Tag: Newcastle Benfield

durham challenge cup

Consett into last 16 after Tow Law forfeit Durham Challenge Cup tie

Consett are through to the last 16 of the Durham Challenge Cup without kicking a ball after Tow Law Town forfeited tonight’s scheduled Durham Challenge Cup tie.

The 1st Round game was due to take place at their Ironworks Road ground tonight with a 7.30pm kick-off, but it has been cancelled after Tow Law said they had problems raising a team.

Remarkably, Consett have progressed to the 2nd Round without playing a game, as Durham City did the same the day before our scheduled Preliminary Round tie.

The draw for the next round has yet to take place, as most of the 1st Round ties are being played tonight and tomorrow.

The postponement means Consett’s next game – and their last of 2021 – will be this Saturday, 18 December, when we take on Newcastle Benfield at Belle View with a 3pm kick-off as we bid to extend our lead at the top of Northern League Division One.

Benfield parted company with manager Stuart Elliott after our 4-0 success in the FA Vase at Sam Smith’s Park at the weekend, and are inviting applications for his successor.

Consett beat Benfield to reach last 32 of FA Vase

Consett will be in Monday’s FA Vase 4th Round draw after an excellent performance saw them win 4-0 today at fellow Northern League club Newcastle Benfield.

Interim manager Andy Coyles was without the services of six players, and had to name two of the club’s U19s, David Richardson and Kieran Scott, among his substitutes.

But the Steelmen made light of the absentees with a performance which saw them dominate the game from start to finish.

They went ahead after just five minutes, when Jake Orrell’s pass sent Colin Larkin clear, and the veteran striker made it 1-0 by lobbing the onrushing keeper from 12 yards.

On 20 minutes Consett should have doubled their advantage when Luke Carr’s deep free-kick found Calvin Smith unmarked at the back post, but he put his header wide.

But on 26 minutes it was 2-0, when Colin Larkin took a pass from Olly Scott and fired into the corner, pictured below, despite the attentions of two defenders.

Two minutes before half-time the Steelmen grabbed a third goal, as skipper Arjun Purewal scored with a glancing header from Orrell’s left-wing corner.

A minute into the second half another Orrell inswinger caused chaos in the six-yard box, but Benfield managed to hack the ball off the line before Consett could force it home.

The game was wrapped up in the 72nd minute when Carr danced through a few challenges and forced a good save from the keeper, only for the rebound to fall to top scorer Dale Pearson, who blasted home his 19th goal of the season, pictured below.

Four minutes from the end Consett almost had a fifth when the outstanding Orrell ran through on goal, but he was denied by a fine stop by keeper Alfie Gordon.

They will be joined in Monday’s draw by fellow Northern League club North Shields, who won 3-2 at Barton Rovers, but Billingham Synthonia are out, beaten 3-0 at Wythenshawe Town.

  • Full match report, stats and more pictures to follow.

Dale Pearson double fires Consett to victory against his old club Newcastle Benfield

Dale Pearson’s first two goals of the season helped Consett to a 3-2 win over his old club Newcastle Benfield at Belle View Stadium today – but they had to come from two goals behind to do it.

The big striker, who was top scorer with 30 goals last season, had yet to hit the net this time round, but made up for that with a brace in a goal-laden first half.

Benfield took the lead on 14 minutes when an error in the home defence left veteran striker Paul Brayson with only the keeper to beat, and he obliged.

On 22 minutes they doubled their lead, with Paul Brayson finishing again after a deflected cross fell kindly for him.

Consett were awarded a penalty on 27 minutes after Benfield old boy Jake Orrell was brought down in the box. The visiting players were incensed, not by the decision, but by the fact one of their players, Jack Cooper, had gone down injured in the build-up.

Sadly, he ended up being stretchered off with what looked like a serious injury, and after a three-minute delay Dale Pearson stepped up to convert the penalty and halve the deficit.

In the 42nd minute Consett were level when Ali Alshabeeb chested down a great crossfield pass by Darren Holden, beat his man, and finished into the far corner.

Two minutes into the time added due to the Benfield injury Consett took the lead. Orrell swung in a cross from the left, a defender could only head it down into the six-yard box, and Dale Pearson reacted quickest, pictured top, to turn it home and make it 3-2 at half-time.

After a goal-packed first half the sell-out crowd of 300 were probably expecting more after the break, but Benfield keeper Andrew Grainger had other ideas.

He made a good save low down from Pearson’s free-kick, denied Lewis Green his first goal for the club from a well-struck 20-yarder, and foiled Pearson again to deprive him of his hat-trick.

On the one occasion Consett did beat him, when Orrell looped a header over him from debutant Daniel Marriott’s cross, the crossbar came to his rescue, and the final whistle saw Consett make it two wins from two in the league.

  • Full match report and more pictures HERE.

Tickets on general sale now for Consett’s first home league game of the season v Newcastle Benfield

Tickets have today gone on general sale for Consett’s next home game, the Northern League Division One fixture against Newcastle Benfield on Saturday, 19 September.

The 3pm kick-off is our first home league match of 2020-21, and season ticket holders need do nothing, as it’s the first game covered by their pass.

Supporters who don’t have a season ticket are encouraged to buy a virtual ticket in advance, as our capacity for the game remains set at 300, and we can’t guarantee admission on the day.

Track and trace details must be supplied by anyone attending the game, and temperature checks will be carried out at the turnstiles as part of the club’s Covid-19 risk assessment.

Tickets are £7 for adults, £5 for concessions, and £2 for under-16s. They are available in person at the club, or by calling 01207 588886, between 10am-10pm.

The game will see Consett’s Dale Pearson, pictured top, Luke Carr and Jake Orrell facing their old club, while Benfield include ex-Steelman Richie Slaughter in their ranks.

Ticket details for the FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round game versus Stockton Town on Tuesday 22 September will be announced tomorrow.

FA Vase: Consett exempt from early rounds – but draw throws up 10 all-Northern League ties

Consett for once had only a passing interest in the draw for the opening rounds of this season’s FA Vase, which were made by the FA today.

Our club record run to last season’s semi-finals – which still have to be settled – means we are exempt until the 2nd Round on Saturday 28 November.

Hebburn Town, West Auckland and Stockton Town will also remain interested spectators until then, while Newcastle Benfield enter in the 1st Round.

Today’s 1st Qualifying Round FA Vase draw threw up 10 all-Northern League ties:

Bishop Auckland v Billingham Synthonia

Bedlington Terriers v Heaton Stannington

Willington v Whickham

North Shields v Tow Law Town

Northallerton Town v Billingham Town

West Allotment Celtic v Penrith

Ryton & Crawcrook Albion v Ashington

Shildon v Chester-le-Street Town

Whitley Bay v Newcastle University

Guisborough Town v Washington

Read the draw for the 1st and 2nd Qualifying Rounds as it affects Northern League clubs in full here.

Depending on our clubs’ success against opponents from other leagues, there could be up to nine more all-NL ties in the next round.

On this day in our history: 13 May 2013 – a low-key last league game defeat at Belle Vue Park

Consett brought down the curtain on 63 years at Belle Vue Park on this day seven years ago with a game they didn’t have to expect to play.

The Northern League ordered that they play relegation-threatened Newcastle Benfield again after floodlight failure caused the original fixture to be abandoned two weeks earlier, with 12 minutes left to play.

Far from being the great occasion which would have befitted the last Northern League game at the ground, this Monday evening match was typical end-of-season fare, with few chances at either end, and Benfield – who led 2-0 when the 29 April game was curtailed due to bad light – doing enough to make sure of 1st Division survival, by winning 2-1

Manager Kenny Lindoe made one change to the side which had drawn 2-2 with FA Vase winners Spennymoor Town on Saturday, with Ian Davidson coming in at centre-back for Carl Piecha.

With the skipper and vice-captain Craig Robson missing, the honour of captaining Consett in their last-ever competitive game at Belle Vue fell to 19-year-old Matty Slocombe – who had recently agreed to sign on contract for next season and was being touted as a captain for the future.

Benfield included three ex-Steelmen in their line-up – Gary Ormston, Brian Dodsworth and Richie Slaughter – with a fourth, Steven Brown, on the bench. Their player-manager was Steve Bowey, who would go on to be a player-coach at Consett.

Consett’s David Brown halts Benfield’s Brian Dodsworth. Pic: John Paul Hardy.

Consett showed first, and they had their first chance on eight minutes, when David Brown’s cross from the left picked out Aris Guerin-Lokonga, who beat his man and got to the by-line, only to see his cross cut out by a combination of goalkeeper and defender. The resulting corner was half-cleared to Michael Mackay, whose volley from the edge of the box went a yard wide of the right-hand post.

Benfield’s first chance came on 13 minutes when Michael Pearson was penalised for handball a few yards outside the box, and Paul Talbot curled a free-kick over the wall, but straight at Peter Jameson, who clutched the ball at the second attempt.

Consett keeper Peter Jameson saves Paul Talbot’s free-kick. Pic: Gary Welford.

The opening goal came on 37 minutes, and it came from a player who made almost 250 appearances in Consett colours. Unfortunately, however, he now plays for Benfield! A cross was swung over from the right, Jameson came to challenge in the air and missed, Ian Graham kept the ball alive in the danger area, and old boy Ormston swept it into the corner to give the Tynesiders a lifeline.

Consett old boy Gary Ormston makes it 1-0 to Benfield. Pic: Gary Welford.

Three minutes later it was 2-0, and this time there was an element of fortune about the goal. Dodsworth sent over a corner from the left, it was flicked on at the front of the six-yard box, and Benfield player-manager Steve Bowey leapt for a header at the back post. He missed the ball, but it came off the post, struck him as he landed, and went in!

The ball goes in off Steve Bowey (No 10) for Benfield’s second goal. Pic: John Paul Hardy.

A minute into added time at the end of the first half Consett got one back. Ever-present midfielder Calvin Smith, playing his 57th game of the season, played a long ball from inside his own half, which visiting keeper Jake Cunningham rushed out to meet. Guerin-Lokonga beat him to it and set up Mackay, who fired past two defenders into the unguarded net from 16 yards for his 35th goal of the season.

Michael Mackay reduces the arrears. Pic: John Paul Hardy.

The second half was an anti-climax, with Benfield content to sit on their lead, and a tired-looking Consett putting in plenty of huff and puff, but simply playing out their season.

Their best chance came six minutes into the half when Sullivan’s corner was helped on at the front post, and Pearson, coming in late, was inches away from getting on the end of the loose ball.

Consett’s Luke Sullivan chests the ball down. Pic: Gary Welford.

Benfield had a couple of chances to clinch the game: Ian Graham flashed a shot over from Dodsworth’s corner, then Pearson spared Jameson’s blushes after the keeper came out of his box to kick clear, missed his clearance, and Bowey passed to Young, whose shot was cleared off the line by the stand-in centre-back.

Jack Stanger and Calvin Smith try to stop Gary Ormston. Pic: Gary Welford.

A glut of substitutions followed in the last 20 minutes, and the only real chance fell to one of the subs, Steven Aiston, whose thunderous injury-time volley, heading for the top corner, was blocked by a superb piece of defending by Benfield skipper Kevin Leighton.

Dodsworth flashed a shot across the face of goal in added time, but it didn’t matter, because Benfield were safe, and Consett had played their last proper match at Belle Vue. The presentation of commemorative medals to those who had taken part in the last game closed the lid on 63 years of history.

Consett captain Matty Slocombe receives his memento. Pic: Gary Welford.

Consett: 1 Peter Jameson, 2 Matty Slocombe (captain), 3 David Brown, 4 Jack Stanger, 5 Michael Pearson, 6 Ian Davidson, 7 Kieran Martin (sub Cuthbertson 71), 8 Calvin Smith (sub Mark Eccles 81), 9 Aris Guerin-Lokonga, 10 Michael Mackay, 11 Luke Sullivan (sub Steven Aiston 74). Subs not used: David Robson, Ryan King.

Newcastle Benfield: 1 Jake Cunningham, 2 Mark Turnbull (sub Lee Mason 23 (sub Steven Brown 86)), 3 Paul Talbot, 4 Gary Ormston, 5 Peter Snowdon, 6 Kevin Leighton (captain), 7 Brian Dodsworth, 8 Richie Slaughter, 9 Stephen Young, 10 Steve Bowey (sub Gareth Williams 69), 11 Ian Graham. Subs not used: Sam Norris, Carl Paterson.

On this day in our history: 2 May 2009 – Consett come within minutes of clinching their first-ever Northern League championship

Consett came agonisingly close to clinching a first-ever Northern League title on this day in 2009, only for a defeat at the hands of Wembley-bound Whitley Bay to leave their fate in the hands of others.

It all looked so promising as Consett led 2-0 at Hillheads at half-time. However, the Steelmen were left stunned by a spirited fightback by their hosts, culminating in a dramatic late winner.

In front of a crowd of 599, the highest to see a league game involving Consett for many a year, Kenny Lindoe’s side took the field having been dealt a setback even before the kick off. Keeper Jack Norton dislocated a finger during the warm-up, meaning Paul Gilmore was pressed into service between the sticks.

Any thoughts that this might be a nervous encounter with few goalmouth chances were dispelled quite early on. On a sunny spring day with the pitch in immaculate condition, the stage was set for a classic Northern League encounter.

Consett’s David Pounder waits for support. Pic: John Paul Hardy.

Consett were first to threaten when Adam Emson teed up Chris Scott who saw his firm drive from just outside the area saved by Bay keeper Terry Burke.

On the quarter-hour mark Whitley produced their first chance of the game when Adam Johnston, spotting Gilmore off his line, tried an audacious chip from the edge of the centre circle, which went just over the bar.

The game continued in an end-to end fashion and after Emson had sent a David Pounder through ball over the target on 26 minutes, play switched immediately to the other goal as Phil Bell sent a 25-yard daisy cutter inches wide.

It was Consett who finally found the net just before the half-hour mark. There was an element of good fortune about it as a Pounder cross caused problems in the Bay area, and although the keeper got to it ahead of Emson, indecision between Burke and an incoming defender allowed Steven Johnson to fire into the unguarded net.

Steven Johnson, left, celebrates his goal with Andrew Cuthbertson. Pic: John Paul Hardy.

Whitley almost struck back immediately, however Paul Chow shot over under pressure from Carl Piecha. Then on 33 minutes, Burke just beat Johnson to a through ball, with the Consett striker catching the keeper as he cleared, earning a yellow card for the challenge.

Two minutes before the break, a Consett side visibly growing in confidence as the half wore on took what looked like a decisive two-goal lead. Gary Ormston played in Jonjo Dickman, whose shot fizzed across the goal and rebounded off the post. The ball was played back in by Pounder to Emson, who outpaced his marker to make it 2-0 with a great finish.

Adam Emson wheels away after making it 2-0 to Consett. Pic: John Paul Hardy.

Whitley boss Ian Chandler no doubt took the opportunity at half-time to remind his charges that FA Vase final places were by no means guaranteed, and the home side started the second half like men possessed.

They took just four minutes to halve the deficit with a goal of classic simplicity, Paul Chow glancing Lee Kerr’s corner in at the near post.

Consett suddenly looked very vulnerable, and after Johnston had seen a shot from just outside the area deflected wide, Bay drew level in the 57th minute. Johnston drilled in a low free-kick from 20 yards out which took a deflection before Bell stabbed it home from close range.

On 61 minutes another Kerr corner found Chow, who this time directed a free header wide. Consett produced their first chance of the second half soon after when Scott’s trademark 25-yard low drive was stopped by the keeper who couldn’t hold onto the shot, but was able to grab it at the second attempt, with no-one in a red shirt following up.

Consett’s Gary Ormston gets the ball forward. Pic: John Paul Hardy.

The tension was starting to mount as the half wore on, and 15 minutes from time passions boiled over as Kerr and Pounder found themselves in the referee’s notebook following a head-to-head confrontation. Almost immediately after that Emson saw a shot blocked, and although Pounder was first to follow-up he flashed his effort wide.

With the clock running down it looked like the Steelmen might hang on for the point that would have virtually clinched the championship. However, Whitley had other ideas, and six minutes from time substitute Chris Reid broke down the left and played the ball across area to fellow-replacement Chris Moore, who had all the time in the world to control it, pick his spot and break Consett hearts.

Consett’s Adam Emson is outnumbered by Whitley Bay defenders. Pic: John Paul Hardy.

Consett threw everything at Bay in search of that elusive title-winning point, and with the clock ticking round to 90 minutes Emson saw a dipping volley go just over. Then three minutes into stoppage time sub Richard Logan fired in a strike from just outside the box, but Burke got down well to save.

Moments later the final whistle blew on Consett’s season. News filtered through that title rivals Newcastle Benfield had won 5-1 against West Allotment Celtic, which means everything comes down to the last game of the season … Penrith v Benfield on Tuesday night.

The equation was very simple, a win for Benfield meant the title would go to the East End of Newcastle, anything else and Consett were champions. All the folk from Belle Vue could do was cross their fingers and hope.

Paul Gilmore clears as Consett’s goal comes under pressure. Pic: John Paul Hardy.

Agonisingly, the Penrith v Benfield game three days later looked like it was heading for a goalless draw, until seven minutes from time, when Stephen Young snatched a winner for Benfield, to give them their first title, and leaving the men from Belle Vue to ponder what might have been.

And although we were runners-up in three of the next four seasons, and led the table for more than half of the 2018-19 campaign – ironically under the management of Chris Moore, who scored Whitley Bay’s winning goal in this game – we have never been as close again to winning the league.

Whitley Bay: 1 Burke, 2 Anderson, 3 Picton, 4 McFarlane, 5 Coulson, 6 Ryan, 7 Bell (sub Moore 66), 8 Kerr, 9 Johnston (sub Reay 80), 10 Chow, 11 Robinson (sub Reid 70). Subs not used: McLean, Bone.
Consett: 1 Paul Gilmore, 2 David Scorer, 3 Mark Gaffney, 4 Jonjo Dickman, 5 Carl Piecha, 6 David Pounder, 7 Chris Scott, 8 Andrew Cuthbertson (sub Ian Davison 89), 9 Adam Emson, 10 Steven Johnson (sub Richard Logan 77), 11 Gary Ormston. Subs not used: Paul Curry, David Robson.

On this day in our history: 27 April 2011 – Barton batters Benfield to avenge Consett’s biggest defeat of season

Consett exacted sweet revenge on Newcastle Benfield for their heaviest defeat of the season on this day in 2011, to go second in the league.

An inspired half-time substitution and second-half goal blitz saw them leapfrog over their visitors and Whitley Bay, as well as take their goal tally past 100 in the league for the season.

David Hagan, still in caretaker charge after manager Kenny Lindoe’s heart attack the previous month, made three changes to the side which beat his old club Tow Law on Easter Monday. Teenager Peter Jameson replaced Barry Poskett in goal, Richard Forster came into central defence for Carl Piecha, and Dale Burrell replaced Richard Slaughter wide on the right.

Benfield, who had knocked their hosts out of the League Cup at Belle Vue five weeks earlier, included one ex-Steelman, Brian Dodsworth, who had scored twice in their 4-2 extra-time win, in their line-up.

Consett and Benfield shake hands before the game. Pic: Gary Welford.

The visitors, who had inflicted a 5-1 defeat on the Steelmen back in August, started brighter, and their first chance came on seven minutes, when Chris Feasey’s snap-shot from the edge of the box looked to have Jameson beaten, but arrowed just wide of his right-hand post. Dodsworth then tested the young keeper with a shot which he saved comfortably at the near post.

On 11 minutes Burrell put Consett in all sorts of problems when he lost possession to Stuart Wright in the right-back position. The No 11 crossed hard and low to the front post for Dodsworth, but Ryan Bell did well to get a challenge in, at the expense of a corner. The same Benfield pair combined from the flag-kick, but Dodsworth put his header straight at the keeper.

Having rode the early pressure, Consett slowly came into the game, and Marc Walton had a decent chance on 16 minutes, when he chased a through ball into the box, and got away a shot before being flattened by Benfield keeper Colin Paxton. The referee waved away Walton’s appeals for a penalty. The incident seemed to fire up Walton, and a minute later he tried a shot on the turn, but hit it straight at the keeper.

Consett striker Marc Walton holds up the ball. Pic: Gary Welford.

On 27 minutes Consett had a remarkable double save from Jameson to thank for preventing them falling behind. A cross from the right was headed powerfully goalwards by Wright from inside the six-yard box, and the 18-year-old made a fine save. The Benfield player looked certain to net the rebound, until the grounded Jameson stuck out a leg and booted the loose ball away.

There were no further scoring opportunities, and the teams reached the interval at 0-0, with Benfield having had the better chances by far. In a bold move, Hagan brought on Gavin Barton, who had missed the previous five games, for the second half, joining Walton and Lewis Teasdale in a three-man attack.

Within three minutes of the restart it had paid dividends, as Barton broke the deadlock. Jamie Poole started the move out on the left, passing to Anthony Lund, who ran at the Benfield defence. As he reached the edge of the area he slipped the ball to Walton, whose initial shot was blocked by the keeper. Barton was first to react, picking up possession and taking a touch to steady himself before tucking the ball away into the bottom-left corner.

Consett’s Jamie Poole delivers from a wide position. Pic: Gary Welford.

Two minutes later it was 2-0, and this time Barton turned provider. Poole’s ball forward was headed on by Teasdale, and Barton waited for Walton’s run into the box before picking him out. The No 9 took a touch and prodded the ball home across the keeper for his fourth goal in as many games.

Walton almost made it three when he latched onto a long ball from Danny Craggs, but shot into the side netting, and Forster put a header from a Craggs free-kick straight at the keeper.

Benfield almost found a way back into the game when they sprung Consett’s offside trap and Shaun Bell’s shot hit the post, with Craggs getting in a superb block on Wright’s follow-up.

The next goal was a crucial one, and when it came on 64 minutes it fell to Consett. Richard Slaughter, on as a sub for Anthony Lund, delivered a pinpoint cross from near the right-hand corner flag, and Barton aimed a firm header down to the keeper’s right. Paxton seemed to have it covered, but the ball squirmed from his grasp and over the line. It was Consett’s 100th league goal of the season, and Barton’s 24th, drawing him level with top scorer Jamie Poole.

Consett keeper Peter Jameson gets up highest. Pic Ron Aitcheson.

Barton almost grabbed his hat-trick two minutes later when Paul Antony’s stray pass fell to him and he tried to curl a shot inside the far post, but didn’t get enough bend on it. The unmarked Walton would surely have scored if he had passed, but things were going so well for Barton that no one blamed him for going for goal himself.

The visitors had a great chance to reduce the arrears when a long ball found substitute Johnny Mann, who looked a certain scorer as he honed in on goal, but Jameson got fingertips to his shot to turn it round the far post.

With three minutes remaining, Consett got a fourth, and Barton completed his hat-trick, picking up substitute Mark Patterson’s mishit shot, and sticking it away from close range. He celebrated with a somersault, as the goal marked his second treble of the season and took him one ahead of Poole in the race to be top scorer.

Dodsworth, who could have earlier seen red for lashing out at Ryan Bell after they contested a header, almost grabbed a consolation right at the death, but Jameson capped an excellent performance by palming his well-struck effort over the bar.

Not this time … Consett’s Marc Walton goes close. Pic: Ron Aitcheson.

When the final whistle went Consett had moved up to second in the table, having turned round a four-goal deficit on Benfield, though both they and Whitley Bay, who dropped to third, had two games left to play.

Bizarrely, despite scoring a second-half hat-trick, Gavin Barton found himself on the bench again for the next game – and came on again and scored two more goals as Consett beat Ashington 2-1 to confirm them as runners-up to champions Spennymoor Town.

Benfield would finish fourth, though gained some consolation in the form of the League Cup, beating Spennymoor in the final to prevent them making it a league and cup double.

Consett: 1 Peter Jameson, 2 Ryan Bell, 3 Anthony Lund (sub Richie Slaughter 56), 4 Craig Robson (captain), 5 Richard Forster (sub Mark Patterson 77), 6 Andrew Cuthbertson, 7 Dale Burrell (sub Gavin Barton 46), 8 Danny Craggs, 9 Marc Walton, 10 Lewis Teasdale, 11 Jamie Poole. Sub not used: carl Piecha.
Benfield: 1 C.Paxton, 2 Turnbull, 3 Paterson, 4 Antony, 5 Leighton (captain), 6 R.Paxton, 7 Feasey (sub Mann 60), 8 S.Bell, 9 Dodsworth, 10 Chilton (sub S.Fenwick 70), 11 Wright. Subs not used: R.Fenwick, Finnigan, Bangura.

On this day in our history, 8 April 2017 – Consett come out on top in ‘battle of the entertainers’ v Benfield

Consett came from behind three times against Newcastle Benfield to win the ‘battle of the entertainers’ 5-3 at a sunny Belle View Stadium on this day back in 2017.

Manager Mark Eccles made two changes to the side unlucky to lose at South Shields in midweek, with Jordan Lavery returning at left-back and Jordan Nellis up front in place of Clark Kay and Luke Sullivan, who were both unavailable. Benfield had one former Consett player, wide man Josh Scott, in their starting XI, and another, centre-back Stephen Tobin, on the bench. Their subs also included Matty Cornish, who would become a Steelman the following season.

The Steelmen’s teenage keeper Ross Coombe had already made two good saves before Benfield took the lead in the 9th minute, when skipper Mark Turnbull’s cross from the right evaded the central defenders, and John Campbell got in behind them to slot home.

Consett keeper Ross Coombe saves from Paul Brayson. Pic: Gary Welford.

It took 19 minutes for Consett to register their first shot on target, when Nellis’s backheel played in Craggs, whose shot cannoned back off keeper Andrew Grainger’s chest.

Four minutes later the scores were level, as Lavery’s free-kick was cleared as far as Dan Hawkins, who got to the byline and picked out Craggs, who finished from inside the six-yard box. It was the skipper’s 17th goal of the season – an excellent return from midfield.

Danny Craggs made it 1-1 midway through the first half. Pic: Gary Welford.

But two minutes later Benfield were back in front, when the 1st Division’s leading scorer, Paul Brayson, was left unmarked to head home his 40th league goal of the season from another Turnbull cross.

Within two minutes Consett were level again, as Jordan Nellis’s scuffed shot fell to Michael Sweet, who slotted home his 30th goal of the season to make it 2-2.

Michael Sweet made it 2-2 as Consett levelled for a second time. Pic: Gary Welford.

The game was going from end to end, and Craggs had a chance to put Consett ahead for the first time on 32 minutes, but his dipping 25-yard free-kick produced a good save from Grainger down inside his right-hand post.

Shaun Ryder, Matty Slocombe and Sweet all had chances before the break, as did Matty Fisher at the other end from a right-wing corner, but the score remained 2-2 at half-time.

Benfield keeper Andrew Grainger punches a Consett corner clear. Pic: Gary Welford.

The sides’ cavalier attacking attitude meant you knew it wasn’t going to stay that way, and although Hawkins had the first chance of the second half, firing just over from 20 yards, it was Benfield who scored next, taking the lead for the third time.

A superb Brayson pass left Joshua Scott with only the keeper to beat, and he obliged with the visitors’ 99th league goal of the season in the 56th minute.

Again the lead didn’t last long. Craggs was frustrated to only shoot wide from an acute angle from Nellis’s pass on the hour, but four minutes later the Steelmen were level for a third time. Turnbull could only look on in horror as the ball came off his head as he tried to cut out Jordan Lavery’s cross, and looped over the keeper to make it 3-3.

Mark Turnbull’s own goal makes it Consett 3 Benfield 3. Pic: Gary Welford.

The impetus was now with the home side, and two minutes later they took the lead for the first time in the game, as Hawkins won possession in midfield and slipped the ball through for Sweet, who beat Grainger to make it 4-3. It was his 31st goal of the season, putting him just two behind top scorer Sullivan.

Consett take the lead for the first time as Michael Sweet makes it 4-3. Pic: Gary Welford.

Hawkins had a chance to extend the lead with 15 minutes to go when he was played in by Craggs, but while his effort was well-hit, Grainger made the save look easy. But there was nothing the keeper could do three minutes later when Hawkins, who just about edged man-of-the-match honours, finished Matty Slocombe’s cross from 10 yards, to make it 5-3.

Man of the match Dan Hawkins completes the scoring. Pic: Gary Welford.

Sub Lewis Teasdale was keen to get on the scoresheet, but his 30-yarder was rising all the way as it cleared the bar. Hawkins almost made it six in the final minute, but was denied by the save of the game from Grainger, who tipped away the Consett man’s top corner-bound curler.

When the final whistle went it was Consett who had come out top in a game which was a superb advert for the Northern League, and the crowd of 467 were quick to show their appreciation for an excellent afternoon’s entertainment.
CONSETT: 1 Ross Coombe, 2 Nathan Lawrence, 3 Jordan Lavery, 4 Ryan McKinnon, 5 Arjun Purewal, 6 Shaun Ryder, 7 Matty Slocombe (sub 12 Jake Stafford 83 mins), 8 Danny Craggs (captain) (sub 15 Lewis Teasdale 76 mins), 9 Michael Sweet, 10 Jordan Nellis (sub 16 Mackenzie Milner 82 mins), 11 Dan Hawkins. Subs not used: 14 Chris Rogan, 17 Michael Brown.
NEWCASTLE BENFIELD: 1 Andrew Grainger, 2 Mark Turnbull (captain), 3 Dylan McEvoy, 4 Matty Fisher, 5 Laquan Esdaille, 6 Tom Bramley, 7 Scott McCardle, 8 Ursene Mouanda, 9 Paul Brayson, 10 John Campbell (sub 15 Alex Berhan 79 mins), 11 Joshua Scott. Subs not used: 12 Stephen Tobin, 14 Matty Cornish, 16 Mark Convery, GK Dan Mullen.

On this day in our history: 30 March 2019, Consett win at bogey ground to boost chances of finishing as runners-up

Consett gave their chances of finishing as runners-up behind champions Dunston a big boost on this day last year with a fully-deserved win at one of their bogey grounds, Newcastle Benfield’s Sam Smith’s Park.

Manager Chris Moore rang the changes from the previous game at Whitley Bay, with Dan Hawkins, Ryan McKinnon, Nick Allen and Luke Carr coming into the starting line-up, with Nick Cassidy, Matty Slocombe, Danny Craggs and Michael Mackay dropping to the bench. As well as taking the captain’s armband in Craggs’ absence, Arjun Purewal filled the unfamiliar right-back position.

Consett’s Matty Cornish tangles with Benfield’s Mark Turnbull. Pic: Gary Welford.

Benfield included one former Consett player, Richie Slaughter, in midfield, with another, the evergreen Steve Bowey, among their substitutes. There were also two future Steelmen in the hosts’ ranks, midfielder Jake Orrell and striker Dale Pearson, who started on the bench.

Consett started well, and had their first chance after three minutes, when Calvin Smith’s long pass played in Michael Sweet, but the striker’s angled drive was wide of the far post. Nine minutes later a good passing move gave Allen the chance to try his luck from 25 yards, but his effort was well over the top.

It took Benfield 13 minutes to create their first attempt on goal, and McKinnon got a vital block on Joe Robson’s well-struck shot. Then right-back Rhys Evans wasn’t too far away with an absolute rocket from outside the box, which flew just over the bar.

When a goal came it was out of nothing, and it was the home side who got it. McKinnon got caught in possession by Paul Brayson as he tried to bring the ball out, and the veteran striker homed in on goal before chipping the advancing Kyle Hayes for his 24th goal of the season.

Consett’s Ryan McKinnon tries to get to grips with Benfield’s Paul Brayson. Pic: Gary Welford.

The game then entered a 20-minute spell where not a lot of note happened, other than Consett centre-back Ross Wilkinson picking up a yellow card for a scything tackle which brought Dennis Knight’s jinking run to a rather abrupt halt.

Just as the game appeared to be heading into the interval with the home side in front, Consett turned it on its head in the space of six minutes. First, Aksel Juul picked out Sweet’s run with a fine pass, and although keeper Dan Nimmins saved the striker’s initial effort, the No 9 beat Benfield skipper Mark Turnbull to the loose ball to bundle it in and make it 1-1.

A minute before half-time Consett took the lead, with a goal from former Benfield player Luke Carr. He picked up the ball wide on the right, and began to cut inside. Unfortunately for the home defence, they didn’t heed their fans’ warnings not to let him onto his left foot, and before they knew it the ball was nestling in the bottom corner and they were 2-1 down.

Luke Carr’s strike makes it 2-1 to Consett. Pic: Gary Welford.

The goal clearly buoyed Carr, and he fancied a second in stoppage time after being fouled outside the box, but curled his left-footed free-kick over the bar.

Three minutes into the second half the Steelmen increased their lead, thanks to a calamitous piece of defending. There was no danger at all when Turnbull got the ball in his own box, but his attempted back pass fell woefully short of his keeper, and Nimmins was stranded as Sweet stroked home by far the easiest of his 27 goals for the season.

Michael Sweet scores his second goal after a poor backpass left Benfield’s keeper exposed. Pic: Gary Welford.

Sweet was in the mood for more, and he might have completed his hat-trick in the 63rd minute as he met Darren Holden’s deep cross at the back post, but he got his angles all wrong and his header drifted back across goal instead of troubling the keeper.

Carr saw a 25-yard free-kick deflected off the wall for a corner, and Craggs was inches away from getting on the end of a return ball from Matty Cornish as the two subs combined in the 73rd minute.

Consett were controlling the game, with Smith outstanding in midfield, and Sweet had another chance to complete his hat-trick in the 77th minute, but was denied by Nimmins as he tried to squeeze the ball between the keeper and his near post.

Consett’s Calvin Smith was man of the match. Pic: Gary Welford.

Wilkinson will have been disappointed not to have troubled the keeper after winning a towering header, while a late rally by Benfield saw Evans fire just wide after good approach play by Bowey and Brayson.

When the final whistle went, Consett were worthy winners of the three points, and with one game to go, were a point ahead of third-placed Bishop Auckland, and four ahead of Hebburn, who we meet in our final fixture, though both have two games in hand.

NEWCASTLE BENFIELD: 1 Daniel Nimmins, 2 Rhys Evans, 3 James Martin (sub Dale Pearson 32), 4 Mark Turnbull (captain), 5 James Novak (sub Bradley Varga 87), 6 Jake Thompson, 7 Joe Robson, 8 Richard Slaughter, 9 Paul Brayson, 10 Jake Orrell, 11 Dennis Knight (sub Steve Bowey 75). Sub not used: Stuart Elliott.
CONSETT: 1 Kyle Hayes, 2 Arjun Purewal (captain), 3 Darren Holden, 4 Dan Hawkins (sub Matty Slocombe 84), 5 Ryan McKinnon, 6 Ross Wilkinson, 7 Nick Allen (sub Matty Cornish 64), 8 Calvin Smith, 9 Michael Sweet, 10 Luke Carr (sub Danny Craggs 71), 11 Aksel Juul. Subs not used: Nick Cassidy, Michael Mackay.