Consett pushed league leaders Belper all the way at the Raygar Stadium today but came home with nothing to show for their efforts, after losing 2-1.
Despite being without the injured Matty Slocombe, suspended Ben Ramsey and unavailable Jake Orrell, they put in a good performance against hosts who were playing a division higher last season.
There was little to choose between the teams in a first half of very few chances, and it was no surprise when the game remained goalless at half-time.
The second half saw Consett take the game to their opponents, and they were rewarded when they took the lead in the 61st minute, when Kaleb Young threaded a pass through to Wil Shaw, who finished from 10 yards, pictured below.
Belper centre-back Kieran Walker spent the afternoon launching enormous throw-ins into the Consett box, but the visiting defence coped with everything that was thrown at them.
That all changed in the 74th minute, when the Steelmen’s defence failed to deal with the threat for only the second time in the game, and Kevin Bastos, the league’s top scorer, nipped in to nod home the equaliser from the flick-on.
Four minutes later the home team got what turned out to be the winner. Consett cleared their lines from a corner, and James Cadman sent the ball back into the danger area from 30 yards.
The flight of the ball seemed to deceive Consett keeper James Anderson, and what looked a speculative effort at best ended up in the top corner.
Manager Tony Fawcett threw on another forward, Scott Fenwick, for the last 10 minutes as his side sought a way back into a game they’d looked in control of, but the remaining time and five added minutes passed without the Steelmen managing to conjure an equaliser.
- Full match report, stats, manager interview and picture gallery to follow.