Consett AFC will be hosting our old friends Morpeth Town as we begin our preparations for the 2021-22 season.Continue reading “Consett will face old friends Morpeth Town in a pre-season friendly”
Consett AFC received some very welcome publicity today when the club was the subject of a BBC Look North news item about the return of fans to non-league football.
Reporter Andrew Hartley and a cameraman attended our friendly versus Morpeth Town yesterday – the first game since the partial lifting of coronavirus lockdown restrictions where we have been allowed to admit supporters.
The result was a two-minute feature on tonight’s regional news about the club and the steps it has taken to make sure Belle View Stadium is a safe place to visit.
Chairman Frank Bell was interviewed, along with several supporters, about the phased return to having crowds at football.
For anyone who missed it, the feature is here.
Consett welcomed fans back to Belle View Stadium today for the first time since February, but there was no homecoming party as visitors Morpeth Town ran out 4-2 winners in the latest pre-season friendly.
Terry Mitchell was without eight players for a variety of reasons – not ideal against a side who will fancy their chances of promotion this season from the Northern Premier League’s Premier Division.
The Highwaymen, who looked good for a third successive promotion until last season was abandoned, took the lead on 11 minutes when a left-wing corner was flicked on, and Carl Finnigan volleyed home at the far post.
Five minutes later it was 2-0 as Consett gave the ball away in their own half and left Liam Henderson with a one-on-one which he gratefully accepted.
On 24 minutes the visitors extended their lead further when Consett failed to deal with the overlapping Stephen Forster, and the right-back smashed the ball into the top corner.
Consett had a good chance to reduce the arrears on 29 minutes when Michael Mackay’s initial effort was blocked and Calvin Smith lifted his follow-up over the bar.
Four minutes before the interval Smith was within a whisker of scoring with an exquisite lob, but Morpeth keeper Dan Lowson managed to get a fingertip on the ball to divert it onto the post.
The second half saw both sides make full use of their substitutes, and although Jake Orrell had a couple of chances for Consett, home keeper Joe Atkinson made two good saves, as he had in the first half, and Morpeth’s Ben Sayer saw a well-struck effort fizz just over the bar.
Morpeth made it 4-0 in the 81st minute when their hosts gave away possession again, and Jack Foalle took advantage to finish at the near post.
It was beginning to look like a drubbing, but to Consett’s credit they kept going, and managed to get on the scoresheet twice to give their supporters something to cheer.
First, Calvin Smith‘s low drive from 25 yards beat Morpeth’s sub keeper with the help of a deflection from a defender in the 83rd minute.
Then, with two minutes to go, Daniel Marriott’s left-wing corner found Arjun Purewal in the six-yard box, and the Consett skipper fired home, pictured top.
Given their depleted ranks and the fact their opponents play two divisions higher, Consett more than held their own for most of the game, apart from that 13-minute spell in the first half when they conceded three goals.
Hopefully, the next game at Belle View, against Ryhope CW in the FA Cup on 1 September, will see some of Consett’s absentees back to strengthen their options.
- Full match report and more pictures to follow.
Consett had to settle for a 0-0 draw with Crook Town today in their latest behind-closed-doors pre-season friendly at a sun-drenched Belle View.
Terry Mitchell’s side were missing five attacking players for a variety of reasons, so it was no surprise they struggled to break down a well-organised visiting side.
Michael Mackay and Lewis Green had shots on target in an evenly-matched first half, but didn’t trouble keeper Ronan Makepeace, while Jamie Tumilty had Crook’s best attempt with a 25-yard free-kick.
The second half saw both sides make a multitude of changes, and one of Consett’s subs, Nick Allen, went close with an effort which Makepeace saved well down at his near post.
Keeper Kyle Hayes was twice called into action as Crook showed the attacking prowess which took them to third in the 2nd Division before last season was declared null and void.
But the best chance of all fell to young centre-back Simon Jakab, who rose highest to meet a right-wing corner in the 63rd minute, but powered his header straight at the keeper, pictured top.
- Consett’s next game is a behind closed doors friendly against Northern Premier League side Pickering Town on Saturday, 15 August.
Consett have added a friendly match against Northern Premier League club Pickering Town to their pre-season schedule.
The game against The Pikes, who play in Division One North West of the NPL, will take place at Belle View Stadium at 2pm on Saturday, 15 August.
At present, Government and FA guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus mean the game must be played behind closed doors.
We have met once before, in the 2nd Qualifying Round of the FA Vase in season 2016-17, when Pickering won 3-1 at Belle View. Our goal was a late consolation from Michael Sweet.
Matty Slocombe, pictured in action above, is the only player involved in the game who is still at Consett.
Pickering were in the Northern Counties East League at the time, but were promoted at the end of the following season, and have been a Step 4 club ever since.
They play at the same level as our former Northern League rivals Dunston and Marske United, and it is hoped the friendly might become an annual fixture.
Consett kicked off their pre-season preparations with a 3-2 win over Northern Alliance opponents Newcastle Blue Star.
A strong side took to the field at Scotswood Sports Centre, containing nine of the XI which started our last game, at Atherstone in the FA Vase 6th Round back in March.
Blue Star had a host of former Northern League players in their side, including ex-Steelmen Josh Scott and Andrew Bulford, while their recently-appointed director of football Lee Clark was among those watching the behind-closed-doors fixture.
It was the home side who took the lead in the 12th minute. Callum Johnston – one of several new signings made for a big promotion push – lobbed keeper Kyle Hayes from the edge of the box.
Consett responded well, with Dale Pearson missing a couple of chances, and Calvin Smith hitting the post with a first-time effort from Darren Holden’s cross.
Blue Star almost doubled their lead in their 32nd minute when Connor Lane hit the bar with a free-kick from 25 yards, but the next goal came from Consett five minutes later when Matty Slocombe’s pass sent Pearson in on goal, and he rounded the keeper to make it 1-1.
Right on half-time the Steelmen took the lead, with Alshabeeb’s precise through ball leaving Pearson with only the keeper to beat, and he obliged to make the half-time score 2-1 to Consett.
Both sides made a plethora of substitutions at the break, with only four of Consett’s starting line-up emerging for the second half. One of the subs, the returning Matty Cornish, played a big role in the goal which made it 3-1 in the 57th minute, setting up new signing Carl Lawson, who curled a peach of a finish into the top corner, pictured top.
On 64 minutes it should have been four when the keeper saved from Lawson, and two Thomas McAloon follow-ups were stopped first by the post and then a defender on the line.
With both sides now making rolling subs, it was hard to keep track of who was where, but Blue Star did get a goal back on 71 minutes when Consett lost possession at the back, and Liam Anderson stroke the ball home.
Cornish, who has been playing college football in the USA, looked lively up front, and it took a good save to deny him a goal in the 73rd minute, and another chance right at the death glanced the outside of the post.
It finished 3-2 to Consett, and both sides were happy with a good, competitive workout for their first post-lockdown game.
- Consett’s next game is against Tow Law Town on Tuesday 4 August, but again Government/FA guidance on stopping the spread of Covid-19 means it must be played behind closed doors.
Consett will play one of the Northern League’s oldest clubs, Crook Town, as part of their pre-season preparations, it has been confirmed.
The Black and Ambers were 3rd in the 2nd Division, and looked a good bet for promotion, when last season was abandoned.
They will visit Belle View Stadium on Saturday, 8 August, but under current Covid-19 restrictions the game will be behind closed doors.
The meeting will be our first since 21 March 2015, when we won 4-0 at their Millfield ground in a 1st Division fixture.
Our goals that day were a hat-trick from Michael Mackay, pictured in action above, and a strike from Aris Guerin-Lokonga.
Crook are managed by Jamie Tunstall, a young manager who encourages his team to play good football. Their squad includes Harrison Scott, a defender who had a spell at Consett in the 2017-18 season.
Their main goal threat is Daniel Kent, who’d scored 20 when last season was brought to an abrupt halt, while Christian Holliday (16) and Daniel Maddison (10) were also in double figures.
Our pre-season schedule so far is:
Sat 1 August v Newcastle Blue Star (A)
Tue 4 August v Tow Law Town (H)
Sat 8 August v Crook Town (H)
Sat 22 August v Morpeth Town (H)
At present, all friendly games must take place behind closed doors, and we await updated guidance from the FA/Government on when spectators will be allowed to return.
Consett used most of the squad who aren’t starting games regularly in a friendly against Durham University at a rainy Belle View tonight.
And despite suffering a 2-1 defeat, manager Terry Mitchell was pleased to get some minutes into the legs of players who will have a big part to play in the weeks and months to come as injuries and suspensions kick in.
Only goalkeeper Kyle Hayes remained from the team which started against Sunderland RCA at the weekend. Take out him, Nick Allen and Andrei-Vasile Ardelean, and the other eight players only had nine starts between them this season.
Nathan Lawrence and Thomas McAloon both got their first taste of action since rejoining the club, while some players looked understandably rusty due to lack of game time.
Consett took the lead on 28 minutes, when centre-back Simon Jakab finished from close range in a goalmouth scramble from a right-wing corner.
A minute later it was 1-1 when Durham centre-back Verstraaten netted at the back post from a corner.
Six minutes before half-time the students, who were playing their first pre-season game, took the lead when Hayward surged into the box and fired in off the post.
And that’s the way it stayed, as neither side troubled the scorers in the second period. Andrei-Vasile Ardelean did have the ball in the net, but was correctly ruled offside.
Consett: 1 Kyle Hayes, 2 Nick Allen, 3 David Brown, 4 Dan Hawkins (captain), 5 Simon Jakab, 6 Chris Rogan, 7 Michael Brown (sub A Trialist 46), 8 Nathan Lawrence, 9 Andrei-Vasile Ardelean, 10 Joe Sloan (sub Michael Brown 59), 11 Thomas McAloon.
Durham University: 1 King, 2 White (sub Gilbey 85), 3 Elson, 4 Hayward (sub Kilvington 46), 5 Verstraaten, 6 L. Smith, 7 Sampson, 8 Gourlay, 9 Beg (sub Hartley 70), 10 Hizzett (sub Buys 60), 11 Stokoe (sub Eastham 85).
This Tuesday night, 24 September, Consett will play Durham University in a friendly at Belle View.
Kick-off will be 7:30pm, and it will be pay what you want on the gate, with all funds going to Prostate Cancer UK.
With the help of the Conny Army, the club hopes to raise as much money as possible for Men United in the next 30 days.
The match will be used by Consett manager Terry Mitchell to give some if his squad, including new signings Nathan Lawrence and Thomas McAloon, much-needed game time.
We have played friendlies against Durham University a couple of times in recent seasons, and they are invariably good games, with plenty of attacking football.
The most recent was in January 2019, when Consett ran out 8-3 winners.
Consett tasted defeat for the first time in pre-season in today’s final friendly against Morpeth Town – but will take plenty of positives from their 4-3 loss.
The Steelmen gave as good as they got for much of an incident-packed game against a team who will be playing two divisions higher than this season.
Although it was a friendly, both teams played it like a cup tie, and Consett manager Terry Mitchell will be delighted with some of the football his side played.
Morpeth, who won the Northern Premier League East Division title last season, went in front after just two minutes, when Sean Reid was allowed to carry the ball deep into the Consett half, and smashed a shot past Kyle Hayes from 20 yards.
On 31 minutes Consett levelled with a fine goal. Luke Carr‘s pass sent Darren Holden surging down the level, and his perfect return ball saw the No 10 sweep the ball past Morpeth’s trialist keeper.
Morpeth regained the lead in the 39th minute when Ben Sayer’s free-kick was headed down by Jeff Henderson at the back post, and Ben Harmison slammed the loose ball in from close range.
A minute later it was 2-2 as Consett equalised with another well-worked goal. Teenager Max Russell did well down the flank, and his cutback found Andrei-Vasile Ardelean, who fired home from eight yards.
On 52 minutes Morpeth got their noses in front again with an excellent solo goal from midfielder Ben Sayer, who danced through the Consett defence before finishing past Hayes.
Consett responded well, and on 66 minutes made it 3-3 through Darren Holden. Deployed again in a more advanced role, he advanced up the left and fired into the far corner from the edge of the box when the Morpeth defence stood off him.
The final goal of a pulsating game came in the 76th minute, when Jack Foalle grabbed the winner for Morpeth, curling a beautiful strike into the corner to make it 4-3.
- Full match report and more pictures to follow.