gillies (sub Andy Appleby 64). Subs not used: Paul Stephenson, Andrew O’Shea, Lee Owens

As we know, Consett went on to finish second, with Newcastle Benfield snatching the title from their grasp with a goal seven minutes from the end of their final game, after we had already completed our fixtures.

This was to prove our last-ever meeting with Sunderland Nissan, who finished 5th in the league, but folded in the summer after the carmaker pulled the financial plug on the club.

On this day in our history: 31 March 1981, Consett win through to their first League Cup final

Consett have been famed cup fighters over the years, but one competition where they didn’t enjoy much success for many years after joining the Northern League was the League Cup.

All that changed on this date in 1981, when, despite it being an otherwise nondescript season, they reached the League Cup final for the first time, with a 2-1 semi-final win over Billingham Synthonia at our old Belle Vue Park ground.

Synners were proving to be one of the teams of the season as far as cups were concerned. After enjoying a good run in the FA Trophy, they also reached the semi-finals of the Durham Challenge Cup.

They had beaten South Bank on penalties and Ashington to reach the League Cup semi-final, while Consett had knocked out Durham City and North Shields. The match was originally scheduled to be on March 4, but was postponed until 31st.

The match programme warned: “The winning of tonight’s match is vital if Consett are to retain any major interest in proceedings up to the end of the current season.

“Our current lowly league position [they were 13th] can certainly be improved upon, but how nice it would be for all connected with our club if we could go on and win our first trophy since our entrance to the Northern League 11 years back.

“Perhaps the biggest disappointment to our supporters this season has been our inability to score goals, a trait seldom missing from Consett performances over the past seasons.

“Although missing 8 games this season, Terry Breen has been the only player to equal the scoring records of past players such as Kevin Cross, Steven Newstead, Dave Rutherford and Bobby Parkinson.

“Another factor contributing towards this season’s poor results has been the excessive injury problems thrust upon us for the second season running. At no period throughout the past two seasons have we been able to give any selected side a prolonged run of matches.”

Just as important as the result was the fact that the tie guaranteed £200 prize money for the winners, and the chance to pick up another £600 if they managed to lift the trophy, or £400 for being runners-up.

Despite their goalscoring problems, Consett went through to the final of the league cup – known for this season only as the Turney Wylde Cup for sponsorship reasons.

Their former West Brom striker Barry Donaghy opened the scoring in the first half, but Steve Griffiths equalised for Billingham eight minutes into the second half.

It was fitting that it was long-serving skipper John Swinburn – in his ninth season with the club – who grabbed the winning goal six minutes from time.

Club records show that the match was played before a crowd of 165, and Consett lined up as follows: 1 Dave Pollard, 2 Brian Anderson, 3 John Swinburn, 4 David McGinn, 5 Jack Sheekey, 6 Peter Bragan, 7 John Morrisroe (sub Terry Breen), 8 Malcolm Wood, 9 Barrie Fowler, 10 Barry Poole, 11 Barry Donaghy.

Consett – whose club colours at the time were all tangerine with black trim – went on to face Spennymoor United in the final at Blyth Spartans’ Croft Park ground, but lost 2-0.

A first success in the competition would have to wait another few years – until 1995 to be exact, which remains the only time the club has ever won the competition.

On this day in our history: 30 March 2019, Consett win at bogey ground to boost chances of finishing as runners-up

Consett gave their chances of finishing as runners-up behind champions Dunston a big boost on this day last year with a fully-deserved win at one of their bogey grounds, Newcastle Benfield’s Sam Smith’s Park.

Manager Chris Moore rang the changes from the previous game at Whitley Bay, with Dan Hawkins, Ryan McKinnon, Nick Allen and Luke Carr coming into the starting line-up, with Nick Cassidy, Matty Slocombe, Danny Craggs and Michael Mackay dropping to the bench. As well as taking the captain’s armband in Craggs’ absence, Arjun Purewal filled the unfamiliar right-back position.

Consett’s Matty Cornish tangles with Benfield’s Mark Turnbull. Pic: Gary Welford.

Benfield included one former Consett player, Richie Slaughter, in midfield, with another, the evergreen Steve Bowey, among their substitutes. There were also two future Steelmen in the hosts’ ranks, midfielder Jake Orrell and striker Dale Pearson, who started on the bench.

Consett started well, and had their first chance after three minutes, when Calvin Smith’s long pass played in Michael Sweet, but the striker’s angled drive was wide of the far post. Nine minutes later a good passing move gave Allen the chance to try his luck from 25 yards, but his effort was well over the top.

It took Benfield 13 minutes to create their first attempt on goal, and McKinnon got a vital block on Joe Robson’s well-struck shot. Then right-back Rhys Evans wasn’t too far away with an absolute rocket from outside the box, which flew just over the bar.

When a goal came it was out of nothing, and it was the home side who got it. McKinnon got caught in possession by Paul Brayson as he tried to bring the ball out, and the veteran striker homed in on goal before chipping the advancing Kyle Hayes for his 24th goal of the season.

Consett’s Ryan McKinnon tries to get to grips with Benfield’s Paul Brayson. Pic: Gary Welford.

The game then entered a 20-minute spell where not a lot of note happened, other than Consett centre-back Ross Wilkinson picking up a yellow card for a scything tackle which brought Dennis Knight’s jinking run to a rather abrupt halt.

Just as the game appeared to be heading into the interval with the home side in front, Consett turned it on its head in the space of six minutes. First, Aksel Juul picked out Sweet’s run with a fine pass, and although keeper Dan Nimmins saved the striker’s initial effort, the No 9 beat Benfield skipper Mark Turnbull to the loose ball to bundle it in and make it 1-1.

A minute before half-time Consett took the lead, with a goal from former Benfield player Luke Carr. He picked up the ball wide on the right, and began to cut inside. Unfortunately for the home defence, they didn’t heed their fans’ warnings not to let him onto his left foot, and before they knew it the ball was nestling in the bottom corner and they were 2-1 down.

Luke Carr’s strike makes it 2-1 to Consett. Pic: Gary Welford.

The goal clearly buoyed Carr, and he fancied a second in stoppage time after being fouled outside the box, but curled his left-footed free-kick over the bar.

Three minutes into the second half the Steelmen increased their lead, thanks to a calamitous piece of defending. There was no danger at all when Turnbull got the ball in his own box, but his attempted back pass fell woefully short of his keeper, and Nimmins was stranded as Sweet stroked home by far the easiest of his 27 goals for the season.

Michael Sweet scores his second goal after a poor backpass left Benfield’s keeper exposed. Pic: Gary Welford.

Sweet was in the mood for more, and he might have completed his hat-trick in the 63rd minute as he met Darren Holden’s deep cross at the back post, but he got his angles all wrong and his header drifted back across goal instead of troubling the keeper.

Carr saw a 25-yard free-kick deflected off the wall for a corner, and Craggs was inches away from getting on the end of a return ball from Matty Cornish as the two subs combined in the 73rd minute.

Consett were controlling the game, with Smith outstanding in midfield, and Sweet had another chance to complete his hat-trick in the 77th minute, but was denied by Nimmins as he tried to squeeze the ball between the keeper and his near post.

Consett’s Calvin Smith was man of the match. Pic: Gary Welford.

Wilkinson will have been disappointed not to have troubled the keeper after winning a towering header, while a late rally by Benfield saw Evans fire just wide after good approach play by Bowey and Brayson.

When the final whistle went, Consett were worthy winners of the three points, and with one game to go, were a point ahead of third-placed Bishop Auckland, and four ahead of Hebburn, who we meet in our final fixture, though both have two games in hand.

NEWCASTLE BENFIELD: 1 Daniel Nimmins, 2 Rhys Evans, 3 James Martin (sub Dale Pearson 32), 4 Mark Turnbull (captain), 5 James Novak (sub Bradley Varga 87), 6 Jake Thompson, 7 Joe Robson, 8 Richard Slaughter, 9 Paul Brayson, 10 Jake Orrell, 11 Dennis Knight (sub Steve Bowey 75). Sub not used: Stuart Elliott.
CONSETT: 1 Kyle Hayes, 2 Arjun Purewal (captain), 3 Darren Holden, 4 Dan Hawkins (sub Matty Slocombe 84), 5 Ryan McKinnon, 6 Ross Wilkinson, 7 Nick Allen (sub Matty Cornish 64), 8 Calvin Smith, 9 Michael Sweet, 10 Luke Carr (sub Danny Craggs 71), 11 Aksel Juul. Subs not used: Nick Cassidy, Michael Mackay.

On this day in our history: 29 March 2016 – the night it rained goals at Belle View

A depleted Consett side served up a magnificent night’s entertainment as they beat Washington 8-5 in one of the craziest games in the club’s history, on this date in 2016.

Missing seven players through injury or suspension, they were three-up inside 12 minutes, contrived to throw away the lead and go behind early in the second half, then stormed back to win in a thrilling final quarter.

Interim manager Mark Eccles made six changes to the side which had drawn with Seaham Red Star a week earlier, Ryan Cummings, Jake Stafford, Dan Hawkins, Chris Mordue, Nathan Steel and Josh Gray coming in for the suspended Joe Grant and Luke Sullivan, injured Ryan McKinnon, Lewis Gibbons and Danny Craggs, and benched Jordan Nellis.

The game was a personal triumph for striker Michael Sweet. Stranded for much of the season out on the wing, he was played through the middle and looked in the mood for goals from the off. Just a minute in, he had a shot saved by keeper Carl Morris, but made no mistake in the fourth minute, when a ball down the left released Steel, and he unselfishly squared for his strike partner to tap in.

A minute later Washington almost levelled when John Butler went round Peter Jeffries and shot from an acute angle, but Stafford got back to clear his shot off the line.

On 10 minutes the same combination responsible for the opening goal struck again, with Sweet getting a little lucky this time, as his shot ricocheted back off him after hitting a defender and leaving the keeper helpless.

Michael Sweet makes it 2-0 to Consett. Pic: Gary Welford.

Consett were rampant, and on 12 minutes it was 3-0. Sweet was tripped by Adam McGuinness, and the referee had no hesitation in awarding a penalty, though it was hotly contested by the visitors. With Sweet on track for one of the quickest hat-tricks in the club’s history, it was a surprise when Gray stepped up to take it, but he slotted it away. The winger, who was tormenting his man down the left, almost scored again on 15 minutes, but fired wide after driving into the box.

Conceding three goals so early on might have crushed some teams, but Washington showed they’re made of sterner stuff by slowly but surely playing their way back into the game. Butler brought a good save from Jeffries at his near post, and on 28 minutes the visitors were awarded a penalty when Steel climbed all over his man in the box. Washington skipper Mark Davison stepped up to take it, but Jeffries pulled off an excellent save.

Consett’s Nathan Steel and Washington’s James Cassidy. Pic: Gary Welford.

Hawkins saw a shot saved by Morris at the end of a great run from midfield, and although Steel netted the rebound, he was ruled offside. Steel was then a stud’s length away from converting from six yards out after a fine run down the left by the marauding Jordan Lavery.

On 34 minutes Davison made up for his penalty miss by powerfully heading home Conor Okus’s corner to make it 3-1, but Sweet should have restored the Steelmen’s three-goal lead almost immediately when he found himself running 20 yards clear, but hesitated, allowing Morris to make a crucial save. Just how vital a save it was became apparent when Butler at last got the better of Jeffries on 42 minutes, firing into the bottom corner when Consett failed to deal with a straightforward free-kick, then equalising a minute later after a defensive howler left him with just the keeper to beat.

Consett’s Josh Gray runs at Washington’s Steven Stewart. Pic: Gary Welford.

Consett were stunned, and things looked even gloomier at the second period, when skipper Dan Madden failed to emerge, complaining of a hamstring injury. The impetus was now with Washington, and Butler had the first chance of the half, but lifted his shot over the bar. James Cassidy fired just wide, and Butler was again denied by Jeffries, but the keeper could do nothing when Gray misdirected a header past him on 58 minutes for an own goal which gave Washington an unlikely lead.

The Steelmen looked utterly deflated, but to their credit responded well, and on 69 minutes they got a deserved equaliser to make it 4-4. Calvin Smith’s shot was going wide, but Steel kept the ball alive at the back post, and Jordan Nellis, who had replaced Madden at half-time, prodded home from close range.

Josh Gray scored at both ends. Here he converts Consett’s penalty. Pic: Gary Welford.

A minute later it was 5-4, as Steel burst through on the right, rounded the keeper, got a lucky bounce, and walked the ball into the empty goal. On 76 minutes, Consett scored a sixth, when the pass of the night from Smith played in Nellis, and the striker slipped the ball under the advancing Morris. Two minutes later Consett thought they had a seventh when Nellis’s ball across the face of goal was tucked away by Sweet, but the ‘goal’ was disallowed for offside.

If the fans thought the excitement was over they were wrong. Nellis rattled the post from Sweet’s cross, and on 80 minutes it was 7-4, as Sweet completed a well-deserved hat-trick from Steel’s cross, again benefiting from a ricochet off the keeper. A minute later Butler completed his hat-trick to ensure Consett couldn’t quite see the game out comfortably.

Consett’s Michael Sweet beats Washington’s keeper to the ball. Pic: Gary Welford.

Nellis almost made it three hat-tricks in the game when he burst past two defenders, and saw his shot cannon back off the bar. But fittingly the last word went to Sweet in injury time. He took Gray’s pass with his back to goal, held off his man and turned to complete the scoring in a game which was tremendous entertainment for the fans, but the sort which gives managers nightmares.

CONSETT: 1 Peter Jeffries, 2 Ryan Cummings, 3 Jordan Lavery, 4 Jake Stafford (sub 12 Paul Buzzeo 61), 5 Dan Madden (captain) (sub 14 Jordan Nellis 46), 6 Dan Hawkins, 7 Chris Mordue, 8 Calvin Smith, 9 Nathan Steel, 10 Michael Sweet, 11 Josh Gray. Subs not used: GK Ben Cole.

WASHINGTON: 1 Carl Morris, 2 Steven Stewart (sub 14 Brian Rowe 61), 3 Adam McGuinness, 4 Paul Wardle, 5 Greg Swansbury (captain), 6 Michael Tait, 7 James Cassidy, 8 Conor Okus, 9 John Butler, 10 Mark Davison, 11 Anthony Callaghan. Subs not used: 12 Chris Wallace, 15 Chris Winn, 16 Aaron Croft, 17 Tristan Mitford.

On this day in our history: 28 March 2015 – Mackay makes it to 250 in nine-goal thriller

Michael Mackay’s 250th goal for Consett was the highlight of a goal-laden win over Bedlington Terriers at a gale-battered Belle View Stadium on this day back in 2015.

The Steelmen made two changes to the side which had won at Celtic Nation in midweek (read about that game here), with Scott Martindale returning in defence and Josh Gray starting on the wing, in place of Mark Eccles and Adam Nicholls respectively. Terriers had two future Steelmen in their ranks – centre-back Stephen Little and striker Jordan Nellis.

Despite kicking into the wind, the visitors drew first blood, with Andrew Keenan opened the scoring after just two minutes, firing home from Stephen Young’s pass, but Luke Sullivan levelled within a minute, touching home Danny Craggs’ cross from point-blank range.

On six minutes Sullivan could have scored again when Gray’s cross from the left picked him out, but Terriers keeper Luc Glasper pulled off an excellent save to keep out his header.

David Brown gets stuck in to Bedlington’s Scott Thompson. Pic: Gary Welford.

Bedlington were finding it hard to get out of their own half, and Consett created several chances. Craggs’ inswinging corner was touched over by Glasper, Sullivan headed over from Brown’s flag-kick, Calvin Smith fired just wide from 20 yards after winning possession from a throw-in, and Moore set up Sullivan for a powerful drive which was straight at the keeper.

Consett needed a lead to take into the second half, when they would be facing the wind, and they got it on 22 minutes when skipper Dan Madden headed home Craggs’ corner from 12 yards. A minute later Gray almost made it three, but was denied by another excellent save by Glasper, who beat away his 25-yarder.

Gray then came close with a diving header from Chris Moore’s cross, but it flew just over the bar. On the stroke of half-time Sullivan had a glorious chance after muscling his way past two defenders, but rolled his shot just the wrong side of the post. In added time Consett got the extra-goal cushion they craved, when Brown’s right-wing corner was flicked on at the near post and headed past his own keeper by left-back Calum Donohue at the back post for an own goal which made the half-time score 3-1.

Consett’s Josh Gray tries a diving header. Pic: Gary Welford.

Bedlington, who had come back from 4-1 down to win the reverse fixture 6-4 back in December, clearly fancied their chances of a similar revival, especially with the strong wind at their back, and they almost reduced the arrears within a minute of the restart when Lee Scott had a header cleared off the line.

Jordan Nellis was started to cause problems, and fired a shot across the face of goal when he should have tested Longstaff. Consett were coping with the wind well, and created a couple of chances of their own, Glasper bravely saving at Sullivan’s feet after a great run and cross by Gray, and a volley by Gray which ballooned over the bar.

Midway through the half Mackay had a glorious chance to grab his 250th goal for the club when a pass sent him clear, but Glasper pulled off another fine save, and the ball was scrambled clear before Gray could react to the rebound.

Bedlington keeper Luc Glasper thwarts Michael Mackay. Pic: Gary Welford.

On 70 minutes Bedlington got the foothold in the game they wanted when Jordan Nellis burst through the middle and made it 3-2. The No 11 then combined with Young to set up Scott, who, to Consett’s relief, put his shot over the bar.

Another goal was needed to settle the nerves, and it came on 75 minutes. Mackay’s cross from the right was intended for Sullivan, but right-back Adam Harvey beat him to it, putting through his own goal.

A defender puts through his own goal to make it 4-2 to Consett. Pic: Gary Welford.

A minute late the game was as good as won when Consett went 5-2 up, and the 301 fans present could say they witnessed a piece of club history. Moore’s ball from the right saw Mackay turn his man, pictured top, and fire home goal No 250 of his Consett career – a remarkable achievement.

The Steelmen were now rampant, and centre-back Stephen Little almost scored an unprecedented third own goal in the 82nd minute as he tried to deal with Sullivan’s pullback, only for the post to come to his rescue, and he got back to clear up his own mess.

Consett weren’t to be denied for long, however, and a minute later another excellent cross by man of the match Gray picked out Sullivan at the back post, who headed home to make it 6-2.

Consett’s Calvin Smith challenges Bedlington’s Liam Davison. Pic: Gary Welford.

Bedlington sub Andrew Ferrell made it 6-3 in injury time with a fine 30-yard lob after spotting Longstaff off his line, but the goal failed to take the gloss off another impressive performance by Colin Myers’ revitalised Consett side. The win was the seventh in eight games since he took over, and the goal glut took the total scored in this fixture to an astonishing 31 in the last three games!

Consett: 1 Joe Longstaff, 2 Jack Walker, 3 David Brown, 4 Dan Madden (captain), 5 Scott Martindale, 6 Calvin Smith, 7 Chris Moore, 8 Danny Craggs,
9 Michael Mackay, 10 Luke Sullivan, 11 Josh Gray. Subs not used: Ben Cole, Adam Nicholls, Dale Stones, Kieran Jewitt.