stockton

Consett give leaders Stockton Town a fright but have to settle for a point after second-half comeback

Consett gave league leaders Stockton Town a fright at a soggy Belle View today – but had to settle for one point instead of three after giving away a two-goal lead in a 2-2 draw.

Tony Fawcett had to juggle his depleted pack yet again, and had three youngsters on the bench, but his side took the lead very much against the run of play on 22 minutes through Ben Ramsey.

Jake Orrell’s long pass split the visiting defence, and Ramsey, who had missed the previous four games through injury, lobbed the ball over the advancing goalkeeper.

Stockton continued to dominate, and Consett were grateful to top scorer Wil Shaw for a goal-line clearance from Tom Coulthard’s shot on 25 minutes as the visitors forced a series of corners.

On 41 minutes the Anchors went close again when their former Consett striker Michael Sweet headed wide from close range.

But two minutes later the home side doubled their lead as another Orrell pass sent Ben Ramsey in again, and he took advantage of indecision between keeper Nathan Harker and a defender to score his second goal of the game, and 12th of the season.

Consett reached half-time two goals to the good, and started the second half well, with Orrell seeing his free-kick saved and Shaw going close when Stockton failed to clear the rebound.

Stockton had a ‘goal’ disallowed a minute later for offside, then a fine save by Consett keeper Kelechi Chibueze foiled Kevin Hayes as the visitors stepped up the pressure.

Stockton made two substitutions in a bid to force their way back into the game, but it was Consett who threatened next, when Ramsey wriggled free of his marker to set up Shaw, who couldn’t keep his shot down.

It was a crucial miss, as Stockton found a way back into the game on 70 minutes. Consett failed to deal with a right-wing corner, and Michael Sweet forced the ball home from close range to make it 2-1.

Unfortunately for Consett, Dominic Curl, who’d been outstanding at left-back, was injured trying to prevent the goal, and the resulting reshuffle swung the game Stockton’s way.

On 75 minutes they got an equaliser when skipper Adam Nicholson powered home a back-post header from another corner.

Consett were hanging on as the game entered its closing stages, and had a huge let-off on 86 minutes when Stephen Thompson volleyed wide from close range when a goal seemed certain.

Dangerman Hayes had three chances to clinch the win for Stockton, but one shot went just over, a second clipped the top of the bar and a third was headed away as Consett dug in.

When the final whistle went a point apiece was probably a fair outcome, and although the result slightly dented Stockton’s promotion charge, Grimsby Borough’s 3-0 win at Cleethorpes Town meant Consett slipped a place to 10th, 11 points adrift of the play-off places, with five games to play.

  • Full match report, stats, picture gallery and videos to follow.

Gary Welford