Consett picked up another point away from home – but will feel frustrated at not taking all three against bottom club Tadcaster Albion.
The Steelmen welcomed back Calvin Smith, Matty Slocombe, pictured top, and Mark Foden from suspension, but had to settle for a draw on a night when defences were well and truly on top, with neither goalkeeper having a serious save to make.
And although another clean sheet – the fourth on their travels since he took over – will have pleased manager Tony Fawcett, he will be more concerned at his side’s failure to score for the fourth successive game.
The game kicked off in steady rain on an already-soaked pitch, and Tadcaster showed first, with lively forward Rafa Ferreira testing the recalled Foden from 20 yards, but the keeper saving comfortably.
After that, the next 20 minutes were even, with neither side creating anything resembling a goalscoring opportunity.
Consett had their first attempt on goal midway through the half, as Nathan Greenwood cut in from the left and tried his luck from the edge of the area, but it didn’t seriously trouble Josh Mazfari in the home goal.
A minute later Consett had another chance when they were awarded a free-kick 25 yards out, and although Danny Barlow hit the target, again it was a routine save for on-loan Huddersfield Town keeper Mazfari.
On 33 minutes Consett had their best chance of the half, as Jake Orrell swung over a corner and an almighty goalmouth scramble ensued, but again Mazfari emerged with the ball.
Another free-kick a couple of minutes later saw Smith try an overhead kick, but his marker was so close that the shot was smothered. Tadcaster made half-hearted appeals for a penalty when Theo Hudson fell over in the box, but nothing was given.
In a half of much huffing and puffing and very little quality, that was it, and it was no surprise that half-time was reached with the game scoreless.
Half-time: Tadcaster Albion 0 Consett 0
The second half began in much the same fashion, though there was bad news for Consett when centre-back Ben Milburn was booked for bundling hey to the ground 10 minutes in. It was his 10th yellow card of the season, triggering an immediate two-game suspension.
Tadcaster, needing points for their fight against relegation, stepped up their game after the break, and right-back Nathan Dyer wasn’t too far away with a drive which flashed just over the bar on 56 minutes.
Consett suffered another blow just before the hour when Orrell limped off, to be replaced by Oscar Taylor, and they were perhaps lucky not to be reduced to 10 men on 77 minutes when Slocombe was booked for an apparent elbow on Albion sub Scott Smith as they tangled in midfield.
As the game entered its closing stages it was all Tadcaster, and Dyer drilled a long-range effort wide. They went even closer on 81 minutes when Johnson found space at the far post, but fired wide.
A minute later Dyer fired across the face of goal, with no yellow shirts able to get a finishing touch, then Johnson scuffed a weak shot goalwards which Foden gathered easily.
Consett comfortably saw out the remainder of the game and four minutes of added time, without ever threatening the hosts’ goal themselves, and in truth it was a game which had 0-0 written all over it from a very early stage.
The result means the Steelmen remained 10th in the table, 10 points off the promotion mix and eight points clear of the relegation play-off zone.
Of Consett’s remaining nine games, six are against teams currently below them in the table, but next up is a tough trip to third-placed Hebburn Town.
MATCH REPORT: GARY WELFORD
|01/03/2023||7:45 pm||Pitching In Northern Premier League Division One East||2022-23|