On this day in our history: 12 April 2014 – a single goal settles it on Consett’s last visit to Spennymoor

Consett were trying to halt the Spennymoor Town juggernaut on this day in 2014, on what turned out to be their last visit to the Brewery Field.

But the Steelmen were beaten by a first-half goal from Andrew Stephenson as Moors extended their unbeaten league run to 19 games to stay on course for the Northern League title and promotion to the Evo-stik League.

Manager Kenny Lindoe made two changes to the side which had drawn 0-0 with Dunston four days earlier, with Ryan Bell returning at right-back and Michael Mackay up front, with Mark Eccles and Luke Sullivan dropping out through injury.

Moors, whose last league defeat was in the opening Northern League game at our new Belle View Stadium back in November, were missing the likes of Gavin Cogdon and Kallum Griffiths, but still had a formidable side out, including future Steelman Kyle Hayes in goal.

The home side almost got off to a flying start in the first minute when Consett keeper Chris Elliott smashed a backpass straight at home centre-forward Liam Henderson, and could only watch relieved as the ball flew back past him, but spun wide of the post. On nine minutes, Stephenson picked out Henderson on the edge of the area, but his first-time shot fizzed past the far post.

Moors were doing all the pressing, and Andrew Johnson got away down the right and delivered a superb cross which flashed across the face of goal, before Lewis Dodds cut inside from the right and unleashed a shot that went narrowly wide.

Consett had their first strike on goal on 13 minutes, when Gilberto Chapim collected a pass from Aristote Guerin-Lokonga and struck a shot from 25 yards which keeper Hayes tipped over the crossbar.

Spennymoor keeper Kyle Hayes comes out to claim a cross. Pic: Gary Welford.

A nip and tuck period followed in which neither side gave any ground or created a chance worthy of the name, and when the next opportunity came in the 32nd minute, it turned out to be the winner.

Stephen Capper advanced down the left and slipped the ball inside to Henderson, whose superb flick played in Johnson. He rounded Elliott and fired in a left-footed shot which was finished at the back post by Stephenson.

The Steelmen responded well, and were unlucky not to go in level after a good few minutes before the break. First, however, referee Tony Peart needed lengthy treatment after being pole-axed by a piledriver from Calvin Smith, though he somehow had the presence of mind to blow his whistle to stop the game on his way down!

Consett midfielder Calvin Smith KOs the referee. Pic: Gary Welford.

David Coulson rose well at the back post to meet a free-kick, but headed just wide under pressure, and then forced Hayes to drop the ball at another setpiece, but Aris Guerin-Lokonga and Matty Slocombe both had shots blocked by some resolute defending.

Spennymoor made a change at half-time, with Wayne Phillips replacing Anthony Peacock. He was quickly involved, whipping over a delightful centre which Stephenson headed wide. On 54 minutes, Elliott pulled off the save of the match when he went full stretch to claw Keith Graydon’s 22-yard free-kick away from the top corner.

Consett keeper Chris Elliott saves Keith Graydon’s free-kick. Pic: Gary Welford.

Henderson headed over from the resulting corner, and then Moors top scorer Henderson was denied by a last-ditch Bell challenge, which deflected his shot onto the roof of the net. On 71 minutes Consett had their best chance of the half as the half-fit Mackay met Andrew Cuthbertson’s right-wing cross, but couldn’t keep his header down.

Moors went in search of a killer second, but couldn’t find it, even with the introduction of fresh forwards Sonny Andrews and Dan Taylor, and despite Consett’s loss of skipper Carl Piecha, who limped off after suffering a recurrence of a recent ankle injury. Andrews went the closest as he raced down the right and flashed over a teasing cross which Elliott and Slocombe somehow managed to clear for a corner.

Consett had one last half-chance when Smith’s free-kick from the left reached Coulson, but he was unsighted, and couldn’t steer his header on target.

Consett defender David Coulson gets up highest to win this header. Pic: Gary Welford.

It was a disappointing end to a game strangely lacking in clear-cut chances, given that the league’s two top-scoring sides were in opposition. For Spennymoor it was another win ground out on their way to a fourth Northern League title in five years.

For Consett it was a disappointing end to their away fixtures in a lop-sided season, which ended with three successive home games, and an 11th place finish. The 110 goals scored was our club record for the Northern League 1st Division, though the ‘goals against’ column prevented us mounting a genuine title challenge.

Spennymoor: 1 Kyle Hayes, 2 Joe Walton, 3 Chris Mason (captain), 4 Lewis Dodds, 5 Dan Groves, 6 Stephen Capper, 7 Andrew Stephenson, 8 Keith Graydon, 9 Liam Henderson (sub Dan Taylor 85), 10 Andrew Johnson (sub Sonny Andrews 77), 11 Anthony Peacock (sub Wayne Phillips 46). Subs not used: Daniel Dillon, Michael Laws.
Consett: 1 Chris Elliott, 2 Ryan Bell, 3 David Brown, 4 Calvin Smith, 5 David Coulson, 6 Carl Piecha (captain) (sub Tony Coe 79), 7 Andrew Cuthbertson, 8 Gilberto Chapim, 9 Aris Guerin-Lokonga, 10 Michael Mackay (sub Scott Canham 85), 11 Matty Slocombe. Subs not used: Michael Pearson, Dan Regan, Luke Sullivan.

Gary Welford