Consett’s three-game winning run came to an end at Belle View Stadium today as they lost 3-1 to in-form Grimsby Borough.
The visitors arrived unbeaten in 11 games, and made it 12 with a win where they showed just how streetwise they’ve become since starting the season with six consecutive defeats.
A tight first half was goalless, with Scott Fenwick having a shot cleared off the line for Consett, pictured below, and Ross Coombe saving well from Reece York at the other end.
Calvin Smith hit the post as Consett started the second half well, with Fenwick denied a penalty as he seemed to be felled as he reacted to the rebound.
The complexion of the game changed completely in the 48th minute when the referee showed a straight red card to the disbelieving Zak Atkinson, pictured top, for a foul which Adam Mitchell had committed.
After a chaotic few minutes during which tempers frayed and the referee eventually sent off the right player, Grimsby took the lead while Consett got used to playing with 10 men.
A quick break down the right – where the dismissed Mitchell had been playing – saw the visitors’ top scorer Adam Drury exchange passes with York before firing a first-time shot past Coombe to make it 0-1.
Consett skipper Arjun Purewal had a glorious chance to level from a corner five minutes later, but his powerful header, pictured below, went inches over the bar.
The home side were made to pay when another quick raid down Consett’s depleted flank saw debutant Tyler Edwards convert from a pass by Lewis Collins.
A flurry of substitutions followed as Consett sought a way back into the game and Grimsby tried to hold onto what they had, but the home side received a lifeline in the 84th minute.
Borough centre-back Callum Lovett brought down Fenwick with a scything tackle, pictured below, and Consett’s top scorer Zak Atkinson stepped up to convert the resulting spot kick and make it 1-2 with his 10th goal of the season.
Substitute Cyril Giraud and Atkinson had chances to level, and with five minutes of time added at the end of the game the crowd got behind Consett, spurring the 10 men on for a late leveller.
Instead the decisive goal went the other way as sub Kyle Radford made it 1-3 with a strike from distance, which went in off the post.
The result saw Consett drop one place to 10th, with their next fixture a tough away trip to third-placed Stocksbridge Park Steels next Saturday, 4 February.
- Full match report and more pictures to follow.