Two-goal Ardelean leads the way as Consett hammer highly-fancied Whickham 5-0

An outstanding team performance saw Consett hammer highly-fancied Whickham 5-0 at a stormy Belle View tonight – and it could have been more as they played the big-spending visitors off the park.

After playing well in spells in previous gamesm, and being frustrated by Whitley Bay’s rearguard action at the weekend, everything clicked into place for the Steelmen.

They had their first chance after just four minutes when Luke Carr’s pass sent Andrei-Vasile Ardelean through, but the striker’s shot was saved by keeper Adam Bartlett’s legs.

The No.9 came even closer in the 12th minute when Carr’s pass sent Darren Holden scampering down the left, and his hard, low cross picked out Ardelean, whose first-time effort came back off the bar.

Carr fired just over from the edge of the box and then fired a free-kick over the bar as the home side continued to take the game to their visitors, and new striker Dale Pearson had the ball in the net, but, in almost identical fashion to Saturday, was flagged offside by the linesman.

Dale Pearson was again denied his first Consett goal by a linesman’s flag. Pic: Gary Welford.

The 33rd minute saw another let-off for Whickham as Carr’s deep cross to the back post saw Ross Wilkinson come steaming in at the back post to head home, but again the linesman’s flag went up, seemingly for offside.

Ross Wilkinson headed home at the back post for Consett, but his ‘goal’ was disallowed. Pic: Gary Welford.

Ardelean had another chance in the 35th minute, but Bartlett saved well, and a minute later it seemed like the growing catalogue of misses might prove costly when, against the run of play, Whickham were awarded a penalty.

Holden was deemed to have pushed Scott Robson over in the box, and Carl Finnigan stepped up to take the kick, but blazed it wide.

The miss was to prove crucial, as in the 38th minute Consett got the breakthrough their dominance deserved. Holden got to the byline and pulled the ball back for Andrei-Vasile Ardelean, who beat the defender and keeper to the ball to slot home from close range.

Four minutes later it was 2-0 after a superb through ball by right-back Jermaine Metz picked out Jake Stafford’s run, and the midfielder kept his nerve to finish past Bartlett.

Jake Stafford celebrates making it 2-0 to Consett. Pic: Gary Welford.

Consett were well worth their 2-0 half-time lead, and within a minute of the restart it could have been three. Bartlett pulled off a fine double save, first from Ardelean after he was sent clear by Carr’s threaded pass, and then from Carr, who tried to curl the rebound into the corner.

The respiote was brief, however, as on 61 minutes Pearson’s flick-on played in Calvin Smith, who shrugged off his marker and curled the ball into the top corner to make it 3-0 with his fifth goal of the season.

Calvin Smith curls his shot past Whickham keeper Adam Bartlett to make it 3-0 to Consett. Pic: Gary Welford.

Finnigan and Tom Howard had chances for Whickham, both firing into the side netting, but on 67 minutes it was 4-0 as Pearson’s pass set Jermaine Metz flying down the wing, and he cut into the box and finished across Bartlett into the far corner to make it 4-0.

Right-back Jermaine Metz makes it Consett 4 Whickham 0. pic: Gary Welford.

Consett keeper Kyle Hayes had been a virtual spectator for much of the game, but made a superb fingertip save from Dale Burrell’s long-range strike in the 68th minute. He then made a routine save from Matty Pattison as Whickham at last showed their attacking teeth.

But it was Consett who looked more likely to score, and Bartlett saved from Holden as the home side continued to attack.

But there was nothing the keeper could do when Andrei-Vasile Ardelean grabbed his second goal of the game in the 82nd minute, sweeping home a right-wing cross from substitute Ali Alshabeeb to crown his best appearance so far in a Consett shirt.

Andrei-Vasile Ardelean gets his second goal of the evening to make it 5-0 to Consett. Pic: Gary Welford.

Consett could have made it six, but Holden’s shot was too close to Bartlett after good closing down by Alshabeeb in the 85th minute, and then he was denied by a linesman’s flag in added time after beating the keeper, with the ‘goal’ his performance deserved being chalked off for offside.

Darren Holden was denied a sixth goal for Consett by the third offside flag of the night. Pic: Gary Welford.

When the final whistle went, Consett were 5-0 winners after a sensational performance, which sets them up nicely for their next test – a trip to league leaders Hebburn Town on Saturday.

  • Full match report and more pictures to follow.

Gary Welford