Consett’s season got off to the worst possible start as they were dumped out of the FA Cup at the first stage after suffering a 4-1 defeat at Goole AFC, who play their football at step 5 – the level we have just been promoted from.
The home side play at the Victoria Pleasure Ground but there was little fun to be had for Consett, who were two down at the break following goals from Goole’s strike pair.
While Kieren Aplin provided some hope in an improved second half, scoring direct from a corner, defensive errors allowed the home side to secure the victory with two more goals.
Consett went into the game with a host of players unavailable through injury, illness or being away, so after a summer of great change, the starting line-up saw no fewer than seven players make their first competitive start for the club, while a further two followed from the bench.
The game kicked off with Consett clad in Goole’s away strip of red and black stripes, following a mix up with the kit, and it was a strangely subdued start, with both sides struggling to make any headway.
It wasn’t until the 15th minute that either keeper was involved in the game, when Jake Orrell tested home keeper Mateusz Zaniewski with a 20-yard free-kick, which he comfortably saved.
As the half wore on, Consett began to dominate possession but were struggling to do anything positive with it. There was a strong shout for a penalty on 28 minutes as Cyril Giraud was bundled over, but referee Vlad Mollov waved the appeals away.
Four minutes later Goole took the lead as Consett failed to deal with an in-swinging corner and centre forward Sam Cable finished from close range after a Goole player had won the initial header.
There was worse to come in the 39th minute as Consett keeper Mark Foden did well initially to race out of his area to intercept a dangerous ball over the top. However, he didn’t fully connect with his clearance and the ball fell to Nathan Perks on the halfway line, who showed great vision and poise to lob the ball into the unguarded net.
There was no further incident in the half and the home side went into the break two goals to the good without really creating a clear-cut chance.
Half-time: Goole 2 Consett 0
Consett were sent out for the second half early and it seemed to have the desired effect as they were unlucky not to pull one back on 55 minutes as Kieren Aplin delivered a beautiful cross from the left, which Zak Atkinson rose to meet at the far post, only to see keeper Zaniewski make a superb point-blank save, pictured below.
A double change followed that as Adam Mitchell and Lee Hume replaced Ben Milburn and Declan Bisset, with Calvin Smith dropping back into defence, and Consett continued to improve, with Mitchell in particular looking lively.
Their efforts were rewarded on 68 minutes as Kieren Aplin scored directly from a corner on the right – quite an achievement given home keeper Zaniewski stands at 6ft 7 in tall!
At this stage the visitors looked more likely to get the next goal, but disaster struck on 73 minutes as Foden looked to be in position to comfortably collect a cross, only to collide with a teammate, which caused him to drop the ball and allow Goole captain Josh Dacre to poke home from close range and restore the two-goal lead.
The Steelmen kept going and almost pulled one back in the 75th minute as Atkinson shot narrowly wide following industrious work from Giraud, but as they pushed forward gaps were starting to appear at the back, and on 80 minutes Foden spread himself superbly to deny Perks his second as he went clean through on goal.
The game really opened up at this point and substitute Hume saw a thunderous drive from just inside the area excellently turned away by Zaniewski on 80 minutes while Orrell saw an effort saved at point-blank range by the keeper’s outstretched hand.
There was one final chance for Consett to set up a grandstand finish as Atkinson ran onto a lovely through ball by Orrell, but Zaniewski was there again with another good save.
Any doubt about who would advance to the Preliminary Round was removed a minute from time and again the damage was self-inflicted, as Aplin lost possession on the left, and from the resulting cross substitute Luke Williams was on hand to chest in at the far post to make it 4-1.
Despite six minutes of extra time, the home side saw the game out comfortably in front of the crowd of 177 and advanced to the next round to face Carlisle City, who unexpectedly 2-1 won at West Auckland.
For Consett, it will be a case of regrouping and focusing on their new life in the Northern Premier League, for this was certainly an afternoon to forget.
MATCH REPORT: ANDY BALL
PICTURES: KENNY TAYLOR
|06/08/2022||3:00 pm||FA Cup||2022-23|