Dan Marriott’s first goal for the club gave Consett a 3-2 win over Crook Town today as the clubs met in a friendly intended to help get players match-fit before the Northern League restart.
And with 150 supporters allowed back into Belle View Stadium, a good crowd was able to see the young midfielder’s superbly-executed 40-yarder, pictured top, which was the difference between the two sides.
Consett manager Terry Mitchell used the game to give his full squad some minutes, with the exception of in-form striker Dale Pearson, who was rested ahead of next week’s FA Vase tie v West Auckland.
The Steelmen took the lead on 13 minutes when Darren Holden played the ball inside to Ali Alshabeeb, who found the far corner from the edge of the box with the help of a deflection.
Two minutes later Consett almost doubled their lead when a quick break saw Alshabeeb’s pass laid off by Carl Lawson to Luke Carr, whose low 20-yarder whizzed inches wide of the right-hand post. Lawson then tested the keeper after good work by Jermaine Metz and Alshabeeb.
Crook came more into the game as it progressed, and it took a headed goal-line clearance from Ross Wilkinson to keep the scores level on 29 minutes when David Webb lobbed the ball over the onrushing Kyle Hayes.
A minute later the amber and blacks were level when Corey Nicholson, who had a spell at Consett a few seasons ago, cut in from the right and his shot beat Kyle Hayes with the help of a huge deflection off Holden.
Crook were enjoying their best spell of the game, and almost took the lead in the 37th minute when new signing Ewan Forster found himsefl in on goal, but Hayes saved well with his legs. Then four minutes before half-time Consett had a let-off when Jamie Tumilty flicked out a boot at a left-wing cross, and the ball came back off the post.
But it was Consett who went in 2-1 ahead at the break when Luke Carr’s left-wing corner in added time produced a bit of a scramble in the penalty area, which was ended decisively by Calvin Smith firing home from 10 yards.
Consett rang the changes for the second half, making six substitutions, and two of the newcomers combined in the first minute of the half to almost increase their lead. A surging run by Matty Cornish ended with him pulling the ball back for Dan Marriott, whose shot brought a good save from Crook keeper Ronan Makepeace.
The Steelmen had another chance to extend their advantage in the 53rd minute. Cornish was again the provider, setting Alshabeeb through on goal, but he drilled his low effort into the side netting when he perhaps should have scored.
Teenage midfielder Dan Marriott has impressed every time he’s taken to the field, but is still waiting for his first start, and did his chances no harm at all when he scored what turned out to be the winning goal in the 54th minute.
Crook goalkeeper Makepeace rushed out of his area to beat Metz to a through ball, but his headed clearance only went as far as Marriott. The 19-year-old showed tremendous vision, confidence and technique to lob the ball into the empty net from about 40 yards – the sort of goal Calvin Smith has scored a few of over the years.
To Crook’s credit they responded well, and on 74 minutes they got a goal back when Joey Smith scored with a back-post header from a left-wing cross.
Consett had further chances in the closing stages through Nick Allen, Luke Carr and Matty Cornish, but couldn’t add to the scoreline, and an entertaining, well-contested game finished 3-2.
Consett: 1 Kyle Hayes, 2 Jermaine Metz, 3 Darren Holden (sub Nick Allen 46), 4 Calvin Smith (sub Matty Slocombe 46), 5 Simon Jakab (sub Arjun Purewal 46), 6 Ross Wilkinson (sub Simon Jakab 66), 7 Max Russell (sub Jake Orrell 46), 8 Lewis Green (sub Dan Marriott 46), 9 Carl Lawson (sub Matty Cornish 46), 10 Luke Carr (captain), 11 Ali Alshabeeb (sub Carl Lawson 75).
Crook Town: 1 Ronan Makepeace, 2 Harrison Scott, 3 Tom Gavin, 4 Harry Stansfield, 5 Dale Elgie, 6 Daniel Myers, 7 David Webb, 8 Lee Hume, 9 Jamie Tumilty, 10 Corey Nicholson, 11 Ewan Forster. Subs: Dale Eltringham, Jordan Fielding, Joe Hillerby, Joey Smith, Willian Alves Olimpio, Christian Holliday.