Consett returned to the top of Northern League Division One after a 2-0 win at near-neighbours Whickham which was much more convincing than the 2-0 scorelines suggests.
The result, and a surprise 1-0 defeat for Newton Aycliffe at Seaham Red Star, meant the Steelmen went top on goal difference.
Terry Mitchell’s side put in an excellent performance at the First Mortgage Glebe Sports Ground, where they’d won 3-2 in the FA Cup just 11 days earlier, despite being without six first-teamers through injury.
It meant a debut for one new signing, Oliver Scott, at left-back, while a second, midfielder James Martin, was on the bench.
Consett took the game to their hosts from the start, and created their first chance after nine minutes, when Jake Orrell played in Stephen Callen, but he scuffed his shot.
Whickham could count themselves lucky not to be reduced to 10 men on 19 minutes when Dale Pearson robbed centre-back Ben Milburn of possession.
The No 6 pulled him back, and was clearly last man, but the referee saw fit to punish him only with a yellow card instead of red. Luke Carr drilled the resulting free-kick into the defensive wall.
Two minutes later the lively Dan Marriott tried his luck from outside the box, and was unlucky to see his shot come back off the post, with the keeper beaten.
Consett took the lead on 23 minutes with a stunning strike from Calvin Smith, who let fly from 35 yards, with a slight deflection giving ex-Consett keeper Jack Norton no chance.
On 27 minutes Whickham had their first real chance as Zak Atkinson burst through, but Jermaine Metz got back to make a vital block.
This was Whickham’s best spell of the game, and five minutes later Jack Robson went on a dangerous run, which was halted by Consett striker Dale Pearson, tackling back on the edge of his own box.
On 36 minutes Pearson was involved at the other end, as Callen played him in, and though he rounded the keeper and got his shot away, Milbrun managed to clear, though Consett claimed the ball had crossed the line.
Right on half-time the industrious Carr created a chance out of nothing when he won a corner by charging down a clearance near halfway. The resulting corner fell to Callen at the back of the six-yard box, but his left-footed effort on the turn flew just wide.
Half-time: Whickham 0 Consett 1
Consett were forced to make a change for the second half when young centre-back James Metcalfe, who’d been excellent, was unable to continue after taking a blow to the head near the end of the first half.
Callum Guy replaced him, with Smith dropping into the back four, and the ex-Blyth midfielder had a chance almost immediately, but was flagged offside.
Consett were still creating most of the chances, and on 58 minutes Carr went on a surging run past three defenders before firing just over from a tight angle.
But on 63 minutes the Steelmen deservedly doubled their lead when Jermaine Metz played an excellent one-two with Guy, before slipping the ball past Norton. In doing so he became our 10th different goalscorer already this season.
Norton made a good save from Guy’s 25-yarder to prevent him making it three, and Pearson had another effort cleared off the line from a corner, which the away fans behind the goal were convinced should have been a goal.
Four minutes from time Consett brought on new boy Martin in place of Marriott, who had again put in an impressive display before seeming to twist his knee as he landed from an aerial challenge.
A minute later Consett had one last chance to give the scoreline a more realistic look when sub Ryan King’s pass left Guy with just the keeper to beat, but Norton made a good save.
When the final whistle went, the final score of 2-0 didn’t come close to summing up how dominant Consett were, as keeper Kyle Hayes didn’t have a serious save to make.
|17/08/2021||7:30 pm||Northern League Division One||2021-22|