Consett AFC rounded off a successful 2021-22 season last night by staging their first presentation evening in three years at the Belle View Stadium clubhouse.Continue reading “Consett AFC celebrate a season of success at their 2021-22 presentation night”
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Consett share eight goals with Ashington in end-of-season thriller
Consett twice came from two goals down to draw 4-4 with Ashington as they brought their Northern League campaign to a close today at a sunny Belle View Stadium.
Andy Coyles named an attacking line-up, which started the game well, but found his side trailing 2-0 after the visitors – Division One’s top scorers – struck twice in three minutes.
The first came on 14 minutes as Dean Briggs took advantage of a defensive mix-up to open the scoring, and two minutes later their lead was doubled as Consett’s makeshift defence failed to clear their lines and Lewis Suddick fired home.
On 18 minutes Scott Heslop reduced the arrears with his 7th goal in 16 games since signing from Dunston, bravely beating Ashington keeper Adam McHugh to Colin Larkin’s cross to head home.
On 33 minutes Dale Pearson hit the 20 mark for the season, beating the visitors’ offside trap to smash the ball past the keeper.
Consett almost got their noses in front in first-half injury time when a superb 25-yarder from Lewis Green rattled the crossbar, and Larkin was inches away from turning in the rebound.
But in the third minute of added time it was Ashington who regained the lead when Dean Briggs spotted Kyle Hayes off his line and arrowed a shot past him from 40 yards.
Ashington went into the break 3-2 up, and within eight minutes of the restart had restored their two-goal lead when an excellent pass sent Liam Doyle to the byline and he pulled the ball back for Lewis Suddick to finish from close range.
On 69 minutes Consett hit the woodwork for the second time when Jake Orrell’s free-kick came back off the post, and Green was denied by McHugh from the follow-up.
But on 70 minutes another setpiece saw Orrell whip a corner in for Calvin Smith to glance in a header and make it 3-4.
On 73 minutes Carl Lawson met a deep cross from Nick Cassidy, and saw his effort cleared off the line, and 10 minutes later another Cassidy cross by headed just wide by Larkin as Consett piled on the pressure.
The fully-deserved equaliser came in the 84th minute, when Jake Orrell smashed a free-kick from 25 yards into the top corner to make it 4-4 with his 11th goal of the season.
Both sides had chances to win the game, but a draw was probably about right for a game which was a wonderful advert for the Northern League.
Consett will take plenty of positives into their play-off for a place in the Northern Premier League on Saturday 30 April. Now they must hope they can get some of their injured defenders fit for the one-off showdown against opponents who are, for the moment, unknown.
- Full match report, stats and more pictures to follow.
Consett suffer semi-final heartache at Ashington – and a double blow to their play-off hopes
A brave second-half comeback by 10-man Consett came to nothing tonight when they were beaten 4-3 at Ashington in the semi-final of the Division One Cup.
Trailing 3-1 at half-time, they got the score back to 3-3 despite having Calvin Smith sent off, and were within six minutes of taking the tie to a penalty shoot-out.
But they shot themselves in the foot by conceding a poor goal straight from the restart, and had Darren Holden sent off after the final whistle.
The red cards means Smith and Holden will both be suspended from the one-off promotion play-off on Saturday 30 April, leaving manager Andy Coyles with an almighty headache and a severely-depleted squad.
Ashington took the lead after just five minutes, when Kyle Hayes fumbled a corner and big centre-back Ben Harmison bundled the ball home from point-blank range.
Three minutes later the Steelmen were level, after David Dowson’s knockdown to Carl Lawson, who fired in off the post to make it 1-1.
Hayes saved well from Robert-Lee Taylor on 19 minutes, but there was nothing he could do two minutes later when Lawson lost his man and Jordan Summerly finished low past the keeper for 2-1.
Lawson almost grabbed a second equaliser a minute later, but saw his shot cleared off the line by a defender, and the visitors were made to pay on 24 minutes when Ashington scored again.
Smith gave the ball away as Consett passed their way out from the back, and the Colliers’ top scorer Dean Briggs drove at the makeshift defence to fire past Hayes and make it 3-1.
Colin Larkin went close to reducing the arrears five minutes before half-time when he chested the ball down 25 yards out and fired into the side netting, but it was a second-best Consett team who headed into the dressing rooms at the break.
Ashington were backed by a vociferous crowd who were appealing for every decision, real and otherwise, and they demanded a red card for a Jake Orrell foul on 55 minutes, but the referee decided yellow was sufficient.
Three minutes later they got their wish when Calvin Smith was shown a straight red card for a challenge which many onlookers thought had won the ball.
Consett now had a mountain to climb, but bringing on strikers Scott Heslop and Dale Pearson for David Dowson and Luke Carr injected fresh energy into their attacking play.
They were indebted to Hayes for keeping them in the game on 65 minutes with a superb double save, but on 73 minutes they were right back in it when Scott Heslop bulleted in a header from Orrell’s corner.
On 83 minutes Consett’s endeavours were rewarded when home right-back Liam Doyle wrestled Pearson to the ground, pictured top, and the referee awarded a penalty, which was despatched by Colin Larkin to make it 3-3.
Incredibly, within 60 seconds Consett’s fightback was in vain when, straight from the kick off, they failed to deal with a surging run from the halfway line, and when the ball fell to ex-Steelman Dean Briggs he fired home what turned out to be the winner.
If such late heartache wasn’t bad enough, Holden – Consett’s only fit defender – was red-carded after the final whistle for something he said to the referee, which rules him out of the promotion play-off.
With almost an entire XI currently unavailable, the Steelmen’s chances of playing in the Northern Premier League next season appear to be receding rapidly.
But before the one-off away game against as-yet unknown opponents there’s the small matter of completing our Northern League fixtures this Saturday, with a home game against Ashington, kick-off 3pm.
- Full match report, stats and more pictures to follow.
Consett suffer setback after losing part one of the Steelmen’s derby to Redcar
Leaders Consett suffered an unexpected setback in their quest for the Northern League title today as they were beaten 2-1 at home by Redcar Athletic.
With the pitch at Green Lane waterlogged, the first-ever meeting between the clubs – billed as the ‘Steelmen’s derby’ – was switched to Belle View at less than 24 hours’ notice.
But there were no home comforts for Consett, who went behind early on, equalised just before half-time, only to concede again late on.
Manager Andy Coyles made seven changes to the side which had won at North Shields in the cup in midweek, but it was Redcar who took the initiative by scoring in the ninth minute.
They were awarded a free-kick on the left, which was whipped in by Lee Farrington, and Kamal Ait El Haj was on hand to score from close range. It was his first goal for the club on his first start, after three sub appearances.
James Martin and Jake Orrell both curled chances wide and Dale Pearson and Alex Francis were off target with headers as Consett responded well.
Just when it seemed like the visitors would get to the break with their lead intact, Consett equalised two minutes into added time. Luke Carr’s pass sent Colin Larkin in on goal, and the Irishman made no mistake to plunder his 12th goal of the season, pictured below.
The second half saw Scott Heslop on for Pearson, and Carr forced Redcar keeper Matthew Bateman into a good save within a minute of the restart.
Larkin had a great chance on 55 minutes after Orrell found him at the back post, and although he controlled it superbly and beat his man, he dragged his shot wide.
Consett had plenty of possession, but created few clear-cut chances against a very well-organised Redcar side, who almost regained their lead in the 61st minute, but for a superb tackle by Dan Capewell on an opponent who looked clean through.
Both sides rang the changes, with the game losing some of its momentum as a result, but it was Redcar who dug out a winner in the 84th minute when Nicky Martin’s cross found top scorer Isaac Walker, who grabbed his 19th goal of the season.
Consett threw the kitchen sink at their visitors, but couldn’t find a way through, even with the help of six minutes of added time due to a couple of lengthy injury stoppages.
When the final whistle went the home side had suffered their first home league defeat in five months, but just how damaging it is to their title aspirations remains to be seen.
- Full match report, stats and more pictures HERE.
Cassidy stunner ends Billingham resistance to put Consett 11 points clear
A stunning strike from their No 2 was enough for Consett to beat dogged Billingham Town at a bitterly cold Belle View tonight in a fitting way to mark ‘all twos day’.
Right-back Nick Cassidy, re-signed from North Shields in early January, scored the only goal of a hard-fought victory over the relegation-threatened visitors in the 73rd minute.
He met a Darren Holden cross from the left on the volley with his right foot, pictured top, smashing the ball past former Consett keeper Jack Norton to secure a deserved win.
The victory means Consett are now 11 points clear at the top of Division One of the Northern League, with nine games left to play.
Consett drew 1-1 at Billingham earlier in the season, and the visitors again gave a good account of themselves, despite being second-bottom of the table.
Billingham had the strong wind behind them in the first half, but it was Consett who made the best chances.
Dale Pearson fired over from a superb first-time Holden cross on seven minutes, then was just beaten to the ball by the outstretched arm of Norton after a fine move involving Cassidy, Luke Carr and Jake Orrell on the half-hour.
A minute later Consett had the ball in the net, when Pearson’s shot was saved by Norton and centre-back Matthew Ridley pounced to convert the loose ball, but was ruled offside.
On 35 minutes Billingham had their best chance of the game with a shot from distance, but Kyle Hayes, who hadn’t had a lot to do, tipped the ball over the bar.
Consett should have gone ahead in the 36th minute when another superb cross from Holden picked out Carr six yards out, but he headed the ball up and over the bar.
The game remained goalless at half-time, and with the wind getting even stronger after the break, Billingham found it difficult to get out of their own half at times.
Carr’s low effort by saved by Norton at his near post on 52 minutes, and on 65 Pearson was sent clear with only the keeper to beat, but put his shot the wrong side of the post.
Pearson then teed up Carl Lawson, whose well-struck effort was cleared off the line by defender Andrew Wilson, and you began to wonder if it was going to be one of those nights.
But with the visitors finding it increasingly difficult to get out of their own half in the face of a strengthening wind, that superb Cassidy strike broke the deadlock.
Consett saw out the game comfortably, without being able to get a second goal to seal the win.
With no game this weekend, the next fixture is now at North Shields on Wednesday 2 March in the 1st Round of the new Division One Cup, KO 7.30pm.
- Full match report, stats and more pictures to follow. Main picture: S Finch Imagery.
Consett keep their title challenge on track with a good three points at Guisborough
Consett put three more valuable points on the board for their Northern League title challenge today with a hard-fought 2-0 win at Guisborough Town.
The Steelmen made three changes to the side which beat Ryhope last week, with James Metcalfe, Ross Wilkinson and Dale Pearson coming into the starting line-up, and a few players in unfamiliar positions.
They got off to the perfect start when Colin Larkin gave them the lead after just two minutes, half-volleying in from inside the six-yard box, pictured top, from Darren Holden’s deep cross.
It was an 11th goal in Consett colours for the veteran striker, who, even at 39, looks like one of the signings of the season.
Guisborough had a good chance to equalise on nine minutes when Jack Blackford, on loan from Marske United, went past two Consett defenders, only to see his shot deflected over the bar.
In the 13th minute a superb Larkin pass sent Pearson through, and as he went to shoot he seemed to be pulled back by James Risbrough on the edge of the area, pictured, but the referee waved play on.
Recent signing Alex Francis tested the home keeper with a well-struck 30-yarder in the 27th minute, while at the other end Joe Bartliff blazed over at the far post when well placed to score.
Calvin Smith then went close with a headed effort from a Jake Orrell free-kick, but home keeper Robbie Deane made a comfortable save down low to his left.
It remained 1-0 at half-time, and Guisborough again dominated the ball after the break, without unduly troubling the resolute Consett defence.
The best chance of the half fell to Orrell on 76 minutes, but his well-struck effort from the edge of the box, pictured, brought the save of the game from Deane.
Five minutes later Consett got a slightly fortunate second goal to clinch the win and three more valuable points. Luke Carr whipped in a free-kick from the right, Dan Capewell got the slightest of touches, and the ball rebounded off the post and in off the helpless Deane.
Consett saw out the rest of the game superbly, and the win meant they stay eight points clear of second-placed Thornaby, who won 1-0 at Crook Town.
The match between third-placed Newton Aycliffe and fourth-placed North Shields was postponed, which leaves the Robins facing something of a fixture pile-up.
They still have 14 league games to play, as well as being in the FA Vase 6th Round and Northumberland Senior Cup semi-final – and that’s not taking into account the League Cup, which hasn’t started yet.
- Full match report, stats and more pictures to follow.
Consett extend lead at the top to eight points with win over Ryhope CW
Consett increased their lead at the top of the Northern League 1st Division today with a good 3-1 win over fifth-placed Ryhope CW at a blustery Belle View Stadium.
Recent signing Dan Capewell got them off to a perfect start, heading home his first goal for the club from close range, pictured top, after Colin Larkin’s shot from a corner was blocked in the 7th minute.
But Ryhope showed their league position is no fluke by responding with an equaliser three minutes later, Danni Lay turning the ball in at the back post after a low-hard cross across the six-yard box.
Consett suffered another blow in the 15th minute when striker Scott Heslop limped off, to be replaced by Carl Lawson.
It was the substitute whose pass set up Luke Carr in the 41st minute to almost restore Consett’s lead, with the skipper’s effort curling just wide.
It remained 1-1 at half-time, but Consett, kicking with the wind behind them in the second half, didn’t have to wait long to make the breakthrough.
Carr whipped in a corner from the left and new centre-back Matthew Ridley marked his debut by climbing highest to head home from six yards.
Lawson hit a good half-volley just wide, and Carr had an effort superbly blocked by Matthew Wade after great work by Colin Larkin and Darren Holden.
Keeper James Winter denied Larkin a goal on the hour, spreading himself well to save, but there was nothing he could do when Consett did make it 3-1 in the 71st minute.
Larkin showed great workrate to win back possession and fed the ball through to Luke Carr, who cut inside a defender and buried his shot in the bottom corner.
Ryhope almost pulled one back when Lay’s chip came back off the post, with Kyle Hayes beaten, but Consett had two great chances to make the final scoreline even more emphatic.
First, Dale Pearson, on as a sub after missing the last three games through injury, set up Larkin, who brought a good save from Winter. Then Pearson himself was clean through, but rolled his effort the wrong side of the post.
When the final whistle went it was a well-earned three points for Consett. And with second-placed Thornaby losing at West Auckland, and North Shields on FA Vase duty, the Steelmen are now eight points clear at the top.
- Before the game, long-serving Consett player Calvin Smith received an award to mark his 400th appearance for the club in the recent away match at Newton Aycliffe.
Ten-man Consett bow out of the FA Vase to agonising late goal
Favourites Consett crashed out of this season’s FA Vase, losing 2-1 to Wythenshawe Town in the 4th Round on an afternoon of drama at Belle View.
They took an early lead, played most of the second half with 10 men, and then conceded a late goal which gave the impressive visitors the win.
Jake Orrell got the Steelmen off to the perfect start after just three minutes, picking up a loose ball outside the box, taking aim, and dispatching a superb strike into the top corner, giving the keeper no chance.
On eight minutes they almost doubled their lead when Luke Carr went on a run which took him past three defenders, and his effort had to be tipped over the bar by the keeper.
Wythenshawe – who Consett beat on their way to the 2020 final – served notice that they were much more of an attacking force this time round when Brad Byrne hit the post with a header on 15 minutes.
Consett keeper Kyle Hayes then denied the same player with his feet, before Consett had a great chance at the other end, as Dale Pearson volleyed over from Darren Holden’s whipped-in cross.
With little to choose between the sides, it remained 1-0 at the break, but the tie swung Wythenshawe’s way on 51 minutes when Consett’s Matty Slocombe was shown a straight red card for an elbow.
The player going down holding his face didn’t help, and nor did most of the visiting team surrounding the referee, but the incident gave the official a decision to make, and he made it.
Wythenshawe took advantage of their extra man by scoring an equaliser on 62 minutes, half-time sub Ionut Casian Anghel heading home from an excellent right-wing cross.
The visitors were dominating possession, but Consett defended well, and on the odd occasion that Wythenshawe found a way through, they couldn’t find a way past Hayes.
He saved well from Dominic Smalley, then produced an even better stop from Steven Hewitt, flinging himself to his right to keep out his well-struck effort.
Consett were struggling to get out of their own half, and it took until the 85th minute for the 10 men to produce an attempt on goal, sub Nick Allen firing wide when a corner was half-cleared to him on the edge of the box.
The incessant pressure on the Consett goal finally told in the 90th minute, when, with the game looking like it was heading for penalties, Wythenshawe grabbed a winner.
Consett lost possession in the middle of the field, Byrne’s pass sent Matty Bryan away down the right, and his cross picked out Darius Palma at the back post. He brought it down and fired home to make it 2-1 and end Consett’s brave resistance.
When the final whistle went after seven added minutes it was Wythenshawe celebrating a place in the last 16 with their supporters, after claiming their third Northern League scalp in their best-ever FA Vase run.
Dream debut double from new boy Scott Heslop gives Consett a late win at Seaham
New striker Scott Heslop got his Consett career off to a dream start today, scoring a debut double to give them a 3-2 win at Seaham Red Star.
Heslop, 27, who was signed from Northern Premier League side Dunston on 29 December, had to settle for a place on the bench for his new club’s first game of 2022.
But he came on and immediately made his mark to inspire the league leaders to a vital win in a game where they twice had to come from behind.
The festive break’s other new signing, the returning Nick Cassidy, went straight into the starting XI, but the opening 45 minutes was nothing to write home about for either side.
The closest we came to a goal was midway through the half, when Liam Heywood’s pass put Adam Lennox through, but Kyle Hayes stood up well to save his dinked effort.
Consett created very little, but thought they should have had a penalty on 35 minutes, when Colin Larkin was flattened from behind by Jordan Patterson, but the referee decided it was inches outside the box rather than inside.
The game burst into life five minutes into the second half when Seaham striker Jamie Clark, on loan from Blyth Spartans, curled a tremendous effort into the top corner to make it 1-0.
The lead lasted only a minute, as Consett equalised through the unlikely figure of Matty Slocombe, who buried a shot in the bottom corner from 25 yards for 1-1.
It was the popular midfielder’s first goal of the season, and his first in nearly two years, the last being in a 4-1 win over Ashington on 25 January 2020.
Five minutes later Consett had another big penalty shout when Dale Pearson powered into the box and went down under challenge from Max Nelson, but the referee decided the centre-back got the ball and gave a corner.
Slocombe thought he had a second goal on 65 minutes when his header from a setpiece struck the bar, bounced down and was cleared off the line by Joe Hailes. The Consett midfielder was adamant his effort had crossed the line, but the referee ruled otherwise.
A minute later Seaham had an excellent chance when Clark was sent clear, but Hayes stood up well to save with his feet.
There was nothing the Consett keeper could do to prevent Seaham retaking the lead on 77 minutes, however, as Adam Lennox went past three defenders before finishing past Hayes to make it 2-1.
Two minutes later Consett were denied an equaliser when Pearson was ruled offside as he bundled Cassidy’s cross into the net with the help of a defender.
But on 80 minutes Consett got a goal that did count, when Scott Heslop, who’d come on for Carl Lawson, glanced a superb header into the bottom corner from Cassidy’s right-wing cross.
The game was anyone’s now, and Consett were grateful to James Martin for a 90th-minute goal-line clearance which kept the score at 2-2.
Seaham keeper Andrew Jennison saved well from Slocombe as Consett went in search of a winner, and Larkin slipped as he tried to convert the rebound
Just when it seemed like the game was heading for a draw, Scott Heslop stuck out a leg at fellow sub Lewis Green’s cross from the right to give Consett a 94th-minute winner.
The victory means they went eight points clear of second-placed Thornaby at the top of the table, though many of the chasing pack saw their games called off.
- Full match report, stats and more pictures to follow.
Super save means Consett have to settle for a point in Benfield rematch
Northern League leaders Consett were held to a 0-0 draw by Newcastle Benfield in their final game of 2021 – but it took a save of the season contender to deny them all three points.
Benfield were much changed from the side beaten 4-0 in the FA Vase at Sam Smith’s Park last week, and it was one of their returning players, goalkeeper Andrew Grainger, who won his side a point.
The game was entering added time when Consett left-back Olly Scott send over a superb cross from the left, which picked out Colin Larkin.
The veteran striker’s bullet header looked like a matchwinner all the way, only to be thwarted by Grainger, who flung himself across goal to tip the ball over the bar, pictured top.
It was the defining moment of a game which saw Grainger also make good saves from Luke Carr and Dale Pearson, and Consett denied two strong penalty claims.
The first, in the 22nd minute, saw Carr beat the keeper to Jake Orrell’s through ball, pictured below, but get absolutely flattened in the process. The referee waved away Consett’s penalty appeals.
There were a smattering of chances at either end, but it was a day when defences ruled supreme, with both back lines doing their jobs well.
Consett had another strong penalty shout in the 86th minute, when Pearson appeared to be tripped by a defender as he chased a stray backpass, but again nothing was given.
The goalless draw is Consett’s first in 60 games, going all the way back to 4 January 2020, when they were held 0-0 at Northallerton Town.
They remain eight points clear of their nearest challengers at the top of the table, with only a handful of games due to be played over the festive period.
West Auckland’s match today was postponed, so Ryhope CW’s 4-1 win at Newton Aycliffe lifted them to second. North Shields are now third after two late goals saw them come from behind to beat Northallerton 2-1.
- Full match report, stats and more pictures to follow.