Consett continued their pre-season preparations with a resounding 5-0 win over Northern Counties East League Premier Division Silsden at a sodden Belle View.
The home side were three up at the break through a penalty from Zak Atkinson, a header from Arj Purewal and another pre-season goal from Wil Shaw. The win was secured in the second half with a further strike from Shaw and a first in Consett colours from Kaleb Young.
In truth the winning margin could have been larger, with Shaw spurning a chance to complete his hat-trick and Calvin Smith shooting over an open goal. In fairness to our visitors, they kept going throughout the game and at the other end Aaron Steavens made two excellent second-half saves to preserve the clean sheet.
The game started in wet conditions and it was Silsden who were first on the front foot. They had a half chance in only the second minute as Casey Stewart made good progress down the left flank, cutting inside his marker, only to see his shot hit the side netting.
That seemed to spur Consett into action and they were soon on the attack and dominating possession against a side who play at Step 5 of the non league pyramid – the equivalent of the Northern League 1st Division.
The Steelmen were rewarded in the 12th minute as new signing Jack Gibbons surged down the right and into the penalty area, only to be up-ended by Silsden centre back Jacob Smith. It’s unlikely we will see a more obvious penalty all season and Zak Atkinson stepped up to calmly slot it home, pictured below.
The lead could have been doubled on 19 minutes as Ben Ramsey saw a howitzer from 25 yards go inches wide, and three minutes later Gibbons went on another penetrating run, only to see his effort deflected narrowly over the bar.
A second goal seemed inevitable and it arrived on 27 minutes as a succession of corners finally saw Wil Shaw lift a well-weighted cross into the area which allowed Arj Purewal to head home from six yards, pictured below.
Four minutes later it was 3-0 as Atkinson flicked a ball into the path of Wil Shaw and the ex-South Moor FC man ran through on goal and finished low past the keeper.
Consett continued to apply almost relentless pressure to the visitors’ goal but there was no further score before half-time.
Half-time: Consett 3 Silsden 0
Unusually for a pre-season game, there was only one change made by either side at half-time, with Calvin Smith replacing Jake Orrell in the Consett engine room.
The half started in the same fashion as the first, with Silsden going close on 49 minutes through Jake Maltby, who hit a dipping effort from the edge of the area which Aaron Steavens had to dive full length to tip round the post.
The home side were soon back on the attack though and were almost gifted a goal on 51 minutes. A poor back pass gave Atkinson a good chance to claim his second of the match, but Kyle Trenerry stood up well to block his effort. The rebound fell kindly to Ramsey, who looked to have scored, only for Alex Laird to somehow get back and head the ball off the line.
A fourth goal did arrive on 64 minutes as Josh Baggs sent in a wonderful deep cross from the right which Wil Shaw managed to bundle home from close range – his fifth goal in five pre-season games, pictured top.
Silsden did threaten again with 12 minutes remaining, and Aaron Steavens had to make his second excellent save, diving to his right to beat away Stewart’s firm effort from 25 yards.
On 81 minutes a fifth goal for The Steelmen seemed a certainty as Calvin Smith expertly controlled a long pass and rounded keeper Trenerry, only to then shoot over the gaping goal from 16 yards – best to get these things out of the way in pre-season.
The fifth did arrive six minutes from time and it was a first goal in Consett colours for substitute Kaleb Young, who hit a powerful drive from all of 30 yards which proved too hot for the keeper to handle, with the ball going straight through his hands and into the net.
That was the end of the scoring, although there was a chance just before the final whistle for the tireless Shaw to register a hat-trick as he latched onto another excellent through ball from Baggs, but Trenerry stood up well and blocked the attempted chip.
CONSETT: 1 Aaron Steavens, 2 Josh Baggs, 3 Arjun Purewal, 4 Matty Slocombe (captain) (sub Kaleb Young 57), 5 Ben Milburn (sub Harvey Smith 57), 6 Dan Capewell, 7 Jack Gibbons, 8 Jake Orrell, 9 Zak Atkinson (sub Scott Fenwick 56), 10 Wil Shaw, 11 Ben Ramsey.
SILSDEN: 1 Kyle Trenerry, 2 T’Nique Fishley, 3 Lewis Gardner, 4 Jake Maltby, 5 Jacob Smith (sub Freddy Binns 52), 6 Alex Laird (sub Jacob Smith 77), 7 Casey Stewart, 8 Reece Powell (sub Jay Sheen 63), 9 Kayle Price, 10 Harry Thompson (captain)(sub Reece Powell 81), 11 Carlton Pownall (sub Joe Snowden 53).