Dale Pearson’s goal was enough to secure a 1-0 win over a dogged Sunderland RCA side at a blustery Belle View Stadium.
It was the big striker’s fifth goal in his last three games, and his 9th of the season, and lifted Consett to 4th in the Northern League 1st Division.
The first half was a tepid affair, ruined by a gusting wind, and it took 15 minutes before there was an incident of note. Luke Carr’s pass found Pearson, who seemed to be impeded as he tried to shoot from the edge of the box, but the referee saw nothing and waved play on.
Five minutes later Matty Cornish made a chance for himself after picking up a loose pass in the RCA half and running at their defence, but his left-footed shot went wide.
It was 25 minutes before either side had a shot on target, with Consett keeper Kyle Hayes denying RCA striker Stephen Callen at his near post. A minute later the visitors had another chance when the referee allowed what appeared to be a clear foul on Nick Allen to go unpunished, but Nathan O’Neill blazed his effort wide.
Good work by Cornish set up Pearson in the 27th minute, only for RCA keeper Robbie Dean to make an excellent reaction save. From the resulting corner he saved again from Arjun Purewal’s header, but the referee gave a goal kick.
Pearson fired wide from a corner and Carr’s shot fizzed just wide of the left-hand post after good approach play by Darren Holden and Pearson.
RCA, kicking into the stiff wind, were playing largely on the break, and they had a good chance three minutes before the break when James Fairley teed up Dylan Elliott for a shot, but the midfielder blazed wide.
Right on half-time Matty Slocombe hit a fierce effort from 20 yards which looked goalbound, but a deflection carried it just wide.
Half-time: Consett 0 Sunderland RCA 0
The second half saw Consett kicking into the wind, and Pearson had a good chance just a couple of minutes in after Jake Orrell’s pass beat the visitors’ offside trap, but he fired wide. Pearson then returned the favour for Orrell, whose well-struck effort was on target until a defender stuck his head in the way.
On 61 minutes Hayes made a fine save from James Fairley, then Luke Carr fired inches wide after good work down the right by Jermaine Metz as the game to’ed and fro’ed, with Consett creating most of the chances.
Pearson saw an effort deflected wide after a great pass by Darren Holden, and then RCA had their best spell of the game, with Hayes saving Anthony Callaghan’s free-kick and Ryan Leonard firing across the face of goal.
The lively Cornish had an excellent chance in the 70th minute when he beat two men as he cut in from the right and brought another fine save out of Dean at his near post.
The winning goal came in the 74th minute, when, after a spell of RCA pressure, Consett broke quickly and Carr’s pass sent Dale Pearson clear. This time he won the battle of wits with Dean, and finished from the edge of the box, pictured top.
The next 10 minutes saw the flow of the game interrupted by a flurry of substitutions, but Consett remained in control, with RCA scarcely threatening to grab an equaliser.
In fact the Steelmen’s winning margin could have been greater, but Slocombe fired one chance into the side netting in the 85th minute, and another narrowly wide two minutes into added time.
When the final whistle went there was little doubt that the best team had won, and Consett moved to within two points of second-placed North Shields.
|31/10/2020||3:00 pm||Northern League Division One||2020-21|