Depleted Consett slipped to a 2-0 home defeat against Northern Premier League high-flyers Hebburn Town in a close game at Belle View Stadium.
It was a game of few clear-cut chances, but the Hornets, who are second in the league, took theirs, while Consett were left to rue their misses.
Andy Coyles made two changes to his side from the midweek defeat at Worksop in the clubs’ first meeting since our FA Vase final clash at Wembley in May 2021.
Kieren Aplin returned at left-back against his old club in place of the suspended Karl Byrne, while Colin Larkin came in for the injured Matty Slocombe, with Jake Orrell taking the captain’s armband. With Evan Horwood also unavailable, the Steelmen’s resources were somewhat stretched, to the extent that they had three teenagers on the bench.
The opening exchanges were fairly even, and it was Consett who created the first chance after seven minutes, with Cyril Giraud hitting a low shot which was gathered easily by Hebburn keeper Shaun Newbrook.
On 20 minutes Aplin surged forward, playing a good one-two with ?, but again his shot lacked power and was an easy take for the visiting keeper.
On 25 minutes Zak Atkinson became the game’s first booking following an aerial challenge with Robbie Spence, and although the visitors claimed their man had been elbowed, the referee, who didn’t appear to have seen anything amiss, deemed a yellow card sufficient punishment.
There was a warning for Consett on 27 minutes when big striker Liam Henderson – one of four players Hebburn signed from NPL Premier Division club Morpeth in the summer – got the wrong side of Ben Milburn but dragged his shot wide.
But they failed to heed the warning and were made to pay for a defensive mix-up on 35 minutes. Keeper Ross Coombe spilled a cross, which was cleared at the expense of a corner. The resulting kick was swung in by Wayne Phillips, and Liam Henderson climbed highest to head home from close range for 1-0.
Spence then hooked an effort over after Henderson brought down Joe Walton’s cross, and Henderson pressed Lewis Green into an error before Olly Martin curled a shot into Coombe’s gloves.
There was a big penalty shout in first-half injury time when Hebburn claimed Henderson had been tripped inside the penalty area by Calvin Smith, but the referee waved away their appeals.
Half-time: Consett 0 Hebburn Town 1
Consett had a good opportunity to find the equaliser on 52 minutes as Aplin crossed to Atkinson, who nodded wide at the back post. At the other end, Phillips brought a good save from Coombe with a free kick from 20 yards out.
The next goal was vital, and Consett had a great chance to level on 57 minutes when Orrell’s cross from the left picked out Atkinson, but again the No 9’s header missed the target.
Consett were made to pay when Hebburn doubled their lead in the 67th minute. Amar Purewal flicked on a cross from the left, and Liam Henderson buried a half-volley beyond the reach of Consett keeper Ross Coombe.
The home side had a big chance to get back in the game on 76 minutes when Declan Bisset’s through ball put fellow sub Daniel Smith clean through, but the teenage midfielder – making his debut after signing from Northern League side Newcastle University – rolled his shot just wide, pictured top.
Hebburn had a couple of half-chances to add to the scoreline, both falling to Consett skipper Arjun Purewal’s twin brother Amar, but they didn’t take them and it finished 2-0 as the visitors saw out the game for their third away win in a row.
The three points meant they stayed second in the table behind leaders Stockton, who also won, while Consett remained 9th – the same position as after their midweek defeat.
ATTENDANCE: 680 (season’s best)
|22/10/2022||3:00 pm||Pitching In Northern Premier League Division One East||2022-23|