A tired-looking Consett side lost their Bank Holiday Monday derby 4-2 at Dunston as a third tough Northern Premier League game in seven days took its toll.
Despite scoring against the run of play to lead twice, the Steelmen were unable to raise their game against their closest geographical rivals after falling behind.
On a day when big centre-back Dan Capewell, pictured below, was keen to do well as he returned to his former club, ironically it was a Consett old boy, Jack Elliott, who the visitors found too hot to handle.
Playing at left wing-back, the one-time Steelman created three of Dunston’s goals, and generally tormented his former club all afternoon.
Consett made one change to the side which had beaten Carlton Town just 48 hours earlier, with Jake Orrell returning in place of Declan Bisset. As well as Elliott in their starting XI, Dunston had two more ex-Consett players on their bench, midfielder Michael Pearson and goalkeeper Dan Staples.
Dunston started the brighter, and had two decent chances in the first 10 minutes, with Sado Djalo heading over from Phil Turnbull’s corner, pictured top, and Michael Fowler testing keeper Ross Coombe with a low shot which lacked any real power.
Consett took the lead in the 14th minute with their first attack. Kieren Aplin took on his man down the left and hit an absolute cannonball of a shot from 20 yards, which crashed against the bar.
Zak Atkinson, following in as any good centre-forward should, was first to react, beating centre-back Jon Shaw to the loose ball to score with a diving header. It was the No 9’s third goal of the season, but his first from open play after two from the penalty spot.
Dunston continued to enjoy the lion’s share of possession, and Richard Coulson had a half-chance on the half-hour when he got a shot away from the edge of the box, but it was a simple save for Coombe.
But a minute later it was 1-1 when Elliott attacked down the left and crossed low and hard for Sado Djalo to prod the ball home at the front post.
Consett suffered a blow on 35 minutes when Aplin had to go off, with Dan Marriott replacing him, but three minutes later they were back in front.
This time Atkinson turned provider, closing down a backpass to keeper James Anderson, forcing a mistake, and teeing up Jake Orrell to curl in his third goal of the season from 20 yards.
It might have been a different game if Consett could have reached half-time with their lead intact, but Dunston’s reply was instant, with another Elliott cross finding former Blyth Spartans man Sado Djalo at the back post to make it 2-2 just a minute later.
Consett found themselves under the cosh for much of the first half, yet led twice, but the second 45 minutes was a different story, as they were penned in their own half for long periods, and struggled to create anything of note.
Jon Shaw struck one effort just wide on 50 minutes, Djalo hit another into the side netting on 52, Jake Jensen curled a shot just wide on 54 and Michael Fowler hit a rising shot over the bar on 63 as the home side turned up the pressure.
Consett brought on Mark McLeod for Calvin Smith in an attempt to stem the tide of attacks, and there was a close call when Matty Slocombe sliced a clearance from a Will Jenkins free-kick over his own crossbar.
Dunston went ahead for the first time in the game on 78 minutes when Elliott again attacked down the left and picked out sub Liam Thear, who’d only been on the pitch four minutes, to make it 3-2.
Consett made an attacking change, bringing on Cyril Giraud for Lewis Green, but it was the Tynesiders who got the decisive next goal to make sure of the three points in the 87th minute.
The visitors, who were trying to break out and force an equaliser, gave away possession deep inside their own half and South Shields loanee Will Jenkins took advantage to make it 4-2, firing across Coombe into the far corner from 10 yards.
There was no way back for Consett, who looked a very tired side at the end. Perhaps this was a game too far after their exertions in the hard-fought draw at Pontefract last Tuesday and the excellent win v Carlton Town on Saturday.
The good news is they’ve now got eight days to recover before their next game, which sees them travel to Shildon in the league on Tuesday 6 September, four days before making a return visit in the FA Trophy.
MATCH REPORT & PICTURES: GARY WELFORD
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