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.