Tag: michael mackay

Consett add friendly game against Crook Town to their pre-season schedule

Consett will play one of the Northern League’s oldest clubs, Crook Town, as part of their pre-season preparations, it has been confirmed.

The Black and Ambers were 3rd in the 2nd Division, and looked a good bet for promotion, when last season was abandoned.

They will visit Belle View Stadium on Saturday, 8 August, but under current Covid-19 restrictions the game will be behind closed doors.

The meeting will be our first since 21 March 2015, when we won 4-0 at their Millfield ground in a 1st Division fixture.

Our goals that day were a hat-trick from Michael Mackay, pictured in action above, and a strike from Aris Guerin-Lokonga.

Crook are managed by Jamie Tunstall, a young manager who encourages his team to play good football. Their squad includes Harrison Scott, a defender who had a spell at Consett in the 2017-18 season.

Their main goal threat is Daniel Kent, who’d scored 20 when last season was brought to an abrupt halt, while Christian Holliday (16) and Daniel Maddison (10) were also in double figures.

Our pre-season schedule so far is:

Sat 1 August v Newcastle Blue Star (A)

Tue 4 August v Tow Law Town (H)

Sat 8 August v Crook Town (H)

Sat 22 August v Morpeth Town (H)

At present, all friendly games must take place behind closed doors, and we await updated guidance from the FA/Government on when spectators will be allowed to return.

Consett club stats will stand for 2019-20, the season that never was after Covid-19 caused it to be declared null and void

After careful consideration by the club, it has been decided that all Consett AFC’s appearances and goals from the abandoned 2019-20 season WILL STAND.

Although the season was declared null and void after football was shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, club officials felt it unfair that the statistics from the season simply cease to exist.

Therefore, although there won’t be any sort of presentation night, it’s only fair to recognise some of the individual achievements from the season that will be wiped from the record books.

Jermaine Metz

We used 30 players over the course of 44 competitive games. No one was ever-present, but Jermaine Metz and Calvin Smith both figured in all but one match, while Kyle Hayes missed just three, and also recorded his 100th appearance. A total of 12 players made their debuts.

Dale Pearson

One of them was Dale Pearson, who enjoyed an excellent first season in our colours, and was top scorer with 30 goals in 34 games. We hope there’ll be many more to come once football can resume – whenever that might be.

Calvin Smith heads home

Calvin Smith had his best-ever season in front of goal, scoring 18 times. That gave him membership of an exclusive band of players who have netted 50 or more goals for Consett.

If the season had reached a natural conclusion, Calvin would also have passed 350 appearances as a Steelman. He’s on 347 – a total only a dozen or so players have bettered in our history.

Matty Slocombe

Matty Slocombe‘s not far behind, on 338 appearances, and might have reached 350 too – we had a minimum of 11 games remaining, and potentially as many as 14, depending on further cup progress.

Of the current squad, Michael Mackay leads in terms of games and goals, successfully returning from a long-term injury to take his totals to 323 goals and 410 games – a true club legend.

Luke Carr

Others who enjoyed a good season in front of goal include vice-captain Luke Carr, whose total of 14 beat his previous season’s tally, and Ali Alshabeeb, who had 13 and was improving all the time when the season came to its premature end.

Arjun Purewal and Ross Wilkinson

Other mainstays of the team which took us into the FA Vase semi-finals for the first time in our history were our skipper and leader Arjun Purewal, his central defensive partner Ross Wilkinson, marauding full-back Darren Holden, ever-reliable utility man Nick Allen, and classy midfielder Jake Orrell.

And let’s not forget the likes of Max Russell, Dan Hawkins, Simon Jakab, Thomas McAloon and Dean Briggs, whose combined efforts contributed a total of 66 appearances and a couple of goals to the cause.

Players who have moved on and others who made just the odd appearance are also part of the club’s history – whatever other record books might say about a season which officially didn’t exist.

It would be remiss not to put on record our thanks to manager Terry Mitchell, his assistant Graeme Coulson, goalkeeping coach Ben Cole and physio Rachel Davison for their efforts, the committee, matchday helpers, our sponsors, and, of course, each and every supporter who cheered on the lads, home and away.

Stay safe and well, and we look forward to seeing everyone back at Belle View Stadium when the whole Covid-19 crisis is over.

On this day in our history: 13 May 2013 – a low-key last league game defeat at Belle Vue Park

Consett brought down the curtain on 63 years at Belle Vue Park on this day seven years ago with a game they didn’t have to expect to play.

The Northern League ordered that they play relegation-threatened Newcastle Benfield again after floodlight failure caused the original fixture to be abandoned two weeks earlier, with 12 minutes left to play.

Far from being the great occasion which would have befitted the last Northern League game at the ground, this Monday evening match was typical end-of-season fare, with few chances at either end, and Benfield – who led 2-0 when the 29 April game was curtailed due to bad light – doing enough to make sure of 1st Division survival, by winning 2-1

Manager Kenny Lindoe made one change to the side which had drawn 2-2 with FA Vase winners Spennymoor Town on Saturday, with Ian Davidson coming in at centre-back for Carl Piecha.

With the skipper and vice-captain Craig Robson missing, the honour of captaining Consett in their last-ever competitive game at Belle Vue fell to 19-year-old Matty Slocombe – who had recently agreed to sign on contract for next season and was being touted as a captain for the future.

Benfield included three ex-Steelmen in their line-up – Gary Ormston, Brian Dodsworth and Richie Slaughter – with a fourth, Steven Brown, on the bench. Their player-manager was Steve Bowey, who would go on to be a player-coach at Consett.

Consett’s David Brown halts Benfield’s Brian Dodsworth. Pic: John Paul Hardy.

Consett showed first, and they had their first chance on eight minutes, when David Brown’s cross from the left picked out Aris Guerin-Lokonga, who beat his man and got to the by-line, only to see his cross cut out by a combination of goalkeeper and defender. The resulting corner was half-cleared to Michael Mackay, whose volley from the edge of the box went a yard wide of the right-hand post.

Benfield’s first chance came on 13 minutes when Michael Pearson was penalised for handball a few yards outside the box, and Paul Talbot curled a free-kick over the wall, but straight at Peter Jameson, who clutched the ball at the second attempt.

Consett keeper Peter Jameson saves Paul Talbot’s free-kick. Pic: Gary Welford.

The opening goal came on 37 minutes, and it came from a player who made almost 250 appearances in Consett colours. Unfortunately, however, he now plays for Benfield! A cross was swung over from the right, Jameson came to challenge in the air and missed, Ian Graham kept the ball alive in the danger area, and old boy Ormston swept it into the corner to give the Tynesiders a lifeline.

Consett old boy Gary Ormston makes it 1-0 to Benfield. Pic: Gary Welford.

Three minutes later it was 2-0, and this time there was an element of fortune about the goal. Dodsworth sent over a corner from the left, it was flicked on at the front of the six-yard box, and Benfield player-manager Steve Bowey leapt for a header at the back post. He missed the ball, but it came off the post, struck him as he landed, and went in!

The ball goes in off Steve Bowey (No 10) for Benfield’s second goal. Pic: John Paul Hardy.

A minute into added time at the end of the first half Consett got one back. Ever-present midfielder Calvin Smith, playing his 57th game of the season, played a long ball from inside his own half, which visiting keeper Jake Cunningham rushed out to meet. Guerin-Lokonga beat him to it and set up Mackay, who fired past two defenders into the unguarded net from 16 yards for his 35th goal of the season.

Michael Mackay reduces the arrears. Pic: John Paul Hardy.

The second half was an anti-climax, with Benfield content to sit on their lead, and a tired-looking Consett putting in plenty of huff and puff, but simply playing out their season.

Their best chance came six minutes into the half when Sullivan’s corner was helped on at the front post, and Pearson, coming in late, was inches away from getting on the end of the loose ball.

Consett’s Luke Sullivan chests the ball down. Pic: Gary Welford.

Benfield had a couple of chances to clinch the game: Ian Graham flashed a shot over from Dodsworth’s corner, then Pearson spared Jameson’s blushes after the keeper came out of his box to kick clear, missed his clearance, and Bowey passed to Young, whose shot was cleared off the line by the stand-in centre-back.

Jack Stanger and Calvin Smith try to stop Gary Ormston. Pic: Gary Welford.

A glut of substitutions followed in the last 20 minutes, and the only real chance fell to one of the subs, Steven Aiston, whose thunderous injury-time volley, heading for the top corner, was blocked by a superb piece of defending by Benfield skipper Kevin Leighton.

Dodsworth flashed a shot across the face of goal in added time, but it didn’t matter, because Benfield were safe, and Consett had played their last proper match at Belle Vue. The presentation of commemorative medals to those who had taken part in the last game closed the lid on 63 years of history.

Consett captain Matty Slocombe receives his memento. Pic: Gary Welford.

Consett: 1 Peter Jameson, 2 Matty Slocombe (captain), 3 David Brown, 4 Jack Stanger, 5 Michael Pearson, 6 Ian Davidson, 7 Kieran Martin (sub Cuthbertson 71), 8 Calvin Smith (sub Mark Eccles 81), 9 Aris Guerin-Lokonga, 10 Michael Mackay, 11 Luke Sullivan (sub Steven Aiston 74). Subs not used: David Robson, Ryan King.

Newcastle Benfield: 1 Jake Cunningham, 2 Mark Turnbull (sub Lee Mason 23 (sub Steven Brown 86)), 3 Paul Talbot, 4 Gary Ormston, 5 Peter Snowdon, 6 Kevin Leighton (captain), 7 Brian Dodsworth, 8 Richie Slaughter, 9 Stephen Young, 10 Steve Bowey (sub Gareth Williams 69), 11 Ian Graham. Subs not used: Sam Norris, Carl Paterson.

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: 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.

On this day in our history: 25 March 2006, Prudhoe Town 0 Consett 5

A comfortable win at the Kimberley Park home of near-neighbours Prudhoe Town left Consett needing a maximum of seven points from their remaining 10 games to clinch promotion back to Division One of the Northern League on this day back in 2006.

Manager Kenny Lindoe made several changes to the side that had won through to the League Cup semi-finals at Darlington RA the previous Wednesday. The injured James Platten and Damian Maw were replaced by Andy Colling and David Anderson respectively, while Mark Patterson, David Johnson and Andrew Bulford were restored to the side in place of Colin McKenzie, Paul Curry and Scott Macdonald. Prudhoe’s side included two players who would go on to play for Consett, Graham Irving and Mark Gaffney.

Consett made a tremendous start to the game and were three up inside 21 minutes. They scored with their first meaningful attack when a superb ball from Steven Brown set up Bulford on the edge of the Prudhoe area and he gleefully lashed the ball past Haytham Abbas to net against his former club. His celebration is pictured, top.

Andrew Bulford fires past Prudhoe’s keeper to make it 1-0. Pic: John Paul Hardy.

Abbas made a great save two minutes later to deny Bulford his second, parrying the young striker’s volley after he had palmed away Patterson’s cross. On 16 minutes, however, Consett’s second duly arrived as Carl Piecha rose to power home a header from Brown’s left-wing corner.

It was 3-0 five minutes later when Robbie Blemings played a tremendous ball from inside his own half to pick out Michael Mackay, who had peeled off the last defender at the far edge of the penalty area, and dispatched a stunning left-foot volley into the roof of the net, giving Abbas no chance.

Carl Piecha (No 4) heads home to make it 2-0. Pic: John Paul Hardy.

Prudhoe managed to stem the tide somewhat after the early flurry, although it was still very much one-way traffic. On the stroke of half-time Consett added a fourth goal as Patterson beat the Prudhoe offside trap and ran on to drill a shot through Abbas, which crept over the line.

Midway through the second half Consett went nap with their 100th league goal of what was turning out to be an extraordinary season. The Prudhoe defence were caught flat-footed by a ball over the top which Mackay raced on to, and he smashed the ball into the roof of the net for his 27th goal of the season, which made him top goalscorer, surpassing the departed Craig Tate’s 26.

Michael Mackay and Gary Ormston watch Mark Patterson’s shot creep over the line. Pic: John Paul Hardy.

With the game over as a contest the home side resorted to some roughhouse tactics, which culminated in a double sending off in the 77th minute. Nicky Richardson, who had been spoken to by the referee just moments earlier, scythed through substitute Chris Douglas and was given a straight red card. Then full-back Paul Hamilton, already on a yellow card following a flare-up with Patterson, received a second one for comments to the referee and Prudhoe were down to nine men.

Despite the numerical advantage, the Steelmen were unable to add to their tally, but in the end a comfortable win with no injuries or suspensions picked up made it very much mission accomplished.

Consett: 1 Andy Colling, 2 Gary Ormston, 3 David Johnson (sub Paul Curry), 4 Carl Piecha, 5 David Anderson, 6 Robbie Blemings, 7 Mark Patterson (sub Chris Douglas), 8 Steven Brown, 9 Andrew Bulford, 10 Michael Mackay, 11 Kraig Wilkinson (sub Scott Macdonald).

Consett went on to finish the season as 2nd Division champions, while Prudhoe finished 13th, and sadly dropped out of the Northern League all together three years later.

  • PS Has anybody got a spare programme for this game, presuming there was one (Prudhoe did issue for the Craven Cup game in October 2005)? Contact garywelford@blueyonder.co.uk if you can help.

Consett pay for lacklustre performance at Newton Aycliffe as old boys inflict their first league defeat in four months

A lacklustre Consett were made to pay by two old boys today as Newton Aycliffe became the first team to do a league double over them this season, after a 3-0 win at Moore Lane Park.

The Steelmen were strangely out of sorts, and were beaten in the league for the first time in nearly four months by opponents who had grabbed a last-gasp victory at Belle View in September.

This time there was nothing last-gasp about Aycliffe’s win, as they were better in every department from start to finish.

They took the lead on 19 minutes, when striker Adam Burnicle – who had a short spell at Consett a few seasons ago without getting a decent run in the first XI – found the top corner from an acute angle.

Burnicle had two more chances to increase the home side’s lead, and Consett had an amazing let-off in the 41st minute when a sliced clearance hit the post, and Kyle Hayes somehow kept the ball out.

The keeper also saved from Burnicle and Liam Jarvie as Aycliffe sought to press home their dominance, but half-time arrived with the score still 1-0.

Consett had created nothing at all in the first half, but within their first two minutes of the second they had created a half-chance for Dan Hawkins, whose shot was blocked by a defender.

Then on 59 minutes Jake Orrell’s ball was laid off by Thomas McAloon to Hawkins, who forced Aycliffe keeper Adam Pickford into his first save of the afternoon.

Four minutes later there was a let-off for the visitors when striker Andrei Ardelean, who left Belle View for Moore Lane Park a couple of weeks ago, turned and hit the post with a shot which had Hayes beaten.

On 67 minutes Ardelean had the ball in the net, but was flagged offside after Hayes had saved well from Burnicle.

In the 77th minute Consett had their best chance of the game, and should have levelled. A great pass from Ross Wilkinson sent Dale Pearson – on as a sub after a couple of weeks out injured – clean through, but a superb tackle by Aaron Brown thwarted him.

The ball fell kindly for Michael Mackay, and with the healthy Consett contingent in the crowd waiting for the net to bulge, Pickford made an excellent double save from the veteran striker, pictured top, to maintain his clean sheet.

Games swing on such incidents, which was proved in the 80th minute when Hayes fumbled a long-range effort from Johnson Ballan, and Ardelean – who else? – was there to finish from close range for 2-0.

Three minutes into injury time, as Consett pushed forward looking for a goal, they got caught on the break, and Burnicle scored his second of the game to make the final score a sobering 3-0.

  • Full match report and pictures to follow.

Consett stretch their unbeaten run to 19 matches with a 5-0 win at Thornaby in a game full of landmarks

Consett made it 19 games unbeaten today with a 5-0 win in their first league visit to Thornaby in 15 years – and it was a game full of landmarks.

The first was a 30th goal of the season in the same number of games for big striker Dale Pearson. After a nip-and-tuck first half-hour at Teesdale Park he was fouled as he tried to go past centre-back Nathan Guru in the 31st minute, and picked himself up to score from the penalty spot.

Pearson almost doubled the lead early in the second half when he rounded the keeper, but left-back Scott Howes to make a brilliant clearance off the goal-line.

But the Steelmen did make it 2-0 in the 64th minute when Calvin Smith became a member of the select band to have scored 50 goals for the club. The midfielder picked the ball up 25 yards out and left fly with a decent right-footed effort, pictured above, which crept under Thornaby keeper James Dawson.

Scott Howes was then lucky to stay on the field when he was shown just a yellow card for a late challenge on Pearson, who had to be helped off the field.

Consett were well in control, but the final scoreline had a slightly flattering look as they again showed their ruthless side, scoring three goals in four minutes in the closing stages of the game.

First, centre-back Ross Wilkinson fired home from close range in the 81st minute as Jake Orrell’s right-wing corner ricocheted around the box.

A minute later substitute Thomas McAloon recorded his own personal landmark moment, scoring his first goal for the club by robbing the last defender of possession before slipping the ball past Dawson for 4-0.

And in the 84th minute Michael Mackay, who had replaced Pearson, got his first goal since returning from injury, deflecting a shot past the keeper to make it 5-0. It was the club legend’s 321st Consett goal.

It was almost six when Ali Alshabeeb set up Mackay with four minutes to go, but this time Dawson saved with his legs to deny the evergreen striker.

That’s 14 goals in four days for Consett, who remain fourth in the table, six points behind both second-placed Shildon (2nd), who they have a game in hand on, and are yet to play at home, and third-placed Hebburn Town, on whom they have two games in hand.

  • Full match report and more pictures to follow.

Consett stretch unbeaten run to 15 games but have to settle for a point against battling Benfield

Consett made it 15 games unbeaten as they saw out the year – and the decade – at Belle View, but had to settle for a point after a 1-1 draw against a battling Newcastle Benfield side.

The visitors took the lead on 12 minutes with a Paul Brayson free-kick from outside the box, which he bent inside Kyle Hayes’ left-hand post.

Consett – who were missing the influential Jermaine Metz and playmaker Luke Carr – equalised with a setpiece of their own, as Ross Wilkinson rose highest to head home Jake Orrell’s left-wing corner a minute before half-time.

The Steelmen were much the better side after the break, but couldn’t find a way past visiting keeper Andrew Grainger, who made good saves from Orrell, Andrei-Vasile Ardelean and Dale Pearson.

The second period also saw the welcome return of striker Michael Mackay, pictured, who came on as a sub for Ardelean after returning from injury.

He almost set up a winner for Ali Alshabeeb, but the lively wide man’s header from Mackay’s cross came back off the post, and into the arms of the grateful Grainger.

  • Full match report and pictures to follow.