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.

Gary Welford