Consett edged through to the FA Vase 3rd Round after a dramatic penalty shootout win at Thornaby.
Dale Pearson was the Steelmen’s hero, scoring the decisive kick to give them a 4-3 win after a 1-1 stalemate during the 90 minutes.
Terry Mitchell’s side also had to change goalkeepers at half-time and played the last 20 minutes with 10 men after Matty Slocombe was dismissed for a second yellow card.
Consett made three changes from the draw at Ashington seven days earlier, with Jermaine Metz returning at right-back in place of James Martin, Nick Allen in at centre-back for James Metcalfe, and Matty Slocombe returning in midfield for Callum Guy.
It was a game of few clear-cut chances, but it was Consett who had the first attempt on goal after 11 minutes, when Colin Larkin and Dale Pearson combined to set up Jake Orrell, whose shot curled round the defence, but also round the right-hand post.
On 14 minutes Thornaby had what they thought was a good penalty appeal turned down, as striker Craig Hutchinson went down under challenge from visiting skipper Arjun Purewal. The referee was having none of it.
Consett’s best moves came down the left, with full-back Olly Scott pushing forward well, while Thornaby were more direct, and they went ahead in the 3nd minute with their first attempt on goal.
A long diagonal ball from right-back Lee Moore found Cyril Giraud, who cut in from the left, beat his man and finished low past Kyle Hayes at his near post.
The goalkeeper should perhaps have done better with the shot, but he was at the centre of a scare six minutes before half-time when he was injured in an aerial challenge with Thornaby centre-back James Frazer, whose physical tussle with Pearson was a feature of the game.
Hayes was able to continue after extensive treatment, and his team responded well to going behind, levelling a minute before the break with the best move of the game.
It was started by Scott, and Pearson’s cross from the left picked out Colin Larkin‘s run perfectly for him to finish first-time from six yards, pictured below. It was the veteran striker’s eighth goal of the season.
The final chance of the half came in added time, when Calvin Smith tried an acrobatic volley when Orrell’s free-kick was charged down, but was just off target.
Half-time: Thornaby 1 Consett 1
Despite finishing the first half, Hayes was unable to continue, and Ross Coombe replaced him in goal for the second 45 minutes. But there was little change to the pattern of the game, with neither keeper having to make a save.
For Thornaby, Giraud hit a dangerous ball into the penalty area but was unable to find a team mate. He then tried an ambitious lob from 30 yards, which was comfortably taken by Coombe under the bar.
Consett had half-chances through Luke Carr, Pearson, Orrell and Pearson again, but none of them could find the target, or even test the keeper.
The tie seemed to swing Thornaby’s way on 71 minutes when Consett midfielder Matty Slocombe was sent off for a second yellow card, but the home side failed to trouble their 10-man opponents, and with no extra time in this season’s FA Vase, it meant straight to penalties.
The shootout got off to a dramatic start when Thornaby’s Hutchinson put his effort over the bar, and Metz saw his kick saved by Josh Mazfari.
Elliott Beddow, Giraud and Frazer scored Thornaby’s next three attempts, with Carr, Scott and Darren Holden doing likewise for Consett.
But when Thornaby missed their fifth kick, Consett suddenly had the advantage, and Dale Pearson held his nerve to fire home, and give the Steelmen a 4-3 win on pens.
MATCH REPORT & PICTURES: GARY WELFORD
|20/11/2021||3:00 pm||FA Vase||2021-22|