Consett showed tremendous fighting spirit to come from behind three times and then snatch a last-gasp winner to give them a 4-3 victory at high-flying Newton Aycliffe.
They went behind inside the first minute to their third-placed hosts, levelled three times and missed a penalty before securing the points with a stunning Dale Pearson strike in the 95th minute at the Beaumont Landscapes Stadium.
Even by Consett standards, it was a rollercoaster of a game. They fell behind with just 24 seconds on the clock when they lost possession in their own half, and Ben Reay played in Adam Burnicle, who gave the home side the perfect start.
The striker, who has a short spell as a Steelman a few years ago, had the opportunity to double Aycliffe’s lead two minutes later with almost a carbon copy of his goal, but this time he curled his effort beyond Kyle Hayes’ post.
It was a miss that would come back to haunt the home side on six minutes, as the scores were levelled when Nick Allen slid a pass through to Dale Pearson, who kept his composure to fire home from 12 yards for his third goal in two games.
The goal sparked the away side into life, and Matty Cornish stung the palms of home keeper Adam Pickford in the 12th minute, before the keeper produced a stunning save to deny Luke Carr’s goalbound effort from Jermaine Metz’s pullback.
Despite Consett looking more threatening it was Aycliffe who regained the lead in the 25th minute when Jake Petitjean scored from the penalty spot after Allen tripped Aaron Brown in the area.
Four minutes later it was all-square again when Calvin Smith’s pass was flicked on by Matty Cornish, and Luke Carr took advantage of indecision in the home defence to prod the ball home. Aycliffe had Pickford to thank again for keeping the scores level three minutes before the break as he got down superbly to push Cornish’s low strike around the post.
Half-time: Newton Aycliffe 2 Consett 2
Carr saw his effort from range fizz narrowly wide of the post early in the second half as both teams picked up where they left off in the first. But Aycliffe took the lead for the third time on 57 minutes when Petitjean won the ball in the middle of the pitch and fed it to Reay, whose pass between two defenders gave Adam Burnicle the chance to finish through Hayes’s legs for 3-2.
On 65 minutes Consett had a golden opportunity to level for the third time when Pearson was sandwiched between two defenders as he homed in on goal and the referee awarded a penalty. Luke Carr tried a ‘Panenka’ chip from the penalty spot, but to his horror the ball sailed a foot over the bar.
The penalty still came at a cost to Aycliffe, however, as keeper Pickford appeared to injury himself diving. He tried to play on, but was forced off 10 minutes later after racing off his line to clear from Cornish.
With no spare keeper on the bench, Aycliffe were forced to put outfield player Marc Costello in goal, and in the 85th minute it was 3-3, as Consett sub Ali Alshabeeb, who’d only been on the pitch two minutes, got on the end of Metz’s flick-on from Arjun Purewal’s long ball to stab home the equaliser.
The lively Alshabeeb continued to cause problems as Consett went in search of a winner, but Aycliffe almost claimed all three points in the first of six added minutes. Liam Jarvie’s effort was blocked and the ball fell kindly for Ben Dibb-Fuller, whose shot trickled agonisingly past the post with the keeper rooted.
The final drama was yet to come, and Consett got the win their overall display deserved in the 95th minute, when Alshabeeb’s ball to the back post found Dale Pearson, who smashed home the winner from an acute angle. It completed a stunning turnaround on an evening which was a superb advert for the Northern League.
|27/10/2020||7:45 pm||Northern League Division One||2020-21|