On this day in our history: 16 April 2011 – battling Consett bring home a point from Shildon despite being down to the bare bones

A Consett side who were down to the absolute bare bones came away from Dean Street with a creditable point on this day in 2011 after a 1-1 draw with fourth-placed Shildon.

The Steelmen’s bench consisted of just three names – caretaker-manager David Hagan, coach David Robson and substitute goalkeeper Peter Jameson.

The starting XI also featured a couple of players who were desperately short of match practice: Michael Coulthard was starting just his third game of the season, and Lewis Teasdale his first since October.

Consett showed first when, on two minutes, Teasdale’s strike partner Marc Walton won possession just outside the Shildon area and worked a shooting chance for himself, but dragged his effort wide of the left-hand post.

At the other end, Richard Slaughter lost the ball midway inside his own half, and although visiting fans feared the worst when Daniel Moore let fly, his shot went well wide without troubling Barry Poskett.

On 18 minutes the home side went ahead, after Slaughter was deemed to have tripped Steven Johnson – one of two Consett old boys in the Shildon side – out wide on the left. From the resulting free-kick Moore picked out centre-half Justin Keegan‘s run through the crowd of players, and he powered a header past Poskett.

Justin Keegan heads past Barry Poskett to open the scoring. Pic: John Paul Hardy.

Walton had a chance to level midway through the half when he lined up a free-kick just outside the box after a foul on Teasdale, but while his effort was low and hard, it was straight at Shildon keeper Keith Finch.

There was an anxious moment for his opposite number on 26 minutes when Poskett raced out of his box to challenge Johnson over by the corner flag, and brought him down as the No9 wriggled past him. The incident had home fans howling for a red card, but the referee got it spot on, as there were two defenders covering in the middle.

On 27 minutes Consett’s day went from bad to worse. Already missing 12 players through injury and unavailability, they lost Jonjo Dickman, who tried to struggle on through an ankle knock, but could barely walk. The only realistic substitute was spare keeper Jameson, and he took up position on the right flank, with Danny Craggs tucking into the centre of midfield.

Peter Jameson provides some deep cover – on the goal line! Pic: John Paul Hardy.

Sonny Andrews was proving to be Shildon’s dangerman, with his pace troubling the Consett rearguard, and he went close with first a shot from the edge of the box after beating Graham Irving to a long ball, and then volleying over from a Jamie Harwood cross.

Danny Richmond went close with a 25-yarder when a corner was half-cleared, and a second goal for Shildon looked only a matter of time.

But Consett have shown remarkable resilience for much of the season, and did so again when Walton equalised with a fine goal on 41 minutes. He latched on to a ball out wide on the right, and produced an exquisite chip to beat the advancing Finch.

Consett striker Marc Walton makes it 1-1 with a delicate chip. Pic: John Paul Hardy.

There was one more close call when Moore beat the visitors’ offside trap, but he shot wide with only the keeper to beat, and Consett were content, and perhaps a little fortunate, to get to the interval all-square.

Half time: Shildon 1-1 Consett

Playing up the slope in the second half, with Teasdale and skipper Craig Robson on bookings, and no more subs to call on, Consett knew it was going to be a tough 45 minutes, and so it proved.

Apart from a couple of set-pieces early in the half, they rarely threatened, and found themselves on the back foot for much of the time.

Michael Coulthard heads clear as Consett defend for their lives. Pic: John Paul Hardy.

They almost found themselves trailing again when Poskett came to punch a cross and was beaten to the ball by Andrews, and he was glad to see the forward’s header clear the bar.

Baz then pulled off a crucial save, standing up well to Johnson as he burst through the middle, and beating away his shot, with Coulthard completing the tidying up.

A free-kick from the left by Shildon’s other ex-Steelman, David Gordon, then eluded everyone in the middle, and Poskett had to be alert to get a hand to it to stop it going straight in.

Craig Robson and Andrew Cuthbertson anchored the midfield, particularly after Jonjo Dickman went off injured after less than half an hour. Pic: John Paul Hardy.

A short corner routine between Lee Chapman and Johnson then set up the No9 for a good chance, and the visiting contingent were happy to see his shot veer away at the last second, as it looked top-corner-bound.

Midway through the half Poskett pulled off the save of the game, which gave his tiring team-mates the lift they needed to hang on. Substitute Chris Hughes found space down the right and crossed for Chapman, who looked a certain scorer. But Baz made himself big and pulled off an excellent save.

Shildon rang the changes, making two more substitutions as they forced Consett to defend deeper and deeper, but they were restricted to shots from distance which didn’t trouble Poskett.

Anthony Lund almost helped Consett snatch a late winner. Pic: John Paul Hardy.

Right at the death Consett almost pulled off a smash and grab when Jameson, who put in an excellent shift down the right, earned a corner. Anthony Lund’s flag-kick picked out Walton, but Finch got close enough to smother his header.

When the final whistle went moments later it was a shattered but jubilant Consett who, against all the odds, had taken a hard-earned point against one of the best sides they’d played all season.

Shildon: Finch, Harwood, Gordon, Price, Foster, Keegan, Andrews, Richmond (sub Hughes 64), S Johnson (sub A Johnson 79), Moore, Chapman (sub Garvie 73). Subs not used: Watson, Buzzeo
Consett: 1 Barry Poskett, 2 Richie Slaughter, 3 Anthony Lund, 4 Michael Coulthard, 5 Graham Irving, 6 Andrew Cuthbertson, 7 Danny Craggs, 8 Jonjo Dickman (sub Peter Jameson 28), 9 Marc Walton, 10 Lewis Teasdale, 11 Craig Robson. Subs not used: David Hagan, David Robson.

Gary Welford