Consett will be playing Northern Premier League football next season after beating Lincoln United 4-2 today at a soggy Belle View.
But they had to do it the hard way by coming from behind against their visitors, who needed a win to avoid the play-offs, while the Steelmen needed just a point to secure safety.
Manager Tony Fawcett again had to shuffle his pack, with skipper Arjun Purewal out and no full-backs available, so Matty Slocombe and Daniel Smith lined up in the No 2 and No 3 shirts.
Lincoln took the lead in the ninth minute when a lack of communication between Mark Foden and his defence let in right-back Evan Payne to lob the ball over the stranded keeper.
Consett levelled on 21 minutes when Kieren Aplin made attacked down the left and his low cross was finished first time by Calvin Smith, for his fifth goal of the season, pictured below.
Three minutes later the home side were in front as Nathan Greenwood did well down the right flank and crossed for Danny Barlow to finish at the near post, pictured below. It was his second goal since joining on loan from Blyth Spartans.
Barlow almost scored again with a free-kick on 39 minutes, bringing a good save from Lincoln keeper Jack Steggles at his near post, and he made an even better stop from Scott Fenwick two minutes later.
It wasn’t all one-way traffic, and the home side had a big let-off a minute before half-time when AJ Adelekan somehow hit the bar with the goal at his mercy.
It remained 2-1 to Consett at the break, and though they expected their visitors to throw the kitchen sink at them in the second half, the expected onslaught never came.
On 77 minutes Consett put the game beyond their visitors’ reach when Dan Capewell scored with a superb glancing header from Aplin’s right-wing corner, pictured below, to make it 3-1.
To the visitors’ credit they didn’t lie down, and after missing a couple of chances they reduced the arrears through Shane Clarke on 81 minutes.
With Consett defending a 3-2 lead there were one or two nervous gulps when the officials signalled six minutes of added time at the end of the game.
But the last word went to Consett, as good work by Fenwick and Calvin Smith set up Scott Jasper to complete the scoring with his first goal for the club in the 94th minute.
This result, combined with others, means Consett finish a creditable 13th in their first season in the Northern Premier League, with Carlton Town joining Lincoln in the play-off positions, and Shildon occupying the second relegation place despite winning at Grimsby Borough.
- Full match report and more pictures to follow.
At the other end of the table, Hebburn secured third place, joining second-placed Stockton in the play-offs, though Dunston missed out after their defeat at Carlton. Long Eaton United and Stocksbridge Park Steels are the other play-off clubs.
The other final-day results in full are:
Bridlington Town 1 Stocksbridge Park Steels 0
Carlton Town 2 Dunston 0
Grimsby Borough 2 Shildon 3
Hebburn Town 3 Cleethorpes Town 1
Long Eaton United 3 Brighouse Town 0
North Shields 2 Worksop Town 3
Ossett United 0 Grantham Town 0
Sheffield 2 Stockton Town 1
Tadcaster Albion 0 Pontefract Collieries 4