Consett slipped out of the Durham Challenge Cup with barely a whimper tonight after being beaten on penalties at Newton Aycliffe after a goalless stalemate.
Just 121 spectators were at the SecuriCorp Stadium for the 2nd Round tie, and those who stayed away seemed to have made the right decision after a dour 90 minutes.
Consett were without the cup-tied Josh Baggs and unavailable Kieren Aplin, and suffered a further blow minutes before kick-off when Calvin Smith pulled up in the warm-up.
Adam Mitchell stepped up off the bench into the starting XI, where Scott Fenwick made his full debut, and Charlie Exley started a game for the first time since August 2021.
The first half was largely a non-event as the sides cancelled each other out and struggled to create much.
It was half an hour before either side managed a shot on target, when home midfielder Joe Ferguson forced a save from Mark Foden.
On 38 minutes Consett threatened for the first time when skipper Arjun Purewal beat Aycliffe keeper Adam McHugh to a corner, but his header was cleared off the line.
The second half improved a little, but not much, but the game swung Aycliffe’s way in the 67th minute when they were awarded a penalty when Exley upended Callum Munro.
However, Consett had a huge let-off when Ferguson’s spot kick was ballooned over the bar to keep the scores level.
As the game entered its final stages, Cyril Giraud had Consett’s best two chances. On 78 minutes he fired just wide after a free-kick was half cleared to him, then three minutes later he shot into the side netting when an effort across goal might have paid dividends.
The game petered out to a penalty shootout which had seemed inevitable all night, and Aycliffe quickly took control when Consett, kicking first, saw their first two efforts saved by home keeper Adam McHugh.
Foden – one of Consett’s heroes in the previous round, when they beat West Auckland on penalties – gave the visitors hope by saving Aycliffe’s first kick.
But they scored their second, and although Consett scored their third, Ferguson made up for his earlier miss to make it 2-1 and keep their noses in front.
When Consett missed their fourth kick, it was left to Aycliffe skipper Aaron Brown to tuck away theirs for a 3-1 shootout win and a place in the quarter-finals.
Out of all the cups, Consett can concentrate on their Northern Premier League campaign, but this result extended their winless run to 11 games. Next up is a crucial home match against Brighouse Town on Saturday.
- Full match report and pictures to follow.