On this day in our history: 17 April 2010 – Consett’s 13th away win of the season relegates hosts Horden

Consett’s 13th away win of the season proved unlucky for their hosts on this day in 2010 as Horden CW were relegated after just one season in the Northern League 1st Division.

But although they ran out easy winners in the end, the Steelmen showed both sides of their Jekyll and Hyde character. Knocking the ball around confidently in the sunshine, they scored six goals, but conceded two soft ones to briefly give their young but plucky opponents some hope.

Manager Kenny Lindoe made just one change to the starting XI which had lost to Newcastle Benfield three days earlier, Andrew Burton coming in at full-back for Chris Scott, who dropped to the bench. Horden were without a win in their last 15 games, but had taken a point in a 2-2 draw at Belle Vue Park a few weeks earlier.

Here, they knew that even a win might not be enough to save them, as they again fielded a side largely made up of manager Brian Honour’s young students from East Durham College, with a couple of older heads thrown in.

And it was the home side, kicking down the slope, who showed first, with some slackness in the Consett defence almost punished in just the second minute. Adam Croft was allowed a free run on goal, but young keeper Sam Grieveson stood up well.

The visitors then took control, and it quickly became the Guy Bates show, as the ex-Newcastle man had three good chances in the next 10 minutes. First he headed tamely into the arms of Chris Rookes after a ball in from the right found him unmarked, then he forced the keeper into a save low at his near post, and finally he scuffed a shot past the far post, with the goalie beaten.

When the opening goal came on 13 minutes it was his strike partner Brian Dodsworth who opened the Horden defence up, crossing from the right for David Pounder to slot home from close range. Little else happened for the next half an hour, other than Scott coming on for Steven Huggins, who was clearly struggling with an injury, but the game burst into life just before half-time.

First Pounder was unlucky not to get his 50th goal for Consett when he took Scott’s cross first-time from near the left angle of the penalty box, shooting just over. Then, right on 45 minutes, Gary Ormston scored a contender for goal of the season when he made it 2-0 with a searing scissor-kick volley from Andrew Cuthbertson’s pass.

Andrew Burton clears under pressure from a Horden player. Pic: Gary Welford.

Bates, whose physical presence up front was troubling the Horden defence, then made it 3-0 deep into the six minutes of added time which referee Jackie Traynor conjured from somewhere. Pounder played a delightful one-two with Jonjo Dickman, but was stopped in his tracks as he looked certain to fire home his second of the afternoon. Dodsworth picked up the loose ball, and hammered a shot which Rookes kept out with a fine save, only for Bates to pounce for his first Consett goal.

The second half started how the first had ended, with Consett on the attack, and they should have added to their lead following some excellent hold-up play by Dodsworth, but Cuthbertson shanked his shot wide.

Twelve minutes into the half Consett pressed the self-destruct button, however, when a schoolboy error by Grieveson presented Jonathan Monaghan with an empty net to reduce the arrears. Five minutes later things got even worse when Consett again presented their opponents with the ball, and Croft was on hand to finish Daniel Reeves’ cross from six yards.

Horden’s keeper claims a high ball before Guy Bates can benefit. Pic: Gary Welford.

The goals seemed to act as a wake-up call for Consett, and, spurred on by captain Carl Piecha, they quickly regained their grip on the game. He and Bates both had shots blocked, Cuthbertson chipped an effort just over, and Pounder flashed a free-kick wide as they looked to extinguish the comeback.

The pressure finally told on 77 minutes when Paul Henderson-Reay, on as a sub for Dodsworth, crossed from the right, Piecha kept the ball alive in the crowded area, and Cuthbertson made it 4-2.

Henderson-Reay then saw the keeper save his low shot with his feet after he was played in by Bates as Consett broke quickly from defending a corner, and the big No 9 then set up Ormston for his second of the game with four minutes remaining. He surged into the box down the left after swapping passes with Pounder, and, even though he could have gone for goal himself, unselfishly squared for Ormston to finish from six yards.

This was our last league visit to Horden CW’s Welfare Park ground.

In the last minute Henderson-Reay got his first league goal for Consett, beating Ormston to Pounder’s left-wing cross to make it 6-2. Horden were down, Consett had their 13th away win of the season – a tally matched by only champions Spennymoor. Sadly their home form left much to be desire, and, after being runners-up in the previous two seasons, they finished a disappointing 10th.

Sadly, apart from a friendly a couple of seasons later which was abandoned due to a serious injury, this was to be our last visit to Welfare Park, as, after three years in the 2nd Division, they were relegated to the Wearside League, where they remain.

Consett: 1 Sam Grieveson, 2 Andrew Burton, 3 David Pounder, 4 Andrew Cuthbertson, 5 Graham Irving, 6 Carl Piecha (captain) 7 Jonjo Dickman (sub Gavin Parkin), 8 Steven Huggins (sub Chris Scott), 9 Guy Bates 10 Brian Dodsworth (sub Paul Henderson-Reay), 11 Gary Ormston.

Gary Welford