Consett slumped to their third defeat in their last four games at the hands of the division’s most in-form side.
Long Eaton United had won their last five games, and made it six in a row with a convincing win at a chilly Belle View.
Manager Tony Fawcett was again without a host of players, even though he welcomed back Ross Coombe, Josh Baggs and Jake Orrell.
With Mark Foden joining Calvin Smith and Matty Slocombe on the sidelines through suspension, and Charlie Exley added to a long-term injury list which already included Kieren Aplin, Zak Atkinson, Karl Byrne and Mark McLeod, the Steelmen were again missing eight players.
This meant places on the bench for two new signings, the unattached Henry Dorward, who has previously played for Whitley Bay and Sunderland RCA, and Nathan Lawrence, who’s rejoined Consett for a third spell from RCA.
The visitors started well, and their top scorer Jamie Walker had a chance to put them ahead on three minutes after beating the offside trap, but was denied by a fine double save by Coombe.
On-loan Blyth Spartans midfielder Danny Barlow almost gave Consett the lead on seven minutes when Jake Orrell’s pass sent him through on goal, but Sam Wilson saved at his feet, pictured top.
A minute later the keeper denied Barlow again when he cut in from the right and fired goalwards, saving down low at his near post.
Long Eaton took the lead on 10 minutes when wing-back Ashaiah Fearon, on loan from Notts County, flicked the ball on for Tom Cursons, who ran through on goal, despite strong Consett appeals for handball, and slotted home.
Consett suffered a big blow on 18 minutes when Dan Capewell, one of their outstanding players this season, limped off with a hamstring injury.
The reshuffle which followed saw skipper Arjun Purewal move from left-back to centre-back, Adam Mitchell switch from midfield to left-back, and Dorward come into the middle for his debut.
On 21 minutes Long Eaton went close to doubling their lead when Fearon cut in from the right and got off a show which hit the outside of the post.
Seven minutes later they were awarded a free-kick 22 yards out and Tom Marshall sent a curling effort not too far wide of the left-hand post.
Two minutes before the break Jake Orrell had a chance for Consett, but Wilson made a comfortable save down low, and right on half-time Mitchell’s cross from the left found Dorward, who couldn’t steer his header on target.
Half-time: Consett 0 Long Eaton United 1
Consett’s teenage striker Oscar Taylor had looked an isolated figure up front at times, so it was little surprise when Scott Fenwick, despite not being fully fit, came on for the second half in place of midfielder Daniel Smith.
Five minutes into the second half the Steelmen had a chance to level when excellent work by Orrell saw him get to the byline and set up Taylor, but the No 9’s flicked effort was blocked, as was Fenwick’s follow-up.
It was a bright start to the half, but on 58 minutes it was 2-0 to Long Eaton when Cursons drilled the ball across goal from the left for Alex Marshall to finish from close range.
Mitchell had a chance to score his first goal for the club just before the hour when he arrived late at the back post, but was leaning back as he struck his shot and it ballooned over the bar.
A few minutes later Dorward had a chance to make his mark when he was played in, but he shot straight at the keeper from 20 yards when he maybe had time to take a touch and get closer to goal.
Long Eaton were making plenty of half-chances, and sub Jack Rogers had a clear opportunity to increase their lead on 71 minutes, but screwed his effort wide.
Orrell was at the centre of most of Consett’s good moves, and on 75 minutes his cross picked out Fenwick, but the big striker was stretching to meet the ball, and headed just over the bar.
Three minutes later Long Eaton ended any faint hopes of a Consett comeback when they scored a third goal. The home side failed to deal with Larell King’s long throw, and Ashaiah Fearon lashed the ball into the roof of the net.
Consett’s response was to throw on another substitute, with Reserves captain Kieran Scott coming on for Taylor for his first-team debut.
And although Consett huffed and puffed, with the impressive Barlow firing into the side netting from 20 yards, they couldn’t muster a consolation goal to give the final scoreline a less brutal look.
What they did pick up was a last-minute yellow card for Ben Milburn, which takes him to 10 bookings for the season and a two-game suspension.
|Pitching In Northern Premier League Division One East