Favourites Consett crashed out of this season’s FA Vase, losing 2-1 to Wythenshawe Town in the 4th Round on an afternoon of drama at Belle View.
They took an early lead, played most of the second half with 10 men, and then conceded a late goal which gave the impressive visitors the win.
Jake Orrell got the Steelmen off to the perfect start after just three minutes, picking up a loose ball outside the box, taking aim, and dispatching a superb strike into the top corner, giving the keeper no chance.
On eight minutes they almost doubled their lead when Luke Carr went on a run which took him past three defenders, and his effort had to be tipped over the bar by the keeper.
Wythenshawe – who Consett beat on their way to the 2020 final – served notice that they were much more of an attacking force this time round when Brad Byrne hit the post with a header on 15 minutes.
Consett keeper Kyle Hayes then denied the same player with his feet, before Consett had a great chance at the other end, as Dale Pearson volleyed over from Darren Holden’s whipped-in cross.
With little to choose between the sides, it remained 1-0 at the break, but the tie swung Wythenshawe’s way on 51 minutes when Consett’s Matty Slocombe was shown a straight red card for an elbow.
The player going down holding his face didn’t help, and nor did most of the visiting team surrounding the referee, but the incident gave the official a decision to make, and he made it.
Wythenshawe took advantage of their extra man by scoring an equaliser on 62 minutes, half-time sub Ionut Casian Anghel heading home from an excellent right-wing cross.
The visitors were dominating possession, but Consett defended well, and on the odd occasion that Wythenshawe found a way through, they couldn’t find a way past Hayes.
He saved well from Dominic Smalley, then produced an even better stop from Steven Hewitt, flinging himself to his right to keep out his well-struck effort.
Consett were struggling to get out of their own half, and it took until the 85th minute for the 10 men to produce an attempt on goal, sub Nick Allen firing wide when a corner was half-cleared to him on the edge of the box.
The incessant pressure on the Consett goal finally told in the 90th minute, when, with the game looking like it was heading for penalties, Wythenshawe grabbed a winner.
Consett lost possession in the middle of the field, Byrne’s pass sent Matty Bryan away down the right, and his cross picked out Darius Palma at the back post. He brought it down and fired home to make it 2-1 and end Consett’s brave resistance.
When the final whistle went after seven added minutes it was Wythenshawe celebrating a place in the last 16 with their supporters, after claiming their third Northern League scalp in their best-ever FA Vase run.