A much-changed Consett side suffered a cup knockout for the second time in four days, losing 3-0 at home to Shildon in the Frank Pattison Durham Challenge Cup.
The Steelmen’s starting XI for the 2nd Round tie showed seven changes from the side which took to the field against Wythenshawe Town in the FA Vase at the weekend.
They were without skipper Arjun Purewal, top scorer Dale Pearson and utility man James Martin through injury, while Kyle Hayes, Jermaine Metz, Luke Carr and Colin Larkin dropped to the bench.
That meant starts for Ross Coombe, Lewis Green, Nick Cassidy, Nick Allen, Ross Wilkinson, Stephen Callen and Dan Marriott, with Darren Holden, Calvin Smith, Matty Slocombe and captain-for-the-night Jake Orrell the only survivors from Saturday.
It was Wilkinson’s first start since the opening day of the season, Callen’s first since he was injured against North Shields in October, and Green’s first since rejoining the club in November.
Consett were also without Carl Lawson (covid), Ryan King (injured), Scott Heslop (cup tied) and Charlie Exley (long-term injury), so their side had a bit of a makeshift look about it, but any thoughts that the visitors might field a weakened side were quickly dispelled.
Shildon, who now play in the Northern Premier League Division One East, a level above their hosts, fielded a strong starting XI, including two Consett old boys in Danny Craggs and Michael Sweet.
Consett started brightly, and had two early chances. In the first minute Smith got on the end of a Holden cross but hit his close-range shot wide, then on seven minutes Smith’s pass sent Callen clear, but keeper Matty Bateman foiled his attempted lob.
Shildon saw Sweet put a header over the bar and then work hard to keep the ball in play before sending over a cross for Craggs, whose effort brought an excellent save from Coombe in the 19th minute.
But the keeper could do little to stop Shildon’s first goal two minutes later, as Billy Greulich-Smith, so often a thorn in Consett’s side, heading home Kurt Matthews’ cross from the right.
Coombe denied Chay Liddle, who hit a good effort from distance, but again he was powerless to stop Shildon doubling their lead in the 33rd minute, marauding right-back Aidan Heywood curling a shot into the corner from outside the box.
Five minutes before half-time Consett fashioned a decent chance after good work by Slocombe and Callen, but Smith’s shot from just inside the box was too high to test keeper Bateman.
Half-time: Consett 0 Shildon 2
Trailing by two goals, Consett knew they faced an uphill struggle in the second half, but again had a couple of early chances to reduce the deficit.
Two minutes in, Callen’s shot was saved by Bateman at his near post, and then Wilkinson’s flick from Orrell’s left-wing free-kick flashed just past the far post, with no one able to apply a finishing touch.
But it was game, set and match to the visitors on 57 minutes when Michael Sweet made it 3-0, slotting home a penalty after Allen had tripped Heywood just inside in the box.
Consett made a double substitution, bringing on Larkin and Metz for Callen and Allen, and to their credit kept trying to find a way through the visitors’ defence, which was superbly marshalled by Alex White.
Slocombe had a well-struck drive saved by the keeper and put a header just wide from Orrell’s corner as Consett sought a consolation goal.
Craggs was desperate for a goal against his old club, but his night ended in disappointment when he limped off after being caught by ex-teammate Holden with a tackle that earned the Consett left-back the only yellow card of the game.
Shildon saw out the game comfortably in front on an impressive crowd of 354 to advance to the last eight of the county cup, which they last won in 2019. Consett were left to nurse their bruised pride and hope some of their walking wounded are fit for a big game on Saturday at Newton Aycliffe.
|18/01/2022||7:30 pm||Durham Challenge Cup||2021-22|