Consett AFC Chairman Frank Bell today paid tribute to the dedicated officials and volunteers who helped the club prepare for the FA Vase final at Wembley.
The delayed 2019-20 game against fellow Northern League club Hebburn Town was the biggest game in both clubs’ history.
Consett took the lead twice in the first half with goals from Ali Alshabeeb and Dale Pearson, but Hebburn levelled twice through Amar Purewal and Michael Richardson.
Both sides had chances in the second half, but the winner came from Hebburn substitute Olly Martin, who netted in the 84th minute.
Today, looking back on the historic cup run and the behind-closed-doors final, Frank said he’s disappointed at defeat, but proud the club has helped put Consett on the map.
“Everybody involved with the club – the management, coaching team and all the administrative staff and volunteers – played their part in preparing the way for the lads to go out and do their best. It was a great team effort, and everyone has done a superb job.
“I’d also like to thank our sponsors, who stuck by the club during what have been challenging times for many, and our suppliers, who turned things round at often very short notice, producing some quality products.
“I would like to say that as club chairman, I was incredibly proud of what everybody achieved yesterday – not just the players, but everybody associated with the club.
“It was a great game, and the lads showed on the pitch that we have a quality team which we have built over a period of time.
“We not only did the club proud, I think we also did the town proud. We couldn’t have any fans there, and the stadium was eerie without them. But they were with us in spirit, on the video we made which was played on the giant screen as the players warmed up.
“In the run-up to the final we received so many messages of support, and I was truly humbled at the number of people who turned up at Belle View Stadium on Sunday to see us off. Support like that makes a big difference, and we really appreciate it.
Time to push on
“Now we need to build on the platform that going to Wembley has given us. We’ll be looking to make improvements where they are needed during the close season, to help us push on.
“I want to go back to Wembley next season for another FA Vase final, and this time win it with our fans present. And I want to earn promotion by winning the Northern League.”