Consett AFC can today reveal their pre-season schedule ahead of the 2023-24 Northern Premier League season.Continue reading “Consett unveil seven-game schedule of pre-season fixtures”
Consett drew their latest friendly 2-2 against Morpeth Town at Belle View Stadium tonight – but the higher-ranked visitors were a little fortunate to claim a draw.
The Steelmen were fired up from the start, and played some excellent football against the Highwaymen, who finished 10th in the Northern Premier League’s Premier Division last season.
The opening goal came in the 11th minute, when Declan Bisset fed the ball out to Adam Mitchell on the left.
The No 10 cut inside and unleashed a powerful shot, which Morpeth keeper Dan Lowson did well to save. But Consett’s Cyril Giraud was first to the loose ball to fire home from close range, pictured below.
Two minutes later the lead was almost doubled when a ball from the right found Colin Larkin, whose thunderous volley brought a great save out of Lowson.
But on 21 minutes a mistake at the back handed Morpeth an equaliser when the home side gave away possession cheaply, and Ryan Donaldson ran through to slot past the exposed Ross Coombe to make it 1-1.
Giraud went close with a header and skipper-for-the-night Jake Orrell had a shot blocked as Consett sought to regain their lead.
As half-time approached it was Consett who looked more likely to score, with Lowson making another good save from Mitchell, after great work down the left by Kieren Aplin.
Morpeth hadn’t shown much as an attacking force in the first half, but Coombe had to be alert in the 52nd minute to make a good save low down from Jack Foalle.
Aplin rolled an effort wide of the far post and Orrell fired a snapshot just wide as Consett continued to enjoy the upper hand, and they got the goal they deserved in the 67th minute.
Karl Byrne beat his man down the flank and crossed for Colin Larkin, who beat Lowson to the ball and was promptly wiped out by the keeper. The No 9 picked himself up to tuck away the resulting penalty to make it 2-1.
Larkin went close as Consett looked to increase their lead, and Orrell saw another shot saved by Lowson after more good work by Byrne.
At the other end Morpeth’s Dale Pearson, returning to his old stomping ground, had a close-range shot blocked and sub Bailey Geliher forced a low save from Coombe.
But in the 86th minute the Highwaymen stole a goal after a defensive error from Byrne, who inexplicably played the ball right across his own box, gifting Jack Foalle an easy finish.
It was an equaliser Morpeth scarcely deserved, as their keeper had made a string of fine saves, compared to a couple of fairly routine stops by his home counterpart.
Neither side was able to find a winner in the closing minutes, but no one in the 178 crowd was complaining after a highly entertaining pre-season encounter.
- Full report and more pictures to follow.
Consett AFC can today confirm the club’s full list of pre-season friendlies ahead of our first campaign in The Pitching In Northern Premier League (NPL).
There are eight games in all – five at home and three away – ahead of our NPL Division One East bow on Saturday 13 August.
We will receive our league fixtures at the NPL annual general meeting on Saturday June 11, but in the meantime can confirm the following friendly games:
Chairman Frank Bell said: “We’ve had a couple of late withdrawals, including one in the last 24 hours, which has meant having to find new opponents at short notice.
“But we’re happy to now be able to announce a pre-season programme which we believe will prepare us well as we step up to the Northern Premier League.”
We kick off with our first visit since 2017 to Berwick Rangers, who now play in the Lowland League, and we will also face three Northern League sides.
The first is Birtley Town, which brings a swift reunion with Paul Bryson, pictured below, who helped us to promotion as Andy Coyles’ assistant before recently departing for another of his former clubs.
They are followed by Whitley Bay and West Auckland Town, who are expected to be among the league’s leading sides next season.
We face two regular pre-season opponents in Workington and Morpeth Town, both of which will provide good tests. Workington finished second last season in the NPL Division One West, while Morpeth were 10th in the NPL Premier Division.
The last two opponents will provide very tough tests indeed, particularly as the games are both away from home.
Liversedge were last season’s champions of the NPL division we are joining, while our old Northern League friends Marske were runners-up, and join them in the Premier Division for 2022-23 after securing promotion via the play-offs.
Admission prices for the friendlies, along with matchday charges and season ticket details for our league fixtures, will be announced in due course.
After Saturday’s false start, Consett got their pre-season preparations underway with an entertaining 4-2 win over Morpeth Town at Belle View Stadium tonight.
It was the Highwaymen’s second friendly, after a 2-0 win at fellow Northern Premier League side Shildon on Saturday.
And although the visitors, who played two divisions above Consett, fielded a strong side, it was Terry Mitchell’s Steelmen who deserved the win after a well-fought game.
Consett took the lead on 22 minutes, when young Dan Marriott played a neat one-two witrh Carl Lawson before rounding the keeper to fire home, pictured top.
But it was 1-1 on 32 minutes when Andrew Johnson curled home a fine equaliser from the edge of the box into the bottom corner.
That’s the way it remained at half-time, and the second half saw Consett ring the changes, bringing on six substitutes, including four trialists.
The changes did nothing to disrupt their momentum, however, and on 52 minutes they regained the lead when two of the newcomers combined to make it 2-1.
Five minutes later it was 3-1 when Matty Slocombe’s pass found Darren Holden in the box, and he curled a right-footed effort into the far corner.
The NPL Premier Division side showed their class again with a fine second goal in the 72nd minute, when captain Liam Henderson scored with a falling volley from Carl Finnegan’s cross.
But three minutes later Consett’s two-goal lead was restored when the trialist who had made the second goal pounced on a bad pass by the Morpeth keeper, and fired into the empty net for 4-2.
Consett’s next game is on Saturday 10 July, when they host Wearside League side Richmond Town in a 3pm kick-off.
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 took their fans on a roller-coaster ride in an entertaining Wednesday night game at Morpeth Town on this day seven years ago.
The Northern League Division One game at Craik Park saw them rack up their 50th goal of the season, but concede their 48th – in just their 19th game!
Manager Kenny Lindoe made two changes to the side which had beated Jarrow Roofing eight days earlier, with fit-again defenders Carl Piecha and Ryan Bell coming in for Matty Slocombe and Mark Eccles, with the latter a late withdrawal after pulling up in the warm-up.
The Steelmen pushed forward from the start, and should have gone in front within two minutes, when a good move down the right gave Chris Bell a chance, but he badly miscued his shot across the face of goal.
But on four minutes Consett were ahead, with Bell making amends by sending Michael Mackay clear with a measured pass which beat the offside trap, and left the former Hartlepool man the simple task of slotting home past advancing keeper Steven Mundy.
After their early setback, the home side regrouped to enjoy their best spell of the game, with Sean Taylor and Jordan Fry both going close, before a right-wing cross brought the equaliser on 19 minutes. A ball in from the wing fell to the back post, where Taylor fired home. However, the referee had already blown the whistle for a push on Michael Chilton by Michael Pearson, and awarded a penalty. Chilton stepped up and thumped his spot-kick into the top-left corner.
Consett thought they had re-taken the lead on the half-hour mark. David Brown took a quick free-kick to Anthony Lund on the left, and his cross found Mackay, who hooked the ball home. But the away bench had returned a stray ball onto the pitch, and even though it was not interfering with play, the referee ruled out the ‘goal’.
The incident seemed to make Consett lose their focus for a while, and on 40 minutes they went behind, after a flowing Morpeth move down the right. Defender Daniel Patterson started it with a pass out to Fry on the right, and he reached the by-line before crossing into the six-yard box, where Chilton netted with a cheeky backheel.
With the final kick of the half, Consett made it 2-2. Piecha set Lund away down the left with a long ball out from the back, and when Morpeth keeper Mundy came racing out of his area into no-man’s land, the wide-man rolled it past him from 30 yards.
Half time: Morpeth Town 2-2 Consett
Consett made a change at half-time, bringing on Aris Guerin-Lokonga for Brown, with Lund dropping to left-back. And it paid dividends when they retook the lead on the hour. Mackay fed the ball out to Chris Bell on the right, and he drove the ball into the middle, where Sullivan finished from a few yards out, for his 20th goal of the season.
Pearson almost joined him on the scoresheet a couple of minutes later when his speculative effort from the right was pawed from under the crossbar by Mundy, and then Mackay put a header straight at the keeper from another Chris Bell cross.
But in what was fast becoming the story of the season, the Steelmen were made to pay for not taking their chances, as Morpeth equalised on 72 minutes. Right-back Shaun Henderson crossed towards Chilton, and the striker looked to have been pushed in the back by Piecha, who headed the ball up in the air. As the rest of the defence stood watching, Taylor reacted first to rifle the dropping ball into the top-right corner.
As the game entered its last quarter of an hour it looked like ‘next goal wins’, and Consett had what they thought was a good penalty appeal turned down when Guerin-Lokonga was sent sprawling by centre-back Chris Jewels as they chased a ball into the box.
The referee awarded only a corner, but the decision worked in Consett’s favour, as from the setpiece they went 4-3 ahead. Bell’s corner was half-cleared, and Calvin Smith lashed home the goal of the game from 25 yards with a superb strike which went in off the bar.
Consett brought on Craig Robson for Andrew Cuthbertson in a bid to shore things up, but they needn’t have worried, as, with five minutes to go, they scored again to wrap the game up. Pearson’s pass sent Guerin-Lokonga clear, and he made the keeper commit himself before unselfishly squaring the ball for Sullivan to roll his second goal of the night and 21st of the season into the unguarded net.
Full time: Morpeth 3-5 Consett
The teams lined up:
Morpeth Town : Steven Mundy, Shaun Henderson Michael Robinson, Andrew Keenan (Scott Swanston 75), David Hiftle, Chris Jewels (capt), Stephen Forster (Shaun Bell 75), Jordan Fry, Daniel Patterson (Steven Anderson 68), Michael Chilton, Sean Taylor. Subs not used: Michael Hall, Marc Walmsley
Consett: Jack Norton, Michael Pearson, David Brown (Aris Guerin-Lokonga 46), Calvin Smith, Carl Piecha (capt), Ryan Bell, Chris Bell, Andrew Cuthbertson (Craig Robson 80), Luke Sullivan, Michael Mackay, Anthony Lund. Subs not used: Matty Slocombe, Daniel Hall
This was the season Consett played their first 18 league games away from home, while they waited for their new Belle View Stadium to be completed. This was the 15th of those games. Such an unbalanced schedule obviously took its toll on the Steelmen, and they finished the season 11th.
Morpeth, who had only been promoted from the 2nd Division the season before, finished 17th in their first season back in the top flight. But their fortunes over the next few seasons would show how quickly things can change in football.
They were 8th the next season, then 4th – in the same season where they lifted the FA Vase – before two runners-up finishes prepared the way for promotion.
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 AFC have been given the green light to allow spectators to attend matches – but in strictly limited numbers.
New FA guidance issued today means clubs at our level can start a phased return towards having crowds at games.
Among the requirements are:
- All clubs must have a designated Covid-19 officer. Consett AFC’s is our Chairman Frank Bell.
- Clubs must complete and publish bespoke risk assessments and action plans for their ground. Ours is HERE.
- Track and trace efforts must be supported. ie anyone entering Belle View Stadium must supply their name and a contact number.
- Supporters should remain socially distanced, gather in groups of no more than six, and spread out, in line with wider government guidance.
- Food and drink will be available. Toilets will be open, and should be used on a one-in, one-out basis. Hand sanitising is available in several places, and touch-points will be regularly cleansed.
Stage one of the phased return means that from 22-30 August, spectators are permitted to attend our games, providing their number does not exceed 15% of the minimum ground grading capacity.
This means spectators will be allowed into our friendly game v Morpeth this Saturday (KO 3pm).
From 31 August, clubs will be permitted to allow spectators to attend fixtures provided their number does not exceed 30% of the minimum ground grading capacity.
This means supporters will be allowed into our FA Cup game v Ryhope CW on Tuesday 1 September (KO 7.45pm).
The phased and limited return of spectators will be kept under constant review in line with Government guidelines, and amended accordingly as required.
Admission arrangements for Saturday’s game v Morpeth will be confirmed as soon as possible.
Consett finished a roller-coaster season in style on this day 10 years ago, with a 14th away win of the campaign – a club Northern League 1st Division record – against already-relegated Morpeth in their final game groundsharing at Bedlington.
With first-choice goalkeeper Danny Staples just off his crutches, and stand-ins Sam Grieveson and Chris Moore unavailable, Kenny Lindoe gave a debut to former Durham City net-minder Aiden Vout, who became the 46th player used in the 2009-10 season.
In truth, he had so little to do that Paul Curry, who has played as an emergency custodian before, could have gone in goal and we would still have comfortably won.
Guy Bates had the ball in the net as early as the third minute with a crisp volley, but was flagged offside, but it only took another four minutes for the ex-Newcastle United reserve to get one that counted.
David Pounder, pictured top, played a glorious pass from the left which dipped over the centre-half’s head, and Bates finished with a deft chip over the goalkeeper.
On 15 minutes Morpeth had their best chance of the first half when Justin Millican’s left-wing corner fizzed across goal, but neither Alex Lawson at the front post nor Sean Sweeney, coming in late at the back, could apply the touch it needed.
Bates came close to doubling Consett’s advantage on 20 minutes when he latched onto a flick-on from Gary Ormston, playing in an advanced position, and smacked a powerful effort just over.
Steven Huggins, who was bossing the midfield, then played a lovely one-two with Bates to surge into the box down the right, but instead of going for goal himself he picked out Gavin Parkin at the back post, whose volley hit the bar.
The former Bishop Auckland man was not to be denied, however, and on 31 minutes he made it 2-0. Huggins again made inroads down the right, and passed to Ormston, who helped it on, and this time Parkin drove home, despite a defender’s attempted block.
Five minutes before half-time, Morpeth full-back Chris Shanks gifted possession to Bates on the edge of his own box, but keeper Jak Wells got him out of jail, saving the striker’s low effort with his feet.
Two minutes later he could do nothing about Consett’s third goal, however, and again it came down the right. Andrew Burton’s hard, low cross evaded first Pounder and then Ormston, but Bates made no mistake from eight yards, picking his spot and slotting the ball into the bottom-left corner.
It could have been four before the break, as first Bates and then Burton (with an overhead kick) and Pounder went close.
The second-half began how the first had ended, with Consett making most of the play. Ormston headed wide from Huggins’ right-wing corner, Burton saw Wells pull his well-struck 20-yarder down comfortably.
But the Steelmen nearly conceded in almost comical fashion when Graham Irving’s attempted clearance cannoned off Sweeney and flew just past the post, with Vout beaten.
The debutant keeper then had his first serious save, from Barrie Smith’s free-kick from the left edge of the box, but made a confident catch.
Jonjo Dickman volleyed straight at Wells before seeing the keeper pull off a good if slightly fortuitous save as he surged into the box after exchanging passes with Bates.
Consett were not to be denied for long, and when a Morpeth backpass fell to Bates, who was still contesting an earlier decision with the referee, he unselfishly squared for Brian Dodsworth, on as a sub just three minutes earlier, to finish from close range.
Four minutes Bates, passed up the chance of a hat-trick to set up David Pounder for his 11th goal of the season, and his 50th for the club.
odsworth found him with a quick throw-in down the left, and although no one would have blamed him for going for goal, Bates pulled the ball back for Prof to knock home.
It was the No 9’s last involvement of the game, as he was immediately replaced by youngster Robert Nolan, who somehow squandered a chance to make it six when Dodsworth latched onto a long ball and set him up for a chance which it seemed harder to miss.
It mattered not, for shortly afterwards the final whistle went, and Consett were left to reflect on what might have been if only their home form had matched that on the road.
Sadly, this was to be the last game in Consett colours for both Gary Ormston and David Pounder, who had played a combined 432 games, scoring 102 goals, as they left for Whitley Bay, where they won the FA Vase the following season.
It also marked the end of the road for two more popular players, Steven Huggins and Andrew Burton, who left Belle Vue for pastures new after just one season. They weren’t alone, however, as only four of the team which ended this season started the next one.
Morpeth Town: 1 Wells, 2 Shanks, 3 Haxon (captain), 4 Lawson, 5 Thorpe, 6 Grant, 7 Millican, 8 Smith, 9 Ford, 10 Sweeney (King 77), 11 Newton-Eddy. Subs not used: Jewitt, Swithenbank.
Consett: 1 Aiden Vout, 2 Andrew Burton, 3 Gavin Parkin, 4 Graham Irving, 5 Michael Coulthard, 6 Carl Piecha, 7 Steven Huggins, 8 Jonjo Dickman, 9 Guy Bates (sub Robert Nolan 78), 10 David Pounder, 11 Gary Ormston (sub Brian Dodsworth 70). Subs not used: Paul Curry, Liam Hubbuck.