Consett had to settle for a point after a 1-1 draw at a sun-drenched Belle View against a dogged Whitley Bay side, despite making enough chances to win three games.
The Steelmen had new striker Dale Pearson making his debut up front, and after a quiet opening spell, he had the ball in the net on 15 minutes after running on to Jake Stafford’s great through ball, but was ruled offside.
That was the signal for the game to open up, and a minute later Whitley had their first chance, when a poor defensive header gave Bradley Hird an opportunity, which he blazed over from close range
Pearson combined well with his former Morpeth teammate Luke Carr on 17 minutes as Consett came forward again, but the vice-captain fired his 20-yarder just over the bar.
Consett were doing most of the attacking, so it was against the run of play that the Seahorses took the lead in the 28th minute. A great run down the left by James Martin saw him set up Adam Shanks to score from close range.
The Steelmen responded well, and left-back Darren Holden was just off target with a well-struck effort from 20 yards at the end of a good passing move. Then a Matty Slocombe effort from a half-cleared corner was deflected wide, and Carr fired a free-kick just over the bar.
After a much-needed drinks break amid the sweltering temperatures, Consett thought they had equalised in the 37th minute when Ross Wilkinson fired home against his old club after the keeper had saved Calvin Smith’s shot, but the big defender was flagged offside.
Carr dragged another shot just wide of the post as the home side continued to press, but Whitley remained a danger on the counter-attack, and Martin fired into the side netting in one raid as half-time approached.
Carr and Jermaine Metz had shots blocked as Consett piled on the pressure in added time, and Andrei –Vasile Ardelean had the best chance of the half after beating the offside trap, but rolled his shot inches wide of the post.
Half-time: Consett 0 Whitley Bay 1
The second half resumed where the first had left off, with Consett attacking, and, after surviving a handball shout at one end, Whitley almost grabbed a second goal at the other when sub Nathan Stephenson curled a free-kick just wide.
Whitley keeper Dan Lister made an outstanding save from Smith in the 62nd minute, flinging himself full-length to his left to palm away a well-struck drive, and then a huge goalmouth scramble ended with the visitors’ clean sheet somehow still intact.
Carr had a shot cleared off the line by Thomas Graham-Bage and put his follow-up over the bar as Consett pressed hard for an equaliser, and Lister denied Wilkinson and then substitute Joe Sloan from close range.
Just when supporters were beginning to think it might not be Consett’s day, they got the goal their dominace deserved in the 74th minute when Holden’s shot crashed back off the post, and Calvin Smith smashed home the rebound for his fourth goal of the season.
More chances came and went as Consett pushed for a winner; Carr twisted and turned on the edge of the box and fired inches past the post, and Sloan’s effort was deflected agonisingly wide after Wilkinson flicked on Holden’s long throw.
Captain Arjun Purewal headed wide from a corner after joining the assault, and sub Dan Hawkins drilled a shot the wrong side of the post from Sloan’s pass. But the visitors put their bodies on the line and somehow saw out six minutes of added time to take home a point.
MATCH REPORT & PICTURES: GARY WELFORD
CONSETT: 1 Kyle Hayes, 2 Jermaine Metz, 3 Darren Holden, 4 Matty Slocombe (sub Ali Alshabeeb 60), 5 Arjun Purewal (captain), 6 Ross Wilkinson, 7 Calvin Smith (sub Dan Hawkins 82), 8 Jake Stafford, 9 Andrei Ardelean (sub Joe Sloan 66), 10 Luke Carr, 11 Dale Pearson. Subs not used: Simon Jakab, Nick Allen.
WHITLEY BAY: 1 Daniel Lister, 2 Tom Bexton, 3 Luke Salmon, 4 Tom Bott, 5 Callum Anderson, 6 Tom Graham-Bage, 7 Craig McFarlane (captain), 8 Lewis Orrell, 9 Bradley Hird (sub Lee Kerr 75), 10 Adam Shanks (sub Nathan Stephenson 51), 11 James Martin (sub Sam Dinsley 53). Subs not used: Stephen Ramsey, Luke Taylor.
|Northern League Division One