A comfortable win at the Kimberley Park home of near-neighbours Prudhoe Town left Consett needing a maximum of seven points from their remaining 10 games to clinch promotion back to Division One of the Northern League on this day back in 2006.
Manager Kenny Lindoe made several changes to the side that had won through to the League Cup semi-finals at Darlington RA the previous Wednesday. The injured James Platten and Damian Maw were replaced by Andy Colling and David Anderson respectively, while Mark Patterson, David Johnson and Andrew Bulford were restored to the side in place of Colin McKenzie, Paul Curry and Scott Macdonald. Prudhoe’s side included two players who would go on to play for Consett, Graham Irving and Mark Gaffney.
Consett made a tremendous start to the game and were three up inside 21 minutes. They scored with their first meaningful attack when a superb ball from Steven Brown set up Bulford on the edge of the Prudhoe area and he gleefully lashed the ball past Haytham Abbas to net against his former club. His celebration is pictured, top.
Abbas made a great save two minutes later to deny Bulford his second, parrying the young striker’s volley after he had palmed away Patterson’s cross. On 16 minutes, however, Consett’s second duly arrived as Carl Piecha rose to power home a header from Brown’s left-wing corner.
It was 3-0 five minutes later when Robbie Blemings played a tremendous ball from inside his own half to pick out Michael Mackay, who had peeled off the last defender at the far edge of the penalty area, and dispatched a stunning left-foot volley into the roof of the net, giving Abbas no chance.
Prudhoe managed to stem the tide somewhat after the early flurry, although it was still very much one-way traffic. On the stroke of half-time Consett added a fourth goal as Patterson beat the Prudhoe offside trap and ran on to drill a shot through Abbas, which crept over the line.
Midway through the second half Consett went nap with their 100th league goal of what was turning out to be an extraordinary season. The Prudhoe defence were caught flat-footed by a ball over the top which Mackay raced on to, and he smashed the ball into the roof of the net for his 27th goal of the season, which made him top goalscorer, surpassing the departed Craig Tate’s 26.
With the game over as a contest the home side resorted to some roughhouse tactics, which culminated in a double sending off in the 77th minute. Nicky Richardson, who had been spoken to by the referee just moments earlier, scythed through substitute Chris Douglas and was given a straight red card. Then full-back Paul Hamilton, already on a yellow card following a flare-up with Patterson, received a second one for comments to the referee and Prudhoe were down to nine men.
Despite the numerical advantage, the Steelmen were unable to add to their tally, but in the end a comfortable win with no injuries or suspensions picked up made it very much mission accomplished.
Consett: 1 Andy Colling, 2 Gary Ormston, 3 David Johnson (sub Paul Curry), 4 Carl Piecha, 5 David Anderson, 6 Robbie Blemings, 7 Mark Patterson (sub Chris Douglas), 8 Steven Brown, 9 Andrew Bulford, 10 Michael Mackay, 11 Kraig Wilkinson (sub Scott Macdonald).
Consett went on to finish the season as 2nd Division champions, while Prudhoe finished 13th, and sadly dropped out of the Northern League all together three years later.
- PS Has anybody got a spare programme for this game, presuming there was one (Prudhoe did issue for the Craven Cup game in October 2005)? Contact email@example.com if you can help.