In the absence of football for the foreseeable future, we’re going to be looking back at some memorable matches in the history of Consett AFC -and what a cracker we’ve got to get us started, from this day in our history in 2015.
Consett enjoyed their best win so far under new manager Colin Myers, in his seventh game in charge.
After finishing as league runners-up the previous season, the short-lived days of largesse were over at the Gillford Park Stadium. The hosts went into the game second-bottom and fighting relegation, and had recently suffered 6-1 home defeats to Sunderland RCA and Whitley Bay. Little did they know that their latest visitors were to go one better, and put their travelling fans in seventh heaven.
Consett were without the suspended Matty Slocombe and Michael Pearson, and had ex-Tow Law keeper Josie Longstaff making his debut after Chris Elliott went off to play in Sweden.
The Steelmen took the lead in the 21st minute, as Luke Sullivan rose highest to head home a Danny Craggs corner, but on the half-hour the scores were level when Celtic Nation broke quickly from a Consett corner. David Renyard cut in from the right and hit a swerving shot which Longstaff could not hold, and Dean Crozier reacted first to stab home the loose ball.
Consett began to get on top as the end of the half approached, and Michael Mackay’s 43rd goal of the season a minute before the break gave the Steelmen a half-time lead.
If Consett had shaded a fairly even first half, there was no indication of what was to follow. Sullivan was moved into midfield while Josh Gray replaced Adam Nicholls at half-time, and their pace, aggression and directness proved to be the catalyst for the demolition job which followed.
Gray’s run and cross set up Craggs to smash the ball into the top corner on 51 minutes to make it 3-1, and that opened the floodgates.
CN forward Harvey Moyes, a youngster on loan from Carlisle, was booked for a cynical lunge on Gray as the Cumbrians began to lose their discipline, and his strike partner Jason Blackburn was lucky not to see red after flattening Mark Eccles with a punch as they contested a header.
Consett continued to play their football, and on 53 minutes it was four when a lightning break ended with Calvin Smith sending a delightful diagonal chip over the keeper and into the top-right corner.
Longstaff atoned for his error on the CN goal with a couple of decent saves before a Mackay penalty – awarded after the referee judged a defender had handled Gray’s shot – made it 5-1 on 76 minutes.
Chris Moore hit number six after a poor kick-out by the Cumbrians’ keeper three minutes later, pictured top, and the final goal came on 80 minutes, when Mackay, clean through and looking certain to complete his second hat-trick in four days, unselfishly gave sub Aris Guerin-Lokonga a tap-in.
The final score of 7-1 by no means flattered Consett, who would go on to finish the season 9th. It was to be their last visit to Celtic Nation, who finished 21st, and resigned from the league upon completing their fixtures.
CONSETT: 1 Joe Longstaff, 2 David Brown, 3 Mark Eccles, 4 Dan Madden (captain), 5 Jack Walker, 6 Calvin Smith, 7 Chris Moore (sub 15 Dale Stones 83), 8 Danny Craggs (sub 14 Aris Guerin-Lokonga 65), 9 Michael Mackay, 10 Luke Sullivan, 11 Adam Nicholls (sub 12 Josh Gray 46). Subs not used: GK Ben Cole, 16 Kieran Jewitt.