Tag: division one

On this day in our history: 11 May 2013 – Consett honour FA Vase winners Spennymoor – then go toe to toe with them

Consett shared the spoils with FA Vase winners Spennymoor Town in a highly entertaining 2-2 draw on this day in 2013, on what should have been the last league game at Belle Vue Park.

It was intended to be Consett’s last competitive fixture at the old ground, and would have been a more than suitable way to sign off, as, even though there was little more than pride to play for, both teams went at it hammer and tongs.

However, we had been told by the league that we had to re-play a game against Newcastle Benfield which had been abandoned with 12 minutes left when the floodlights went out, as that could still have a bearing on who was relegated from the Northern League 1st Division.

The Steelmen made two changes from the previous game against Marske, with Peter Jameson replacing Chris Elliott in goal, and Luke Sullivan coming in for Ian Davidson, with David Brown reverting to left-back.

Luke Sullivan attacks down the Spennymoor flank. Pic: Gary Welford.

Spennymoor’s 16 included 11 of their Wembley winners, but they were without the injured Gavin Cogdon, and they had an outfield player, Carl Beasley, in goal, with both their regular custodians missing.

Consett afforded their visitors the privilege of a guard of honour onto the field, but, after an early scare, proceeded to play the better football, with the wind at their backs.

Moors threatened first on five minutes, when Andrew Stephenson played in Michael Rae, but the centre-forward’s lob over the advancing Jameson dropped just wide.

Consett striker Michael Mackay gets up highest to win a header. Pic: Gary Welford.

The game was being played largely in midfield, with both teams looking to play a passing game in blustery conditions.

It was 25 minutes before Consett registered their first serious attempt on goal, with Sullivan’s free-kick from 20 yards flashing just over. On 32 minutes Calvin Smith tried his luck from a setpiece slightly further out, and again wasn’t far away.

Three minutes later the Steelmen were ahead, with a well-crafted goal. Kieran Martin was the architect down the right, finding Michael Mackay’s feet just inside the box. The 34-goal top scorer turned, only to see his shot blocked by a defender, but the ball fell handily for his strike partner Aris Guerin-Lokonga, who fired into the bottom corner from just inside the box.

Aris Guerin-Lokonga make it 1-0 to Consett. Pic: Gary Welford.

Four minutes later Spenny should have levelled, but Rae, who was given the freedom of the penalty area, headed over from Stephen Capper’s right-wing cross. Three minutes later Rae had another chance, and this one was even easier, but he headed wide from Kallum Griffiths’ cross.

Right on half-time Consett doubled their lead, and there was an element of good fortune about it. A backpass sold stand-in keeper Beasley short, and when he rushed out of his box to meet it, he could only blast the ball against Guerin-Lokonga. Despite the attentions of Chris Mason, the ball rolled in to make it 2-0.

Lokonga makes it 2-0 as Beasley crashes the ball against him. Pic: John Paul Hardy.

Spennymoor made an attacking substitition early in the second half, bringing on Steven Richardson for Stephenson, and the change paid immediate dividends, as they pulled a goal back on 51 minutes. Graydon’s pass set up Craig Ruddy in the left-hand channel, and the little winger’s shot found its way past Jameson with the help of a deflection.

Rae had another chance when he burst clean through the middle, but fired over, and then Consett had skipper Carl Piecha to thank for a great saving tackle on Richardson as he homed in on goal.

Consett skipper Carl Piecha clears from Spennymoor’s Michael Rae. Pic: Gary Welford.

Little was seen of Consett as an attacking force in the second half, but they had two good chances to restore their two-goal lead. On 73 minutes, good link-up play between Guerin-Lokonga and Mackay set up Sullivan, but his curling effort was straight at the keeper.

Five minutes later a lovely piece of skill from Guerin-Lokonga saw him beat two men, but Beasley saved his shot well down at his near post.

Consett were finding it hard to get out of their own half due to the stiff breeze, and the inevitable happened on 86 minutes when the league runners-up levelled. Capper was the provider with a cross from the left, but Jameson will have to hold up his hands after coming to punch the ball, but being beaten to it by Mason, who headed into the unguarded goal.

Consett’s Matty Slocombe attacks the Spennymoor defence. Pic: Gary Welford.

The visitors threw everything forward as they went for the win. Richardson should have scored when clean through, but fired wide, and in the last minute he was even closer, hitting the post from Anthony Peacock’s pass. When the final whistle went, it was honours even – just about a fair result.

  • Spare a thought for the Consett team who, on this date in 1968, had to play two games in one day! Good cup runs and bad weather had left the newly-renamed Steelmen playing catch-up with their Wearside League fixtures, and this was the only way to finish their season.

Silksworth Colliery Welfare were their opponents for a 3pm kick-off at Belle Vue Park, and were duly despatched 5-0, with goals from Doug Morris, Austin Lee, Owen Lee (2) and debutant David Lumley.

Then at 6.30 they ran out against to complete their season with an ‘away’ game against Sunderland Structural Steel which had been switched to Belle Vue.

The visitors didn’t have an advantage in facing tired opponents, however, as they had already played a game in the afternoon, too, drawing 2-2 with Pyrex SC.

It was the Steelmen – fielding largely the same side – who ended their season on a high, winning 3-0 with goals from Doug Oxley, Austin Lee and Doug Morris.

On this day in our history: 10 May 2016 – Consett make it 8 out of 10 as they end the season with a win at the seaside

Consett completed their fixtures with a comfortable 3-0 win over Whitley Bay at Hillheads on this day in 2016 – their eighth victory in their last 10 games.

Manager Mark Eccles made two changes to the side which had lost at Marske three days earlier, with Jake Stafford and Nathan Steel coming in for Joe Grant and Michael Sweet. Whitley included two former Consett players, goalkeeper Tom Flynn and midfielder Jake Fowler, who wore the captain’s armband.

The Steelmen dominated from the start, and Jordan Nellis had the first chance after just four minutes, firing wide after being played in by skipper Danny Craggs.

Jordan Nellis had the first chance of the game. Pic: Gary Welford.

Ten minutes later Consett should have taken the lead with a good move. Matty Slocombe’s ball forward was knocked down by Nellis, and Jake Stafford, arriving late, shot wide of the far post.

Craggs tried his luck from 30 yards, but was off target, but the Steelmen didn’t need to try to force the issue, as Whitley had little to offer in an attacking sense.

On the half-hour Stafford had an even better chance when his run into the box was picked out by a deep cross by Nellis, but, with only the keeper to beat, he failed to get his header on target.

Matty Slocombe in control in midfield. Pic: Gary Welford.

In a rare foray at the other end, left-back Chris McDonald let fly from 25 yards, but the shot was a couple of yards wide.

Consett were still creating most of the chances, and Nellis had another when he chested down a half-cleared cross and smashed the ball goalwards, only to find the side netting.

The closing minutes of the half saw almost constant Consett pressure, and Nellis flashed another shot over the top from Jordan Lavery’s cross.

The first half had been largely one-way traffic, and the second proved more of the same.

Nathan Steel (No 9) turns away after his header drops in. Pic: Gary Welford.

A goal only seemed a matter of time, and it came on 59 minutes when good work by Nellis down the left paved the way for Nathan Steel to send a looping header over the helpless Flynn.

Consett’s tails were up, and when Nellis took the ball around the keeper from Lavery’s Crossfield pass, it took an excellent defensive interception to stop him setting up Steel for a second goal.

Whitley did create one good chance, midway through the half, after Consett gave the ball away in their own half, but it was squandered by Scott Prosser, who ballooned his shot over the bar.

A minute later the game was as good as over when Consett went two-up. A quick free-kick on the left flank sent Craggs scampering into the box, and he held the ball up and laid it off until Lavery arrived. Taking it across two defenders, the wide man steered his shot into the bottom corner past the helpless Flynn.

Jordan Lavery makes it 2-0 to Consett. Pic: Gary Welford.

Two minutes later Consett scored again. A fine Calvin Smith pass sent Lavery clear, and although Flynn managed to halt him as he tried to go round the keeper, he managed to keep the ball alive and set it up for Gibbons to thump a low drive home for No 3.

It was almost four in the closing moments when Nellis and Lavery both had shots saved by Flynn, who was just about the only home player to emerge with any credit.

The result lifted Consett to fifth, and although the resurgent Steelmen but were overhauled by Newton Aycliffe and North Shields to finish seventh – two places higher than last season, and tantalisingly close to the pre-season target of a top-six finish.

Nathan Steel lets keepr Tom Flynn know he’s there. Pic: Gary Welford.

Whitley Bay: 1 Tom Flynn, 2 Craig McFarlane, 3 Chris McDonald, 4 Josh Day, 5 Steve Gibson, 6 Callum Anderson (sub 14 Aiden Haley 46), 7 Callum Munro, 8 Jake Fowler (captain), 9 Nikolay Ivanov (sub 13 Dan Gladstone 68), 10 Scott Prosser, 11 Alex Kempster. Subs not used: 12 Ash Davis, 16 Thomas Potter.
Consett: 1 Gareth Young, 2 Matty Slocombe (sub 15 Ryan Cummings 75), 3 Jake Stafford (sub 12 Joe Grant 62), 4 Stephen Little, 5 Dan Hawkins, 6 Lewis Gibbons, 7 Jordan Nellis, 8 Calvin Smith, 9 Nathan Steel (sub 14 Chris Mordue 71), 10 Danny Craggs (captain), 11 Jordan Lavery.

On this day in our history: 8 May 1995 – Consett make it fourth time lucky by lifting the League Cup at last

Consett won their first major trophy for 26 years on this day in 1995, enjoying a comfortable victory over favourites Whitby Town in the Northern League Cup final.

And it was fourth time lucky for the Steelmen, who had been beaten finalists in their previous three finals, in 1979, 1981 and 1992.

It was the second trophy which long-serving manager Colin Carr would deliver to Belle Vue Park, following the 2nd Division championship in his first season, 1988-89.

And it would pave the way for further success, with a run to the 1st Round proper of the FA Cup in 1996, and a Sunderland Shipowners Cup win in 1998 (recalled here).

Although Consett had finished a creditable 9th in the season just ended, they were up against one of the Northern League’s big guns of the time.

Whitby had just missed out on being league runners-up by goal difference, and had recorded their fifth consecutive top-six finish, which included being crowned champions in 1993.

They had enjoyed the upper hand in the two league meetings between the sides during the season, winning 2-0 at the Turnbull Ground the previous October, with the return match at Belle Vue in March ending 1-1.

So for although by the time of this game, played at Crook Town’s Millfield, Consett were an established 1st Division side, they went into it very much as underdogs.

And, as Ian Hamilton (who was club secretary at the time) revealed this week, the Steelmen’s preparations for the game weren’t exactly orthodox.

Consett pose for a team picture before kick off. Pic: Andrew Pearson.

He said: “The Consett squad had just endured their end of season booze-a-thon, which was a two-day booze-filled weekend at Southport.

“I think 9 of the squad for the cup final were on that trip and there were no beer shirkers! I don’t know how the lads managed to even turn up for that game, never mind win it!”

But win it they did, despite having a scare early on, when Paul Quinn had to clear an effort off the line after goalkeeper Dickie Lee had made a fine save.

A rare action shot from the Northern League Cup final v Whitby Town. Pic: Andrew Pearson.

David Bayles shot into the side netting after 22 minutes, and then his pass put Gary Cowley in the clear six minutes later. ‘G.C.’ lobbed the ball over the keeper, but unfortunately also over the bar.

Robinson headed just over for Whitby after 29 minutes, and then a mistake by Johnny Brown let Robinson in, but Lee again came to the rescue with a good save.

Consett made the vital breakthrough three minutes before half-time. Colin McLeod made a good run down the left and his excellent pass found Paul Staff, who drew the keeper before firing into the net from 10 yards.

Consett lift the Northern League Cup for the first time. Pic: Andrew Pearson.

Whitby went close after 52 minutes when Lee saved from Pitman, but the expected pressure from the Seasiders failed to materialise, as they strangely lacked urgency.

McLeod forced a save from keeper Robinson after 68 minutes, and then Consett clinched the game with 13 minutes left on the clock. Carl Rowell latched onto a loose ball to superbly lob it over the advancing keeper and make it 2-0.

There was almost a third goal two minutes later when substitute Gary Davies shot narrowly wide after playing a one-two with McLeod, but it mattered not, as Consett held on for a comfortable win.

Consett manager Colin Carr plants a kiss on the league Cup. Pic: Andrew Pearson.

Skipper Gary Cowley collected the League Cup – their first major honour since 1969 – from MP Hilary Armstrong, and then the celebrations could really begin!

Consett: 1 Dickie Lee, 2 Colin Woodward, 3 David Hagan, 4 Rod Butler (sub Daryl Smith 75), 5 Johnny Brown, 6 Paul Quinn, 7 Carl Rowell, 8 Gary Cowley, 9 Colin McLeod, 10 David Bayles, 11 Paul Staff (sub Gary Davies 60). Subs not used: Trevor Ball, Stephen Beckwith, Colin Teasdale (GK).

  • Many thanks to Andrew Pearson for the pictures, most of which are being seen here for the first time.
In time-honoured fashion, the cup is filled with bubbly. Pic: Andrew Pearson.

On this day in our history: 7 May 2016 – Consett’s unbeaten run ended by keeper’s inspired display

Consett’s eight-game unbeaten run came to an end when they lost 2-1 to Marske United in a tight game at a misty GER Stadium on this day four years ago.

Manager Mark Eccles made one change to the side which had beaten Morpeth in midweek, with top scorer Michael Sweet returning in place of the unavailable Nathan Steel.

With their confidence high after seven consecutive wins, the Steelmen went on the attack from the start. Skipper Danny Craggs fired a free-kick wide from 30 yards in the first minute, and five minutes later Calvin Smith had a half-chance from Jordan Lavery’s right-wing corner, but hooked the ball over from point-blank range.

Consett midfielder Calvin Smith fires over the bar. Pic: Gary Welford.

It was against the run of play that the home side took the lead on eight minutes. Midfielder Glen Butterworth sprayed the ball out wide to Adam Preston on the right, and he beat his man, got to the byline and pulled the ball back to the edge of the six-yard box, where Marske’s leading scorer Jamie Owens got to it a fraction before Stephen Little to steer it beyond keeper Gareth Young.

Consett’s response was a good one, and it took a combination of keeper Robert Deans and skipper Adam Wheatley to keep out Sweet as he attacked a Jordan Nellis cross from the left at the near post.

On the half-hour Consett’s endeavours paid off when they levelled, with a goal which had an element of good fortune about it. They were awarded a free-kick 25 yards out, and Jordan Lavery curled it goalwards. Luke Sullivan threw himself at the ball, but failed to connect, but its flight deceived everyone, including Dean, and it ended up in the net without touching anyone.

Jordan Lavery’s free-kick deceives everyone to make it 1-1. Pic: Gary Welford.

Marske responded with a spell of pressure which saw them almost take the lead twice. On 35 minutes, Young got lucky when Butterworth’s corner slipped through his hands, but Matty Slocombe cleared off the line at the back post.

A minute later, a deep cross by right-back Lee Brockbank threatened to dip in, but Young tipped it to safety. Four minutes before the break, Dean was called upon at the other end to make a double save from Nellis and Sullivan at his near post, before thwarting the lurking Sweet.

In injury time a mistake by Smith saw him give away possession to Butterworth, who played in Owens, but Young got down well to the striker’s shot.

Stephen Little gets a foot in against Jamie Owens. Pic: Gary Welford.

The first half of the second half was little to write home about as the sides probed for an opening, but Consett almost got their noses in front on 68 minutes when Dean made the first of three superb saves. Lavery sent over another excellent free-kick from the right, and the ball was deflected goalwards by a defender, but Dean somehow managed to turn it over the bar from point-blank range.

On 73 minutes the keeper made just about his only mistake of the game, when his clearance fell straight to Craggs, and the Consett skipper took a few steps forward before unleashing a powerful drive, which the keeper beat away. Then on 78 minutes Smith struck a shot which was heading for the top-right corner until Dean again acrobatically flung himself to divert it away from his goal.

Marske keeper Robert Dean pulls off a great save. Pic: Gary Welford.

The saves were to prove crucial, for on 82 minutes Marske got the goal which would turn out to be the winner. Consett gave away a free-kick on the left, and Butterworth’s delivery picked out Adam Wheatley, who powered home a header which gave Young no chance.

Four minutes later Bythway almost made sure of the points, but Young saved. Consett persevered to the end in a bid to keep their unbeaten run going, but the 2014-15 Northern League champions, who had been dethroned by Shildon in midweek, held on to clinch the win they needed to confirm them as runners-up.

Consett’s Matty Slocombe beats Marske defender Daniel Newby. Pic: Gary Welford.

Marske United: 1 Robert Dean, 2 Lee Brockbank, 3 Daniel Newby, 4 Nathan Mulligan, 5 Shaun Ryder, 6 Adam Wheatley (captain), 7 Adam Preston, 8 Glen Butterworth, 9 Luke Bythway (Sub 12 John Seaton 86), 10 Jamie Owens, 11 Reece Kelly (sub 13 Corey Nicholson). Subs not used: 14 Josh Myers, 15 Danny Brunskill, GK James Briggs.
Consett: 1 Gareth Young, 2 Matty Slocombe, 3 Joe Grant, 4 Stephen Little, 5 Jordan Lavery, 6 Lewis Gibbons, 7 Luke Sullivan, 8 Calvin Smith, 9 Michael Sweet, 10 Danny Craggs (captain), 11 Jordan Nellis. Sub not used: 14 Dan Madden.

On this day in our history: 6 May 2013 – Consett lose to bogey team Marske as they begin their long goodbye to Belle Vue Park

Consett lost 2-1 to one of their bogey sides, Marske United, on this day in 2013, in what they hoped* would be their penultimate game at their crumbling old Belle Vue Park ground.

But they felt they deserved at last a point from this Bank Holiday Monday encounter, which came three days after a long-overdue win at Whitley Bay (featured here).

There was a VIP guest in the shape of North West Durham MP Pat Glass, who was introduced to the teams as she paid a visit to the old ground as the club began a long goodbye which would include games against both Sunderland and Newcastle United.

North West Durham MP Pat Glass met both teams before kick-off. Pic: Pat Glass.

Manager Kenny Lindoe made two changes to the side which had won at Hillheads, with skipper Carl Piecha returning and youngster Kieran Martin making his first start. They took the places of Craig Robson – missing for just the second time this season – and Steven Aiston.

It was Martin, on loan from Sunderland Academy, who had the game’s first chance on two minutes, cutting in from the left but hitting his shot straight at Scott Allison. On 10 minutes top scorer Michael Mackay got his first sight of goal, but his header from Aris Guerin-Lokonga’s cross lacked power and was an easy take for the Marske keeper.

The visitors’ first proper opening came on 18 minutes, when John Alexander found a gap in the Consett defence, and homed in on goal, but Chris Elliott stood up well to pull off a double save at the expense of a corner.

Consett keeper Chris Elliott thwarts Marske striker John Alexander. Pic: Gary Welford.

The Steelmen didn’t heed the warning, however, and seven minutes later Marske were ahead. They were caught napping by a short-corner routine on the left, and captain Adam Wheatley stole in to head home.

On 33 minutes Marske had what they thought was a valid penalty appeal turned down as centre-forward David Onions, who had raced clear of a static back four, went down under challenge from Piecha as he shot, but the referee wasn’t interested.

Two minutes later they had doubled their advantage, however, when Karl Charlton’s ball down the left flank put Alexander in, and he went round the advancing Elliott to finish from an acute angle.

Little else of note happened in the first half, and the interval was reached with Marske 2-0 in front.

Kieran Martin made his first start for Consett. Pic: Gary Welford.

Four minutes into the second half it was almost three, as Alexander got on the wrong side of his marker, and was only thwarted by a brave save by Elliott, who hurt himself in the process, but was OK to continue after treatment.

The game to-ed and fro-ed for a while as Consett patiently sought a way back in, and Marske went more direct in their search of a killer third goal, and there were chances at both ends.

Calvin Smith put a tantalising free-kick across the face of goal which no team-mate could get on the end of, while Elliott denied Onions with a flying save as he tried to catch him out with a lobbed effort.

Calvin Smith on the attack for Consett. Pic: Gary Welford.

Smith hit a 20-yarder just wide, then Alexander put his lob over Elliott just too high after being played in by Charlton. Back at the other end, Martin scuffed a shot just wide, then Smtih was just inches away with a 30-yard free-kick which beat the goalkeeper but also the crossbar.

On 79 minutes Martin, who’d made a lively full debut, came the closest yet to reducing the arrears when he curled an effort just wide from the edge of the box after Guerin-Lokonga won the ball in the air and Andrew Cuthbertson laid it off to him.

Two minutes later Consett went even closer: Mackay reacted quickest when a defender could only head David Brown’s cross up in the air, and was the width of a crossbar away from grabbing his 35th goal of the season after his half-volleyed effort struck the woodwork.

Aris Guerin-Lokonga runs at the Marske defence. Pic: Gary Welford.

Consett finished the game strongly, and there were chances for Guerin-Lokonga, who blazed over, and Mackay, whose one-on-one was saved by Allison, before they got one back in the second minute of injury time.

Ian Davidson’s free-kick from the right was sliced into his own net by midfielder Josh Myers, pictured top, but there simply wasn’t enough time for the home side to force the equaliser which they deserved.

Consett: 1 Chris Elliott, 2 Matthew Slocombe, 3 Ian Davidson, 4 Andrew Cuthbertson, 5 Michael Pearson (sub Ryan King 72), 6 Carl Piecha, 7 Kieran Martin, 8 Calvin Smith, 9 Aris Guerin-Lokonga, 10 Michael Mackay, 11 David Brown. Subs not used: Peter Jameson, David Scorer, Luke Sullivan, David Robson.
Marske: 1 Scott Allison, 2 Ryan Grier, 3 David Wells (sub Mitchell Morris 66), 4 Leon Carling, 5 Adam Wheatley, 6 Scott Matthewman, 7 Chris McGill (sub Curtis Collantine 80), 8 Josh Myers, 9 David Onions, 10 John Alexander, 11 Karl Charlton. Sub not used: Nathan Tidy.

  • Consett hoped this would be their penultimate game at Belle Vue, with the last one against Spennymoor Town due on 11 May, but were still waiting for the Northern League to decide if they had to re-play a game against Newcastle Benfield, abandoned a week earlier, with 12 minutes left, when the floodlights failed.

On this day in our history: 5 May 2001 – Consett continue their fine late-season form by making it five wins in a row

Consett continued their good end-of-season form on this day in 2001, beating Jarrow Roofing 2-0 at Belle Vue Park for their fifth successive win – their best run of the campaign.

Despite being without 26-goal top scorer Tony ‘Tiger’ Halliday, for their third home game in a row, Colin Carr’s side scored early when they took the lead after just five minutes with a fine individual goal from Kieran McGinley.

He picked up the ball inside his own half and ran through the Roofing defence before sliding it past the advancing keeper McGilvray.

The goal meant that after going 31 games without scoring, the young midfielder – who was named Players’ Player of the Year – had five in his last nine games.

Consett could have doubled their advantage after 16 minutes when Trevor Laidler set up Mark Outterside, but his shot was easily saved. Roofing showed little in the first half, with Bangura’s shot over the bar their only threat.

The game was more open in the second period, with both sides creating chances. Five minutes fater the break Roofing striker Paul Chow broke clear, and his pass gave Hague a golden opportunity, but he shot wide when he should have scored.

After 53 minutes Consett went close to getting the all-important second goal when Laidler’s clever reverse pass put Colin Mcleod in on goal, but he shot straight at the keeper.

But a minute later McLeod made up for that miss when he cleverly turned a defender before firing a low shot into the bottom corner to give the home side a two-goal cushion.

Colin McLeod doubled Consett’s lead. Pic: Andrew Pearson.

Consett could have gone further ahead almost immediately when McLeod set up McGinley, but he dragged his shot wide when well-placed.

After 63 minutes Chow created an opening for himself when he beat a defender, but Consett keeper James Platten – their only ever-present in a 49-game season – turned his shot round the post.

With nine minutes left Roofing almost got a foothold back in the game when Garrett headed narrowly over from Moore’s free-kick.

But it was the Steelmen who finished in the ascendancy, with substitute David Young shooting just past the upright after a good run, and with two minutes left McGilvray did well to keep out McGinley’s shot.

The Steelmen had three home games left after this, and draws with league champions Bedlington Terriers and Billingham Town were followed by a last-game win over Newcastle Blue Star, to extend their unbeaten run to eight games, and lift them to a final position of 10th.

Consett: 1 James Platten, 2 Johnny Brown, 3 David Hagan, 4 Rod Butler, 5 Jeff Sugden, 6 Kieran McGinley, 7 Gary Cowley (sub David Young), 8 Alan Batey, 9 Colin McLeod, 10 Trevor Laidler, 11 Mark Outterside.

On this day in our history: 4 May 2010 – Consett record their 14th away win of the season

Consett finished a roller-coaster season in style on this day 10 years ago, with a 14th away win of the campaign – a club Northern League 1st Division record – against already-relegated Morpeth in their final game groundsharing at Bedlington.

With first-choice goalkeeper Danny Staples just off his crutches, and stand-ins Sam Grieveson and Chris Moore unavailable, Kenny Lindoe gave a debut to former Durham City net-minder Aiden Vout, who became the 46th player used in the 2009-10 season.

In truth, he had so little to do that Paul Curry, who has played as an emergency custodian before, could have gone in goal and we would still have comfortably won.

Guy Bates had the ball in the net as early as the third minute with a crisp volley, but was flagged offside, but it only took another four minutes for the ex-Newcastle United reserve to get one that counted.

Guy Bates opened the scoring for Consett.

David Pounder, pictured top, played a glorious pass from the left which dipped over the centre-half’s head, and Bates finished with a deft chip over the goalkeeper.

On 15 minutes Morpeth had their best chance of the first half when Justin Millican’s left-wing corner fizzed across goal, but neither Alex Lawson at the front post nor Sean Sweeney, coming in late at the back, could apply the touch it needed.

Bates came close to doubling Consett’s advantage on 20 minutes when he latched onto a flick-on from Gary Ormston, playing in an advanced position, and smacked a powerful effort just over.

Steven Huggins, who was bossing the midfield, then played a lovely one-two with Bates to surge into the box down the right, but instead of going for goal himself he picked out Gavin Parkin at the back post, whose volley hit the bar.

Steven Huggins was controlling the midfield.

The former Bishop Auckland man was not to be denied, however, and on 31 minutes he made it 2-0. Huggins again made inroads down the right, and passed to Ormston, who helped it on, and this time Parkin drove home, despite a defender’s attempted block.

Five minutes before half-time, Morpeth full-back Chris Shanks gifted possession to Bates on the edge of his own box, but keeper Jak Wells got him out of jail, saving the striker’s low effort with his feet.

Two minutes later he could do nothing about Consett’s third goal, however, and again it came down the right. Andrew Burton’s hard, low cross evaded first Pounder and then Ormston, but Bates made no mistake from eight yards, picking his spot and slotting the ball into the bottom-left corner.

It could have been four before the break, as first Bates and then Burton (with an overhead kick) and Pounder went close.

Andrew Burton went close with an overhead kick.

The second-half began how the first had ended, with Consett making most of the play. Ormston headed wide from Huggins’ right-wing corner, Burton saw Wells pull his well-struck 20-yarder down comfortably.

But the Steelmen nearly conceded in almost comical fashion when Graham Irving’s attempted clearance cannoned off Sweeney and flew just past the post, with Vout beaten.

The debutant keeper then had his first serious save, from Barrie Smith’s free-kick from the left edge of the box, but made a confident catch.

Jonjo Dickman volleyed straight at Wells before seeing the keeper pull off a good if slightly fortuitous save as he surged into the box after exchanging passes with Bates.

Jonjo Dickman had two good chances to add to the scoreline.

Consett were not to be denied for long, and when a Morpeth backpass fell to Bates, who was still contesting an earlier decision with the referee, he unselfishly squared for Brian Dodsworth, on as a sub just three minutes earlier, to finish from close range.

Four minutes Bates, passed up the chance of a hat-trick to set up David Pounder for his 11th goal of the season, and his 50th for the club.

odsworth found him with a quick throw-in down the left, and although no one would have blamed him for going for goal, Bates pulled the ball back for Prof to knock home.

It was the No 9’s last involvement of the game, as he was immediately replaced by youngster Robert Nolan, who somehow squandered a chance to make it six when Dodsworth latched onto a long ball and set him up for a chance which it seemed harder to miss.

It mattered not, for shortly afterwards the final whistle went, and Consett were left to reflect on what might have been if only their home form had matched that on the road.

This proved to be Gary Ormston’s last game for Consett.

Sadly, this was to be the last game in Consett colours for both Gary Ormston and David Pounder, who had played a combined 432 games, scoring 102 goals, as they left for Whitley Bay, where they won the FA Vase the following season.

It also marked the end of the road for two more popular players, Steven Huggins and Andrew Burton, who left Belle Vue for pastures new after just one season. They weren’t alone, however, as only four of the team which ended this season started the next one.

Morpeth Town: 1 Wells, 2 Shanks, 3 Haxon (captain), 4 Lawson, 5 Thorpe, 6 Grant, 7 Millican, 8 Smith, 9 Ford, 10 Sweeney (King 77), 11 Newton-Eddy. Subs not used: Jewitt, Swithenbank.
Consett: 1 Aiden Vout, 2 Andrew Burton, 3 Gavin Parkin, 4 Graham Irving, 5 Michael Coulthard, 6 Carl Piecha, 7 Steven Huggins, 8 Jonjo Dickman, 9 Guy Bates (sub Robert Nolan 78), 10 David Pounder, 11 Gary Ormston (sub Brian Dodsworth 70). Subs not used: Paul Curry, Liam Hubbuck.

On this day in our history: 3 May 2013 – a win at Whitley Bay at last

Consett won at Hillheads for the first time in eight years, with two goals from top scorer Michael Mackay giving them a 2-0 victory over third-placed Whitley Bay on this day in 2013.

Manager Kenny Lindoe’s teamsheet showed five changes from the side which started the abandoned game against Newcastle Benfield four days earlier, with Chris Elliott, David Brown, Ian Davidson, Andrew Cuthbertson and Aris Guerin-Lokonga coming in for Peter Jameson, Ryan Bell, Carl Piecha, Luke Sullivan and Liam O’ Mahoney.

A sixth change was forced upon him when Anthony Lund was injured in the warm-up, and Steven Aiston came off the subs’ bench to fill the No 11 shirt. The hosts included one ex-Steelman, David Pounder.

Steven Aiston was a late addition to the starting line-up. Pic: Gary Welford.

The visitors kicked off into a swirling wind, and they got off to an ideal start, taking the lead after just two minutes. Michael Mackay was manhandled to the ground by centre-back Chris Reid as he chased a speculative Craig Robson ball into the box, picked himself up and tucked the resulting penalty beyond the dive of Bay keeper Kyle Hayes, despite him guessing the right way.

Michael Mackay converts the early penalty to make it 1-0. Pic: Gary Welford.

Whitley, who are guaranteed a third-place finish, then had two chances in as many minutes to draw level, but Consett’s luck held and their goal remained intact.

First, Michael Pearson got caught in possession outside his own box by Paul Chow, who reached the by-line and seemed to tee up Lee Paul Scroggins for a simple close-range finish, but the midfielder somehow hit the post.

Then Paul Robinson hit a first-time shot from the right corner of the penalty box which Elliott got a vital touch on to turn it onto the opposite upright.

On the quarter-hour Consett had a couple of chances of their own as the game ebbed and flowed. First, Davidson headed straight at Hayes from a left-wing corner, and then Calvin Smith flashed a shot just wide of the far post.

Calvin Smith and Steven Aiston on the attack. Pic: Gary Welford.

The game started to get a bit feisty as half-time approached, and Robinson was perhaps lucky only to be shown a yellow card as he kicked out at Matty Slocombe as the right-back saw a ball out of play.

But the referee then infuriated Consett fans by booking Guerin-Lokonga for handling when he fell on the ball and grabbed it after being fouled. Mackay had a decent chance at one end for Consett and Craig Smith hit one just wide at the other as the half ended in end-to-end fashion.

Consett had the wind behind them in the second period, but they needed no assistance for the goal which doubled their advantage just a minute after the break.

Matty Slocombe was in an unfamiliar right-back position. Pic: Gary Welford.

Mackay cut in from the right, and exchanged passes with Calvin Smith, who laid the ball back nicely into his path. The No 10 took a touch before picking his spot into the top-left corner, beyond Hayes’ despairing dive. It was a fine goal, and one which put the Steelmen in control.

Whitley showed why they are third in the table, however, by creating a succession of chances. Pearson got in a vital tackle on Chow as he shot from Scroggins’ pullback, and Elliott got down well to his left to get a good hand to Robinson’s effort, with Pearson completing the clearance.

Mackay had a chance to complete his hat-trick on 69 minutes when Cuthbertson laid the ball back into his path, but he couldn’t keep his shot down. And Guerin-Lokonga made a vehement appeal for a penalty after going down as he tried to shimmy his way between two Bay defenders, but the ref was having none of it.

Consett keeper Chris Elliott stands up well to save from Paul Chow. Pic: Gary Welford.

Bay made changes, bringing on three sets of fresh young legs, and James Fairley went close to reducing the deficit when he hit a shot across goal from the right.

But still the game ebbed and flowed, and Aiston had a chance to seal it for Consett, but his shot lacked power after he made space for himself from Slocombe’s pass.

Fairley was unlucky not to reduce the arrears on 76 minutes when he chipped the advancing Elliott but saw his shot strike the outside of the post – the third time the Seasiders had hit the woodwork.

Craig Robson takes charge in midfield. Pic: Gary Welford.

Cuthbertson was then involved in two incidents in the space of six minutes which could have affected the outcome of the game. First, he shot straight at Hayes after making space for himself on the edge of a crowded penalty area, and then, a minute into added time, he was adjudged to have handled while defending a corner, and the referee awarded a penalty.

However, Robinson, who had been Whitley’s best player all night, blazed it over the bar. When the final whistle went a couple of minutes later, the Steelmen had perhaps rode their luck a little, but headed home with a well-earned three points which lifted them a place to eighth in the table.

Whitley Bay: 1 Kyle Hayes, 2 Chris Fawcett (sub 14 Kyle Downey 73 mins), 3 Ian Watson, 4 Craig McFarlane, 5 Chris Reid, 6 Craig Smith, 7 James Fairley, 8 Lee Paul Scroggins, 9 David Pounder (sub 15 Dillon Blake 67 mins), 10 Paul Chow (sub 12 Lewis Burns 67 mins), 11 Paul Robinson (captain). Subs not used: 16 Callum Anderson 17 Brian Smith.
Consett: 1 Chris Elliott, 2 Matty Slocombe, 3 David Brown, 4 Andrew Cuthbertson, 5 Michael Pearson, 6 Ian Davidson, 7 Craig Robson (captain), 8 Calvin Smith, 9 Aris Guerin-Lokonga, 10 Michael Mackay, 11 Steven Aiston. Subs not used: 14 David Scorer 15 Jack Stanger 16 Kieran Martin 17 Luke Sullivan.

On this day in our history: 2 May 2009 – Consett come within minutes of clinching their first-ever Northern League championship

Consett came agonisingly close to clinching a first-ever Northern League title on this day in 2009, only for a defeat at the hands of Wembley-bound Whitley Bay to leave their fate in the hands of others.

It all looked so promising as Consett led 2-0 at Hillheads at half-time. However, the Steelmen were left stunned by a spirited fightback by their hosts, culminating in a dramatic late winner.

In front of a crowd of 599, the highest to see a league game involving Consett for many a year, Kenny Lindoe’s side took the field having been dealt a setback even before the kick off. Keeper Jack Norton dislocated a finger during the warm-up, meaning Paul Gilmore was pressed into service between the sticks.

Any thoughts that this might be a nervous encounter with few goalmouth chances were dispelled quite early on. On a sunny spring day with the pitch in immaculate condition, the stage was set for a classic Northern League encounter.

Consett’s David Pounder waits for support. Pic: John Paul Hardy.

Consett were first to threaten when Adam Emson teed up Chris Scott who saw his firm drive from just outside the area saved by Bay keeper Terry Burke.

On the quarter-hour mark Whitley produced their first chance of the game when Adam Johnston, spotting Gilmore off his line, tried an audacious chip from the edge of the centre circle, which went just over the bar.

The game continued in an end-to end fashion and after Emson had sent a David Pounder through ball over the target on 26 minutes, play switched immediately to the other goal as Phil Bell sent a 25-yard daisy cutter inches wide.

It was Consett who finally found the net just before the half-hour mark. There was an element of good fortune about it as a Pounder cross caused problems in the Bay area, and although the keeper got to it ahead of Emson, indecision between Burke and an incoming defender allowed Steven Johnson to fire into the unguarded net.

Steven Johnson, left, celebrates his goal with Andrew Cuthbertson. Pic: John Paul Hardy.

Whitley almost struck back immediately, however Paul Chow shot over under pressure from Carl Piecha. Then on 33 minutes, Burke just beat Johnson to a through ball, with the Consett striker catching the keeper as he cleared, earning a yellow card for the challenge.

Two minutes before the break, a Consett side visibly growing in confidence as the half wore on took what looked like a decisive two-goal lead. Gary Ormston played in Jonjo Dickman, whose shot fizzed across the goal and rebounded off the post. The ball was played back in by Pounder to Emson, who outpaced his marker to make it 2-0 with a great finish.

Adam Emson wheels away after making it 2-0 to Consett. Pic: John Paul Hardy.

Whitley boss Ian Chandler no doubt took the opportunity at half-time to remind his charges that FA Vase final places were by no means guaranteed, and the home side started the second half like men possessed.

They took just four minutes to halve the deficit with a goal of classic simplicity, Paul Chow glancing Lee Kerr’s corner in at the near post.

Consett suddenly looked very vulnerable, and after Johnston had seen a shot from just outside the area deflected wide, Bay drew level in the 57th minute. Johnston drilled in a low free-kick from 20 yards out which took a deflection before Bell stabbed it home from close range.

On 61 minutes another Kerr corner found Chow, who this time directed a free header wide. Consett produced their first chance of the second half soon after when Scott’s trademark 25-yard low drive was stopped by the keeper who couldn’t hold onto the shot, but was able to grab it at the second attempt, with no-one in a red shirt following up.

Consett’s Gary Ormston gets the ball forward. Pic: John Paul Hardy.

The tension was starting to mount as the half wore on, and 15 minutes from time passions boiled over as Kerr and Pounder found themselves in the referee’s notebook following a head-to-head confrontation. Almost immediately after that Emson saw a shot blocked, and although Pounder was first to follow-up he flashed his effort wide.

With the clock running down it looked like the Steelmen might hang on for the point that would have virtually clinched the championship. However, Whitley had other ideas, and six minutes from time substitute Chris Reid broke down the left and played the ball across area to fellow-replacement Chris Moore, who had all the time in the world to control it, pick his spot and break Consett hearts.

Consett’s Adam Emson is outnumbered by Whitley Bay defenders. Pic: John Paul Hardy.

Consett threw everything at Bay in search of that elusive title-winning point, and with the clock ticking round to 90 minutes Emson saw a dipping volley go just over. Then three minutes into stoppage time sub Richard Logan fired in a strike from just outside the box, but Burke got down well to save.

Moments later the final whistle blew on Consett’s season. News filtered through that title rivals Newcastle Benfield had won 5-1 against West Allotment Celtic, which means everything comes down to the last game of the season … Penrith v Benfield on Tuesday night.

The equation was very simple, a win for Benfield meant the title would go to the East End of Newcastle, anything else and Consett were champions. All the folk from Belle Vue could do was cross their fingers and hope.

Paul Gilmore clears as Consett’s goal comes under pressure. Pic: John Paul Hardy.

Agonisingly, the Penrith v Benfield game three days later looked like it was heading for a goalless draw, until seven minutes from time, when Stephen Young snatched a winner for Benfield, to give them their first title, and leaving the men from Belle Vue to ponder what might have been.

And although we were runners-up in three of the next four seasons, and led the table for more than half of the 2018-19 campaign – ironically under the management of Chris Moore, who scored Whitley Bay’s winning goal in this game – we have never been as close again to winning the league.

Whitley Bay: 1 Burke, 2 Anderson, 3 Picton, 4 McFarlane, 5 Coulson, 6 Ryan, 7 Bell (sub Moore 66), 8 Kerr, 9 Johnston (sub Reay 80), 10 Chow, 11 Robinson (sub Reid 70). Subs not used: McLean, Bone.
Consett: 1 Paul Gilmore, 2 David Scorer, 3 Mark Gaffney, 4 Jonjo Dickman, 5 Carl Piecha, 6 David Pounder, 7 Chris Scott, 8 Andrew Cuthbertson (sub Ian Davison 89), 9 Adam Emson, 10 Steven Johnson (sub Richard Logan 77), 11 Gary Ormston. Subs not used: Paul Curry, David Robson.

On this day in our history: 1 May 2018 – Consett give Mark Eccles a gr-eight send-off in his final game as manager

Consett gave departing manager Mark Eccles a great send-off in his final game in charge on this day two years ago, beating Washington 8-1 at Belle View Stadium.
 
Ecca, who was getting married and relocating to Scotland, was given a guard of honour by both sets of players before the game, pictured top, as he walked onto the pitch with the Durham Challenge Cup, which his team had won the previous week.
 
And he left the field after the game with chants of ‘Mark Eccles’ Conny Army’ ringing in his ears after his side demolished their already-relegated opponents.
 
Top scorer Michael Sweet set the ball rolling after 17 minutes when he latched onto Calvin Smith’s ball over the top to score his 41st goal of the season, and 99th for the club.

Michael Sweet scored a hat-trick, including his 100th Consett goal. Pic: Gary Welford.

On 25 minutes it was 2-0 when David Dowson won possession 10 yards outside the Washington box and played in Jordan Lavery, who finished confidently.
 
On the half-hour it was 3-0 as centre-half Ross Wilkinson drove forward on a mazy run from the back and the ball fell for skipper Danny Craggs to fire home from 12 yards.
 
Seven minutes into the second half left-back Clark Kay laid the ball on a plate for Sweet to score his second of the night and his 100th Consett goal with a hard, low cross into the six-yard box.

Jordan Lavery vs Pascal Chimbonda. Pic: Gary Welford.

Washington had a very young side, plus a couple of older heads in Alex White and former Sunderland and Tottenham star Pascal Chimbonda, and to their credit they never gave up.
 
They got a goal back on 62 minutes when Jak Hanson got in behind the home defence and lobbed Kyle Hayes to make it 4-1.
 
But the Steelmen made them pay for their temerity with three goals in the next five minutes.
 
On 63 minutes Sweet unselfishly squared for Craggs to score his second of the night, and a minute later Adam Male’s incisive pass gave Craggs the chance to complete his hat-trick.

Danny Craggs also helped himself to a hat-trick. Pic: Gary Welford.

Then on 66 minutes the hard-working Dowson set up Sweet for his treble, which made it 7-1, and 43 goals for the season for the popular striker.
 
Nathan Convery thought he had his first goal for the club on 72 minutes, but it was ruled out for offside, while Jonathan Toward hit the post for Washington and Dowson did the same for Consett as the chances continued to flow.
 
The final word went to Dowson in added time when Craggs set him up to make it 8-1 with his 15th goal of a season which might have delivered even more if he hadn’t missed two months of it through injury.

David Dowson scored his 15th goal of the season. Pic: Gary Welford.

Consett: 1 Kyle Hayes, 2 Nick Cassidy (sub Nathan Lawrence 57), 3 Clark Kay, 4 Ross Wilkinson, 5 Arjun Purewal, 6 Matty Slocombe (sub Adam Male 57), 7 Calvin Smith, 8 Danny Craggs (captain), 9 Michael Sweet, 10 David Dowson, 11 Jordan Lavery (sub Nathan Convery 53). 
Washington: 1 Luke Thompson, 2 Ben Gibbon, 3 Josh Akal, 4 Abdul Karim (sub Callum Dent 53), 5 Alex White (captain), 7 Jak Hanson, 9 Kieren Broomfield, 12 James Nelson (sub Andrew Brown 79), 16 John Hunter (sub Jonathan Toward 83), 19 Mathew McBeth, 20 Pascal Chimbonda. Subs not used: Cameron Wilson, Andy Toward.

Departing manager Mark Eccles with chairman Frank Bell. Pic: Gary Welford.