Tag: Northern League

Northern League season to kick off on September 5 – if spectators are allowed

The Northern League has decided that its 2020-21 season will kick off on Saturday, September 5 – but only if spectators are allowed to attend games.

As set out in the FA’s timescales, the intention is to start league fixtures on that date, though this is still subject to further discussions between the FA and the Government.

The league management committee will make a final decision on the start of our new league season once the issue of spectators is resolved nationally.  The fixture list will be released at this stage.

LEAGUE CUP SUSPENDED

The Brooks Mileson Memorial League Cup will be suspended for the forthcoming season.  In its place, there will be a cup competition just for first division clubs.

These matches will be played on a straight knock-out basis, with ties to be decided on the night. There will be no extra time, and draws at 90 minutes will be settled by a penalty shoot-out.

The Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup for second division clubs will be run as normal.

Each county FA will make its own decision regarding the playing of their county cup competitions, which are separate from the league.

‘SPECTATORS ARE ESSENTIAL’

League chairman Glenn Youngman, pictured, said: “These are unprecedented times for non-league football and we have had to balance a number of issues.

“The priority is to complete league fixtures.  The delayed start to the season means there are fewer weeks for fixtures to be arranged.

“But spectators are essential to the livelihood of our clubs, so we hope the issue about when spectators can attend games will be resolved at a national level as quickly as possible so we can make a final decision about the start of the new season.

“I would also like to thank all the staff and volunteers and our clubs who are putting in so much work behind the scenes to prepare for the new season and to make it as safe as possible for players, officials and spectators.

“The decision to run two, separate cup competitions for our two divisions has been a difficult one. However, we are conscious that clubs have been affected by the loss of income. Running two cup competitions for the two divisions will reduce the pressure on the fixture list while, at the same time, providing much-needed revenue.

“We will keep the progress of the two cup competitions under review during the season.”

MATCHDAY PROGRAMMES

Because of the Covid-19 guidance to reduce the amount of material/paperwork handled, the league has advised clubs that paper copies of programmes should not be provided for league games and league-related cup matches. Some clubs are providing programmes online – spectators are advised to check with a club directly to see if this option is available.

FA VASE SEMI-FINAL

Consett AFC are still awaiting a decision from the FA on when the FA Vase semi-final against Bitton will be played. The latest update we had is here.

Consett make former Hartlepool United midfielder their first summer signing

Consett have made their first summer signing, in the shape of former Hartlepool United attacking midfielder Lewis Green.

The 23-year-old spent last season with Thornaby in the Northern League 1st Division, and scored against Consett in the 1-1 draw at Belle View last August.

It was his second spell at the club, with some time at 2nd Division Easington Colliery in-between.

He started at Hartlepool United Academy, and also has Northern League experience with Billingham Town and Norton & Stockton Ancients.

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: 9 May 1977 – Consett suffer Northern League title agony as they lose play-off to Spennymoor United

Consett have been members of the Northern League for 50 years, but the one thing which has eluded them so far is the league championship.

Not that we haven’t come close; we would have been champions in 2009 if we had collected a point in our final game at Whitley Bay, and finished runners-up three times in four seasons around that time.

But older supporters will remember that back in 1977 we came even closer, and actually contested a championship play-off after finishing level at the top with Spennymoor United.

Moors were one of the Northern League powerhouses at the time, with top-three finishes in each of the three previous seasons. Consett, on the other hand, gave no indication of the season they were about to have after finishing 9th in 1975-76 and 6th the season before.

However coach Brian Suddes had assembled a powerful squad, bolstered by the return from long-term injury of striker Alan Dodsworth – who went on to be the club’s leading scorer in 1976-77 – and a mean defence featuring the likes of Peter Bragan, John Swinburn and club captain Brian Richardson.

Consett had assembled a good squad for the 1976-77 season.

Consett and Spennymoor set the pace right from the off, and by mid-January Moors led the league, but Consett sat in second place, three points behind with a full SIX games in hand. By mid-March, the Steelmen had overtaken Moors, although with both sides dropping points the chasing pack had closed up somewhat.

Consett then faltered with three consecutive away defeats at Blyth, Horden and Crook, to allow Spennymoor to regain top spot, but the loss at Crook was to be Consett’s last league defeat of the season as they chased the leaders down. With two weeks to go the top of the table looked like this:

A midweek 5-1 win at Evenwood brought Consett back to within two points, but the title was still Spennymoor’s to lose. On the penultimate Saturday of the season Consett were at home to title outsiders Blyth Spartans, whilst Moors travelled to mid-table South Bank.

The Steelmen kept up the pressure by winning 1-0 at a windswept Belle Vue, Dave Darwin getting the all-important goal six minutes from time. Meanwhile Spennymoor were being held to a goalless draw, and the sides were level on points with two games to play.

Both teams won their midweek games – Consett 2-0 at home to West Auckland, and Spennymoor 5-0 at home to Whitley Bay – as the title race came down to the wire on the final Saturday.

Once again there were to be no slip-ups as, despite both sides facing tricky away trips to top-five opposition, maximum points were bagged. Geoff Hart scored both goals in a 2-0 win for the Moors at North Shields, whilst the Steelmen put three past Whitby Town – Bobby Parkinson (2) and Kevin Ross the scorers.

Bobby Parkinson scored twice in Consett’s last league game.

So the teams finished level on points, and although Moors held the advantage on goal difference, such matters were rendered irrelevant, as Northern League rules at the time dictated that a play-off would determine who would be champions – something that had been called for six times previously. The most recent play-off had been three seasons earlier, when Spennymoor won their previous title, beating Blyth at Ashington.

Spennymoor went into the championship decider, played at neutral Willington, having been beaten three times during the season by Consett – twice in the league and also in the semi-final of the Durham Challenge Cup. However, they won the one that mattered in convincing style to collect their third title in six years.

The game at Hall Lane was played on a Monday night, and Consett weren’t happy, as three of their players – Alan Porter, Peter Bragain and Brian Richardson – had played the previous afternoon for the Ram’s Head in the all-England FA Sunday Cup final, which ironically was played at Spennymoor’s Brewery Field ground!

The championship play-off game was played at neutral Willington.

Both teams settled well and the game soon developed into a real battle. The first chance fell to Consett full-back John Swinburn, who was up with the attack. A free-kick was flicked on and he headed narrowly over the top.

Then in the 11th minute Consett suffered a real body blow when they fell behind to an own goal by skipper Brian Richardson, regarded as one of the most reliable defenders in the league. He seemed to have the situation under control when he collected a through ball and turned back towards his own goal, but he did not see Moors striker Kevin Reilly speeding in on the blind side. When he realised the danger his hasty backpass was too strong for keeper Alan Porter, who got a touch but could not stop the ball going just inside the post.

Consett soon picked themselves up, and with top scorer Alan Dodsworth troubling the Spennymoor defence with his pace they looked dangerous. However, they found goalkeeper Steve Rowell in top form when they did get through. He was at his best to touch a curving 25-yard shot from Kenny Walker for a corner.

Consett were producing the neater build-up, with Spennymoor relying on more direct play. But those tactics were also paying dividends, and Kenny Banks volleyed over the top with Porter stranded.

Spennymoor led by the only goal at the break, but the second half exploded into action in a five-minute spell when the Moors scored twice through full-back Geoff Simpson, the first coming in the 65th minute. David Curry’s header was tipped over the bar by Porter and, from the resulting corner, Simpson got in a header which beat Porter. Although Richardson headed off the line, the linesman was right on the spot to signal that the ball had crossed the line before it was cleared.

Five minutes later Spennymoor went further ahead when Simpson beat Porter at the near post to a chipped free-kick from Reilly and glanced his header home to make it 3-0 and kill the game.

Afterwards Consett secretary Alan Shearer blamed Sunday soccer for his club’s defeat, causing key players to be missing through injury. That said, Spennymoor had been on a 22-game unbeaten run in the league which stretched all the way back to early November, and were without doubt the stronger finishers.

It was to be another 32 years before Consett were to get as close to winning the Northern League, and that first title still remains elusive.

  • No one connected with the club can ever remember seeing a programme for this game. Can anyone say definitively if such a thing exists – or even a teamsheet?

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.