A late goal from big centre-back Dan Capewell gave Consett a vital three points tonight as they beat West Auckland Town 1-0 to keep their hopes of a first-ever Northern League championship alive.
Recent stuttering form has left the Steelmen needing to win their last four games, and hope for at least one slip-up from title rivals North Shields, if they are to win the league and promotion.
And for much of the night it looked like their hopes might fade into the rolling fog which threatened to envelop Belle View Stadium.
West had the better of the first-half exchanges, and Consett had keeper Kyle Hayes to thank for keeping them in the game, after he made a couple of crucial saves.
He was the first keeper called into action in the 9th minute, when West were awarded a free-kick 25 yards out for a foul by Ross Wilkinson on Gary Brown, but saved Jordan Blinco’s effortcomfortably.
Four minutes he made an unbelievable point-blank stop from a header by Blinco, who is West’s top scorer this season with 28 goals, and Capewell cleared Liam Potter’s follow-up off the line.
On 16 minutes the visitors had the ball in the net following a corner, but the referee ruled out the ‘goal’ for a foul on hayes, and there were no complaints from West.
The visitors were well on top, and a minute later Hayes denied Blinco again, making a smart save low to his left, and when the West No 9 did get the ball past the Consett custodian in the 33rd minute, Capewell again cleared off the line.
In between, David Dowson, back at Belle View for the first time since leaving West, had a half chance when he latched onto a long ball, but West’s former Consett keeper Sam Guthrie was off his line quickly to deny him.
Consett’s skipper-for-the-night Matty Slocombe picked up the first booking of the game for an over-enthisiastic challenge on Liam Hegarty which left the West Auckland man requiring extensive treatment.
The home side’s best effort of the half came from James Martin, whose great strike from the edge of the box was tipped over by Guthrie.
Consett brought on Dan Marriott at half-time to give them more of an attacking threat, and he had the first effort three minutes in, but it was deflected wide.
Striker Scott Heslop, who displayed tremendous workrate all night, had a decent penalty claim turned down in the 50th minute, then, midway through the half, fired just over after turning his marker.
The all-important goal came in the 81st minute when Consett were awarded a free-kick out wide on the left. Jake Orrell arrowed the ball to the back post, where Dan Capewell ghosted in to volley home his fourth goal for the club, pictured top.
The lively Marriott looked like he might seal the win with a second goal in added time, but was thwarted by a superb tackle from West skipper Brown, who had to time the challenge to perfection, as he was already on a booking.
When the final whistle it was to big cheers of joy and relief from the Consett fans in the excellent midweek crowd of 453. North Shields’ games in hand might make them favourites, but Consett aren’t out of the title reckoning just yet.
|29/03/2022||7:30 pm||Northern League Division One||2021-22|