Consett were involved in a rollercoaster ride of a game at Gateshead in the Durham Challenge Cup, before running out 5-4 winners to claim a place in the 2nd Round. Manager Terry Mitchell made three changes to the side which had won at Shildon at the weekend, with Simon Jakab, Dan Hawkins and Andrei-Vasile Ardelean coming in for Nick Allen, Luke Carr and Ali Alshabeeb.
The Steelmen fell behind early on, turned the game on its head with four goals in six minutes, and seemed to be home and dry when Dale Pearson completed his first hat-trick for the club to make it 5-1 early in the second half. But Gateshead, whose side contained five first teamers, staged a superb recovery to get the score back to 5-4, and Consett had to defend for their lives in the closing stages to secure their passage to the 2nd Round.
Pearson had an early chance saved by ex-Steelman Sam Guthrie in the Gateshead goal, but it was the Tynesiders who opened the scoring at the International Stadium when Consett gave the ball away cheaply in the 9th minute, and No 9 Paul Blackett ran on to skipper Connor Oliver’s pass to finish into the corner.
On 11 minutes it was 1-1 as left-back Darren Holden burst into the box, and his shot had just enough on it to beat Guthrie and a defender’s last-ditch attempt to clear off the line.
A minute later the visitors were ahead as Dale Pearson took advantage of a collision between two home defenders to run through and slot past Guthrie for his 14th goal of the season.
The 13th minute was to prove unlucky for Gateshead too, as Jake Orrell chased Calvin Smith’s pass into the box, dispossessed a defender, and fired past Guthrie to make it 3-1.
Hayes had to be on the alert to save from Oliver in the 14th minute, parrying out his 25-yarder, and two minutes later the crowd of 211 was left blinking in disbelief when Consett went 4-1 up, after a stunning goal by Pearson. He received the ball from a long throw by Jermaine Metz, looked up, saw Guthrie off his line, and lobbed him from 25 yards.
Consett were rampant, and created chance after chance. Orrell’s pass saw Pearson beat the offside and race towards goal again, but was denied by a smart stop from Guthrie. Then a long ball over the top found Ardelean, who rolled his shot wide of the far post. Calvin Smith also brought a good save from Guthrie with a 20-yard free-kick, and Ollie Symons beat the lurking Ardelean to the rebound.
With the half only midway through, Consett were well on top, but after a nightmarish 15 minutes Gateshead managed to steady themselves, and even had a goal disallowed for offside in the 36th minute.
Minutes before the break Consett should have scored again when Hawkins cleverly headed down Pearson’s deep cross for Smith, but the midfielder’s point-blank header was somehow saved by Guthrie, and the rebound was scrambled away.
Half-time: Gateshead 1 Consett 4
The first chance of the second half fell to Consett five minutes in, as Hawkins’ pass sent Pearson clear down the right. He looked odds-on to complete his first hat-trick for the club, but shot straight at Guthrie. He was not to be denied, however, and in the 52nd minute it was 5-1 when superb work by Metz down the right saw him pick out Pearson, whose first-time shot completed his treble, and gave him his 16th Consett goal in his last 13 games.
Slocombe was looking for his forst goal of the season, and almost got it in the 54th minute when his 20-yarder was parried away by Guthrie, who was preventing the scoreline becoming a massacre. Then with the tie seemingly won, Consett took the opportunity to rest Pearson and Orrell ahead of the looming clash with league leaders Hebburn, replacing them with Alshabeeb and Michael Brown.
But the newcomers hadn’t had time to settle into the game when Gateshead reduced the arrears through Luke Brown in the 63rd minute, the ball bouncing in off the No 7 after Hayes had saved Blackett’s initial effort.
In the 72nd minute it was 5-3 when Jordan Preston played Blackett in, and the striker grabbed his second goal of the night. Gateshead sensed that Consett were tiring, and in the 84th minute Blackett completed his hat-trick to make it 5-4, and make the last few minutes edge-of-your-seat stuff.
Two minutes from time the Heed thought they should have had a penalty when Blackett went down under challenge from Ryan McKinnon, who was making his seasonal debut as a sub, but to Consett’s relief the referee waved away the claims, and the relieved Steelmen hung on to progress to the next round.
MATCH REPORT & PICTURES: GARY WELFORD
GATESHEAD: 1 Sam Guthrie, 2 Lewis Leech, 3 Carsen Creighton, 4 Ollie Symons, 5 Ryan Newton, 6 Elliott Forbes, 7 Luke Brown, 8 Connor Oliver (captain), 9 Paul Blackett, 10 James Chapman, 11 Jordan Preston. Subs not used: Josh Land, Kieran Hunter, Will Turnbull, Jordan Armstrong, Ryan Bolton.
CONSETT: 1 Kyle Hayes, 2 Jermaine Metz, 3 Darren Holden, 4 Matty Slocombe, 5 Arjun Purewal (captain) (sub Ryan McKinnon 72), 6 Simon Jakab, 7 Dan Hawkins, 8 Calvin Smith, 9 Dale Pearson (sub Ali Alshabeeb 55), 10 Jake Orrell (sub Michael Brown 59), 11 Andrei-Vasile Ardelean. Subs not used: Ross Wilkinson, Thomas McAloon.
|Durham Challenge Cup