Consett recorded an excellent Northern Premier League win against Carlton Town, who headed home from Belle View Stadium on the wrong end of a 5-0 drubbing.
The visitors from Nottinghamshire finished sixth in the NPL Division One Midlands last season before being switched by the FA to the East division in the summer.
They must have wished they’d stayed there after coming up against a Consett team who are really starting to find their feet in their new surroundings.
Manager Andy Coyles made two changes to the team which picked up a hard-fought away point in a real battle at Pontefract Collieries in midweek, with Lewis Green coming into midfield for Mark McLeod, and Declan Bisset replacing Jake Orrell.
Consett had the first chance after six minutes when Karl Byrne’s cross found Kieren Aplin at the back post, but he couldn’t keep his effort down and blazed over the bar. Carlton’s first opportunity saw Nathan Watson take the ball down neatly on his chest, but hook his shot over.
After fairly even opening exchanges it was Consett who drew first blood in the 20th minute when Lewis Green set the Steelmen on their way with a crisp volleyed finish, pictured below, from Darren Holden’s excellent left-wing cross.
Carlton’s response was good, and Consett keeper Ross Coombe was called into action for the first time on 23 minutes, saving well with his feet from No 9 Bradley Wells at his near post.
A minute later Consett threatened again at the other end, and it took a fine save from Carlton keeper Michael Emery at point-blank range to deny Zak Atkinson as he got on the end of Aplin’s free-kick.
Consett didn’t have to wait long to double their lead, however, and on 26 minutes Byrne’s pass sent Kieren Aplin running through, and despite the attentions of a defender he finished from 15 yards to make it 2-0, pictured below.
Carlton again replied immediately, with a free-kick by Watson taking a deflection off the wall falling to Johnanthon White, but Coombe did enough to force the visiting player to shoot wide.
As half-time approached Consett had two more good chances to increase their lead. On 37 minutes Byrne curled an effort just wide with his left foot from 30 yards after latching on to Atkinson’s flick-on from Coombe’s kick.
And five minutes before the break Bisset played in Holden, whose shot was superbly saved by the keeper’s outstretched foot when the Consett No 3 looked odds-on to score.
Half-time: Consett 2 Carlton Town 0
Carlton made a double substitution at the interval in a bid to get back into the game, and the first 15 minutes of the second half was their best spell of the game. Aplin and skipper Matty Slocombe were both booked for Consett, but it was Consett who nearly added to the scoreline when a quick break by Aplin saw him feed Atkinson, but Emery was quick off his line to deny him.
Coombe made an important save in the 57th minute, plunging won low at his near post to deny visiting skipper Watson and deny the Millers a lifeline back into the game. Then there was a big penalty appeal after a goalmouth scramble in the home box, but nothing was given.
Four minutes later the points were as good as Consett’s when Carlton left-back Niall Hylton handled a goalbound shot on the line and was shown a straight red card. The penalty was neatly tucked away by striker Zak Atkinson, pictured below, who again led the line superbly, never giving the visiting defence a moment’s rest.
The impetus was now firmly with Consett, and Cyril Giraud, on as a sub for Aplin, almost made it four as he beat the keeper, only to see a defender get back and clear off the line. Holden fired wide and Calvin Smith fired a free-kick over as Consett sought to take advantage of their extra man.
Most teams would have been happy with three goals, but not this Consett side. On 88 minutes Declan Bisset scored his first goal for the club to make it 4-0, with a neat finish, pictured below, from sub Dan Marriott’s pass.
And in the last minute of stoppage time the outstanding Lewis Green made it 5-0, slotting home a precision finish into the bottom corner, pictured below, from another Marriott set up.
It was an excellent win, which could have been even more emphatic, and made it four games without defeat for Consett in the Northern Premier League.
MATCH REPORT & PICTURES: GARY WELFORD
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