Tag: Darren Holden

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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.

penrith

Consett suffer a huge blow as they’re beaten in their final away game of the season at Penrith

Consett’s hopes of a first-ever Northern League title are hanging by a thread after the last away game of the season ended in a 2-1 defeat at Penrith today.

Andy Coyles’ team needed a win at his former club to keep the pressure on second-placed North Shields, who have four games in hand over the leaders.

But for the second weekend in a row the Steelmen threw away the lead to suffer a disappointing defeat, and the gap at the top has now closed to three points after North Shields won.

Consett took the lead at in the 24th minute at Frenchfield Park when Scott Heslop played the ball off Penrith skipper Grant Davidson and a huge deflection, pictured top, gave keeper Arran Taylor no chance.

Heslop limped off in the 36th minute, to be replaced by David Dowson, and the sub had a chance almost immediately from Darren Holden’s pass, but couldn’t get a clean shot away, pictured below.

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David Dowson had a chance to increase Consett’s lead just after coming on as sub. Pic: Gary Welford.

Holden himself then had two decent opportunities to increase Consett’s lead before the break, but missed both, and it remained 1-0 at half-time.

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Darren Holden’s dinked effort beat the Penrith keeper but went wide. Pic: Gary Welford.

Five minutes into the second half Jake Orrell had Consett’s best chance of the game when Dowson flicked on Nick Cassidy’s free-kick, but the No 10 was denied from close range by the keeper.

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Jake Orrell was denied by the Penrith keeper early in the second half. Pic: Gary Welford.

It was a big save, as the Cumbrians – in desperate need of points for their relegation fight – equalised in the 63rd minute, when Alfie Brunskill took advantage of a defensive error to fire home.

With news filtering through that title rivals North Shields were beating Guisborough 4-2, Consett needed a goal, but when it came in the 88th minute the matchwinning strike was at the other end.

Jamie Armstrong picked out Davidson with a right-wing corner, and although Consett keeper Kyle Hayes made a good save from the centre-back’s powerful header, Luke Brown reacted quickest to the loose ball to smash home the winner from close range, pictured below.

No 6 Luke Brown (left) smashes home Penrith’s late winner. Pic: Gary Welford.

Consett now need to win their final two home league games, against in-form Northallerton Town and seventh-placed Ashington, to give themselves any hope of the championship.

North Shields have now completed their home fixtures, and end the season with six consecutive away games, starting at Thornaby on Wednesday.

Consett take a break from league action by hosting West Auckland in the Division One Cup quarter-final on Tuesday, but could be toppled as leaders for the first time since September 1 by the time they next kick a ball in Division One.

  • Full match report, stats and more pictures to follow.
redcar

Redcar deal another blow to Consett’s title hopes after completing league double over them

Consett lost the inaugural ‘Steel Cup’ today – but more importantly saw their lead at the top of the Northern League cut to six points by a 2-1 defeat at Redcar Athletic.

It was the same scoreline by which the newly-promoted Teessiders won at Belle View three weeks ago, giving them a league double over their fellow Steelmen after our first-ever meetings.

The result tips the balance of the championship race in favour of our closest rivals North Shields, who beat Penrith 5-0, and now have 65 points to our 71, but with four games in hand.

The opening exchanges were tense, and Consett had the first real chance midway through the half when defender Matty Ridley had a header from a corner cleared off the line.

A minute later No 9 Scott Heslop looked certain to score when a Lewis Green pass sent him clear on goal, but he put his effort high and wide.

Consett did take the lead on 27 minutes, when Darren Holden’s long throw was chested down by Heslop, and James Martin fired home from 15 yards.

But the home side were level within a minute when dangerman Isaac Walker, who scored the winner at Belle View, cut in from the left and struck a shot which took a deflection which sent the ball looping over goalkeeper Ross Coombe.

Luke Carr had an effort deflected wide as Consett sought to regain the lead, and Coombe then saved well from Walker, so it remained 1-1 at half-time.

A penalty shootout between supporters during the break saw Consett triumph 4-3, with keeper Peter Lockeron saving three kicks and Sam Martin slamming home the decisive kick.

But it was Redcar who took the initiative when the game resumed, and Isaac Walker beat his man and fired in a dipping effort to make it 2-1 to the home side on 55 minutes.

Consett rang the changes, bringing on three substitutes in a bid to get back into the game, and one of them, David Dowson, pictured top, almost equalised on 77 minutes, but saw his 20-yarder come back off the base of the post.

That was as near as the visitors got to finding an equaliser, and it was a dispirited league leaders who trooped off the field as news of North Shields’ win filtered through.

  • Full match report, stats and more pictures to follow.

north shields

Consett’s top-two showdown at North Shields ends in a stalemate

Consett’s Division One game at North Shields, billed by many as a Northern League title decider, ended in a goalless stalemate tonight at the Daren Persson Stadium.

With the visitors 9 points clear of their hosts before kick-off, but the Robins having four games in hand, it was certainly a game which could have had a big bearing on the destination of the championship.

A Consett win would mean matters were back in their own hands, while a North Shields victory would have handed them a big advantage.

It was a game neither side wanted to lose, but nobody did enough to win it either, and the outcome was a 0-0 draw in front of a tense 569 crowd.

The first attempt on goal didn’t arrive until the 30th minute, when Shields centre-back Jack Walker’s header was gathered easily by Consett keeper Kyle Hayes.

At the other end, Calvin Smith had an effort easily saved, while Scott Heslop headed a half chance wide, as the two teams largely cancelled each other out.

The main talking point of the first half was the referee’s decision not to send off Shields midfielder Cam Cunningham for what appeared to be a stamp on Matty Slocombe, showing just a yellow card instead.

The game briefly burst into life around the hour mark, when Calvin Smith was well-placed to clear David Robinson’s header off the line, and Cunningham fired the loose ball just over the bar.

At the other end Darren Holden’s excellent cross from the left created Consett’s best chance of the game, but Heslop’s weak header was straight at the keeper.

Shields made a big penalty appeal as top scorer Dan Wilson went to ground, but the decision was a free-kick the other way.

On 75 minutes Consett brought on David Dowson, who has just re-signed after leaving West Auckland, and within a minute he had been booked for what Shields claimed was an elbow on Walker.

Even five minutes of added time at the end of the game wasn’t enough for either side to find a goal, but everyone in the bumper crowd seemed to agree that a draw was a fair result.

redcar

Consett show their mettle by bouncing back with a good cup win at Redcar

Consett showed what they’re made of after two back-to-back defeats by making Division One Cup progress with a fine 5-1 win at Redcar Athletic tonight.

The other Steelmen claimed the bragging rights 11 days ago when they won 2-1 at Belle View in the league in the clubs’ first-ever meeting.

But Consett took their revenge at Green Lane with their best performance in several weeks, to secure their progress to a home quarter-final against West Auckland.

The game was played in torrential conditions, and it rained goals from the start as Consett went about their business with real purpose.

The visitors took the lead on 10 minutes when Colin Larkin, pictured top, played a cross in from the right, Scott Heslop missed it, but Jake Orrell was on hand to score his 10th goal of the season from close range.

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Jake Orrell makes it 1-0 to Consett from close range. Pic: Gary Welford.

On 22 minutes it was 2-0 when home keeper James Dawson was unable to hold a fierce 30-yarder from Darren Holden, and Lewis Green followed in to finish the rebound to claim his first goal for the club.

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Lewis Green (No 5) reacts quickest to a rebound to make it 2-0 to Consett. Pic: Gary Welford.

Redcar pulled a goal back on the half-hour through Jordan Rivis, who powerfully headed home from a right-wing corner.

But three minutes later Consett’s two-goal lead was restored after a great run by Matty Slocombe, who fed the ball to Green, who set up Scott Heslop to make it 3-1. It was the striker’s fifth goal in eight games since joining from Dunston.

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Scott Heslop make it 3-1 to put Consett in control. Pic: Gary Welford.

It remained 3-1 at half-time, and after a fairly even first 15 minutes of the second half, Consett started to take control.

Redcar were grateful to Dawson for good saves from Green and Orrell, while Consett’s Ross Coombe made a good save from home dangerman Isaac Walker to add to a flying stop he’d made in the first half.

Consett always looked in control, and it was no surprise when Colin Larkin made it 4-1 in the 83rd minute, finishing low past the keeper from Slocombe’s sliderule pass.

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Colin Larkin makes it 4-1 to Consett. Pic: Gary Welford.

In the 89th minute Consett rounded off the night with a fifth goal, and it was Colin Larkin again, with his 14th of the season, this time from Carl Lawson’s pass.

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Colin Larkin (partly hidden) completes the scoring to make it Redcar 1 Consett 5. Pic: Gary Welford.

Such a good win was an important boost to morale after two recent league defeats, and we return to league action on Saturday with a visit to Bishop Auckland, KO 3pm.

crook town

Crook Town inflict Consett’s second home defeat in four days

League leaders Consett were beaten at home by mid-table opposition for the second time in four days tonight, losing 2-1 at Belle View to Crook Town.

The stuttering Steelmen again went behind, got themselves back in it, only to concede again, just as they had against Redcar Athletic at the weekend.

They remain nine points clear of second-placed Thornaby, who have played the same number of games, but third-placed North Shields, who have a point less than the Teessiders, now have five games in hand.

The first chance of the game fell to Scott Heslop in the 18th minute after he latched onto Colin Larkin’s pass, but he couldn’t get enough on his shot to trouble visiting keeper Ronan Makepeace.

Consett had their goalkeeper Kyle Hayes to thanks for a top drawer save in the 22nd minute, as he pushed a fiercely-struck 25-yarder from Joey Smith over the bar.

A minute later Larkin broke clean through on goal for Consett, but uncharacteristically fired high and wide.

Hayes was grateful to his woodwork in the 26th minute, as a free-kick from Crook skipper Lee Hume rattled the crossbar.

Heslop hit the side netting from 20 yards as the game began to open up, and a deep cross from the right found Dan Capewell, whose scuffed shot was deflected for a corner.

Crook took the lead in the 40th minute when a through ball sent Craig Moody running at the home defence, and he blasted the ball past Hayes from 12 yards to make it 1-0.

It stayed that way at half-time, but it only took seven minutes of the second half for Consett to level, as midfielder Alex Francis, pictured below, scored his first goal for the club with a deft header from Darren Holden’s corner.

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Alex Francis (No 8) opened his goal account for Consett with this back-header. Pic: Kenny Taylor.

The goal gave Consett a lift, and they began to dominate, but they seemed to lose their momentum after two big decisions went against them.

First, on 55 minutes, Heslop was flattened by Crook centre-back Oscar Eckley-Aldsworth just outside the box as he ran through on goal, but the card was yellow rather than red, and the resulting free-kick came to nothing.

Then in the 70th minute they had a huge shout for a penalty when a shot by Holden appeared to strike a defender’s arm, but the referee waved away their appeals.

But in the 76th minute the Steelmen had the wind knocked out of their sails when Crook scored again, with Mason Hurworth running through unchallenged before firing left-footed past Hayes to make it 2-1.

Consett ran out of ideas long before the end, and only time – and North Shields catching up with some of their games in hand – will tell how damaging this defeat might be.

  • Full report, stats and more pictures HERE.

dan staples

Dan’s the man as Consett make cup progress by coming from behind to beat North Shields

Dan Marriott proved to be Consett’s matchwinner as a much-changed side came from behind to win a hard-fought Division One Cup tie 3-2 at North Shields tonight.

But it was another Dan – goalkeeper Daniel Staples, making his first appearance for the club in 11 years – who ensured the Steelmen progressed to the 2nd Round.

With first-choice keeper Kyle Hayes taken ill and his deputy Ross Coombe unavailable due to work, the 31-year-old answered the club’s SOS to don a first-team jersey for the first time since August 2011.

His big moment came in the 86th minute, when North Shields, pushing hard for an equaliser, were awarded a penalty.

The Robins’ top scorer Dan Wilson stepped up to take the kick, but Staples pulled off a brilliant save, diving low to his right, and the follow-up was blazed over the bar.

It was a dramatic end to a game which saw both sides make full use of their squads, resting several players for more important fixtures in the weeks ahead.

Shields took the lead after just two minutes when David Robinson cut in from the right and hit a low shot which took a deflection off a defender, giving Staples no chance.

Consett levelled on 14 minutes through Calvin Smith, who picked up possession 30 yards out after good work by Darren Holden, and fired an unstoppable shot into the top corner.

On 27 minutes Consett took the lead, Darren Holden scoring direct from a corner, with Shields keeper Greg Purvis seeming to misjudge the flight of the ball, which dipped over him into the far corner.

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Darren Holden’s corner goes straight in to make it 2-1 to Consett. Pic: Gary Welford.

And five minutes before half-time the Steelmen looked firmly in control when Nick Cassidy whipped in a disputed free-kick from the right, and Dan Marriott flashed home a header from eight yards.

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Dan Marriott (No 7) heads home from a free-kick to make it 3-1 to Consett. Pic: Gary Welford.

The second half saw the home side step up their game, and they made it 3-2 in the 54th minute when David Robinson scored his second of the night, reacting quickly after a cross-shot by JJ Chrisp fell to him.

Shields spurned a great chance to level when Regan Paterson broke through but fired wide on 68 minutes, and 10 minutes later Cameron Cunningham had another golden opportunity, but lobbed over the bar.

Then came the late penalty drama, with Staples emerging as Consett’s hero. After five added-on minutes of backs-to-the-wall defending, it was the Steelmen who progressed to meet Redcar Athletic in the next round.

  • Full report, stats and more pictures to follow.
billingham

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.

guisborough

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.

James Risbrough grabs Dale Pearson right on the edge of the box. Pic: Gary Welford.

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.

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This Jake Orrell shot brought the save of the game from Robbie Deane. Pic: Gary Welford.

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.

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Consett defender Dan Capewell claims the decisive second goal. Pic: Gary Welford.

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.