Less than 24 hours after being toppled as Northern League leaders, Consett returned to the top spot after a 4-0 win over Penrith at Belle View Stadium.
West Auckland knocked the Steelmen off the top for the first time in two months with their 3-2 victory over Redcar Athletic on Friday night.
But Terry Mitchell’s side, who have had a little wobble in recent games, responded with a much-improved performance against their Cumbrian visitors to reclaim their place as Division One leaders.
There were six changes to the side which drew 1-1 at Billingham in midweek, with James Martin, Nick Allen, Matty Slocombe, Calvin Smith, Luke Carr and Carl Lawson coming into the starting XI.
Consett started brightly, and had their first chance after just two minutes, when Lawson was brought down just outside the box and Carr hit the resulting free-kick straight at the keeper.
Carr had a shot blocked by a defender and then set up Colin Larkin, whose 20-yarder was deflected for a corner as the Steelmen pushed for an early goal.
But it was their keeper who was the first called into serious action on 13 minutes when a poor backpass conceded possession in a dangerous area, and Kyle Hayes had to be quick off his line to deny Penrith player-manager Chris Humphrey.
On 20 minutes Penrith had another good chance when Humphrey set up Jamie Armstrong with a great pass, but he struck his effort wide of the left-hand post when he should have at least have worked the keeper.
Consett heeded the warnings, and took the lead on 24 minutes with a lovely goal. Matty Slocombe threaded a superb pass into the path of Jermaine Metz, who crossed hard and low for James Martin to finish from close range at the back post.
Three minutes later Martin almost turned provider for Larkin, nodding Smith’s cross into his path, but Penrith keeper Aaran Taylor just beat the No 9 to it.
On the half-hour a wonderful crossfield ball by Carr picked out Smith coming in at the back post, and his venomous volley flew just wide of the post.
On 36 minutes Consett did double their advantage Carl Lawson’s shot from 20 yards took a touch off Colin Larkin, to take it beyond the reach of Taylor. It was the veteran striker’s fourth goal in his last five starts, and his sixth of the season.
Taylor did well to deny Metz as he ran on to Carr’s pass, and Larkin was off target with an ambitious overhead kick, but Consett ended the half well in control.
Half-time: Consett 2 Penrith 0
To Penrith’s credit they came out determined to make a game of it, and Consett were grateful to Hayes for two good saves in the first 10 minutes as the visitors enjoyed their best spell of the game.
First he denied Humphrey again, after the former Jamaican international got in behind the home defence, and then he kept the ball out in a frantic goalmouth scramble as it bobbled around the six-yard box.
A goal would have given Penrith a lifeline, and the importance of the saves was underlined on 57 minutes, when Consett made it 3-0. Martin’s long ball out of defence sent Luke Carr running through on goal, and he kept his composure to finish superbly from just inside the box.
With the game won, Consett could afford to give some of their squad a run out, and Dan Marriott, Callum Guy and Darren Holden entered the fray, determined to show what they could do.
Two of the subs, Holden and Guy, combined in an excellent move, but Penrith keeper Taylor read the latter’s intentions, and thwarted him at the expense of a corner. Then Marriott and Smith did well to set up Lawson, but his shot, although on target, lacked power.
Smith’s pass then saw Holden set up Martin with a delightful reverse pass, but the full-back scuffed his shot across goal without troubling the keeper. Another goal looked on the cards, and Guy almost got it two minutes from the end, when Marriott’s cross picked him out at the back post, but his header from six yards hit a retreating defender and went for a corner.
Consett were not to be denied, however, and in the final minute Callum Guy got his goal, sending a dipping right-footed shot into the far corner after Slocombe’s pass found him on the right side of the box.
|30/10/2021||3:00 pm||Northern League Division One||2021-22|