Consett will be in the hat for the 4th Round draw of this season’s FA Vase – but face a replay against Wythenshawe Town to secure their passage. The Steelmen and their hosts couldn’t be separated after two hours of football at Ericstan Park, drawing 1-1 after extra time. They weren’t at their best against dogged opponents from the North West Counties League Division One South, though both sides will feel they could have won the tie at the first attempt.
Terry Mitchell made one change to the side which had beaten Seaham Red Star in their last game, with Ross Wilkinson coming in for unavailable skipper Arjun Purewal. Luke Carr wore the captain’s amband.
The hosts had shown they were made of stern stuff by knocking out higher-ranked opponents Northwich Victoria in a replay in the previous round, after coming from four goals down to force a 5-5 draw in the first game.
They were straight on the attack in this game, and Consett keeper Kyle Hayes had to be on the alert to save from right-back Connor Brotherton inside the first minute, beating out his shot. The full-back was again involved in the sixth minute, creating a chance for Brad Byrne, who sliced his effort wide.
The first booking of a keenly-contested game arrived in the ninth minute, when Wythenshawe midfielder Lee Gregory flattened Ali Alshabeeb. He was to be the first of three home players booked for fouls on the tricky wide man.
Wythenshaw had started much the brighter side, and had another chance in the 14th minute, when a slick move saw centre-forward Liam Crellin-Myers in on goal, but he dragged his shot inches wide of the far post.
It took 21 minutes for Consett to create their first chance, when Jermaine Metz played a delightful one-two with Dale Pearson, but saw his shot well saved by keeper Callum Jakovlevs. The Steelmen were slowly growing into the game, and 10 minutes later Luke Carr’s curling shot looked destined for the top corner until it was headed away by Brotherton.
Right on half-time Wythenshawe’s Jack Timmons became the second player booked for a poor challenge on Alshabeeb, and the interval was reached with the game delicately poised.
Half-time: Wythenshawe Town 0 Consett 0
The home were straight back on the attack at the start of the second half, and Crellin-Myers hit a shot straight at Hayes. In the 52nd minute the keeper made his second important stop of the afternoon, parrying away Jerome Wright’s shot, with Dominic Smalley drilling the rebound inches wide. Four minutes later there was another chance as Jordan Burton went on a mazy run, beating three players, but dragged his effort well wide.
Just before the hour, some good work by Alshabeeb set up Carr, low drive was saved by Jakovlevs at his near post. From the resulting corner the keeper pulled off the save of the game, getting down superbly to his right to keep out Wilkinson’s towering header.
On 62 minutes the keeper was again called into action to save from Alshabeeb, and two minutes later the forward had the best chance of the game when he took the ball off a defender and was clean through on goal. He looked certain to score, but rolled his shot inches wide of the post.
It was Consett’s best spell of the game, but things swung dramatically in Wythenshawe’s favour in the 72nd minute when they were awarded a penalty. Hayes brought down Timmons in the box, earning himself a booking, and Brad Byrne converted the penalty to put the home side ahead.
Consett responded well, however, and six minutes later were level as Dale Pearson scored his 22nd goal in 22 games, heading in from close range, pictured, after Wouter Verstraaten had helped on Luke Carr’s cross.
The momentum was now with the Steelmen, and Carr shot wide from 20 yards and Allen had an effort well-saved by Jakovlevs as they pushed for a winner. On 85 minutes Pearson’s shot was saved by the keeper, who reacted furiously to the striker’s follow-up challenge. The reaction might have merited a red card, but instead the referee added both players to the growing collection of yellows.
Added time saw Callacher become the third player booked for a foul on Alshabeeb after he scythed him down from behind, and the free-kick which resulted saw Carr’s attempt on goal deflected wide for a corner. That was the last action of normal time, so extra time it was.
Calvin Smith fired a shot wide from 25 yards, while at the other end Hayes saved from Byrne in a goalmouth scramble, and substitute Andrei-Vasile Ardelean saw his shot saved by the keeper as the first half of extra time saw the sides squander more chances.
The second period produced nothing of note other than another booking for each side, taking the final card count to eight, so after two hours of battling cup football, they face doing it all again at Consett in a week’s time.
MATCH REPORT & PICTURES: GARY WELFORD
WYTHENSHAWE TOWN: 1 Callum Jakovlevs, 2 Connor Brotherton, 3 Jerome Wright, 4 Lee Gregory (sub Kial Callacher 88), 5 Michael Clarke, 6 Jan Palinkas, 7 Brad Byrne, 8 Dominic Smalley (captain), 9 Liam Crellin-Myers (sub Dean Warburton 66), 10 Jack Timmons, 11 Jordan Burton. Subs not used: Steven Yarwood, Mason Mostyn (GK).
14 Matthew Wilson and 17 Max Lewens also used but not sure who for
CONSETT: 1 Kyle Hayes, 2 Jermaine Metz, 3 Darren Holden, 4 Matty Slocombe (sub Wouter Verstraaten 69), 5 Nick Allen, 6 Ross Wilkinson, 7 Jake Orrell, 8 Calvin Smith, 9 Dale Pearson, 10 Luke Carr (captain), 11 Ali Alshabeeb (sub Andrei-Vasile Ardelean 95). Subs not used: Ethan Bridge (GK), Simon Jakab, Max Russell, Thomas McAloon, Michael Brown.