Tag: Northern League

2021-22 season

2021-22 season will have Northern League’s earliest-ever start date

Consett will kick off the 2021-22 season a week earlier than usual, the Northern League today confirmed.

The league management committee has announced that the new season will start on Saturday, July 31 – its earliest-ever start date.

The early kick-off is so clubs will have tasted competitive action before the Extra Preliminary Round of the FA Cup, which is Saturday, August 7.

League fixtures for 2021-22 season are expected to be published at the AGM, which is being held online/virtually on Saturday, June 19.

League chairman Glenn Youngman said: “Hopefully we can all look forward to welcoming spectators back into our clubs and having a full, uninterrupted season ahead of us. We have all missed our regular football fix.“

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Northern League Chairman Glenn Youngman.

The new season sees a significant change, with three clubs promoted from our 1st Division into the new Step 4 league for the region.

The FA has confirmed that they will be our Wembley opponents Hebburn Town, Stockton Town and Shildon.

Three teams will be promoted from Division Two to replace them – West Allotment Celtic, Crook Town and Redcar Athletic.

There isn’t expected to be any additional relegation from the 1st Division to the 2nd, though three new clubs will be joining the lower division from feeder leagues.

Season tickets covering all Consett AFC’s home Northern League games are available from today. Prices are frozen from last season for all existing holders who haven’t requested a refund. More details HERE.

Consett AFC is in the process of confirming its pre-season friendly fixtures, and will be releasing details shortly.

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‘Humbled’ Consett AFC chairman’s praise for ‘great team effort’ for FA Vase final

Consett AFC Chairman Frank Bell today paid tribute to the dedicated officials and volunteers who helped the club prepare for the FA Vase final at Wembley.

The delayed 2019-20 game against fellow Northern League club Hebburn Town was the biggest game in both clubs’ history.

Consett took the lead twice in the first half with goals from Ali Alshabeeb and Dale Pearson, but Hebburn levelled twice through Amar Purewal and Michael Richardson.

Both sides had chances in the second half, but the winner came from Hebburn substitute Olly Martin, who netted in the 84th minute.

Today, looking back on the historic cup run and the behind-closed-doors final, Frank said he’s disappointed at defeat, but proud the club has helped put Consett on the map.

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Consett AFC Chairman Frank Bell was pumped up as the club contingent set off for Wembley. Pic: Gary Welford.

“Everybody involved with the club – the management, coaching team and all the administrative staff and volunteers – played their part in preparing the way for the lads to go out and do their best. It was a great team effort, and everyone has done a superb job.

Incredibly proud

“I’d also like to thank our sponsors, who stuck by the club during what have been challenging times for many, and our suppliers, who turned things round at often very short notice, producing some quality products.

“I would like to say that as club chairman, I was incredibly proud of what everybody achieved yesterday – not just the players, but everybody associated with the club.

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Consett’s players line up for the national anthem before kick-off at Wembley. Pic: John Paul Hardy.

“It was a great game, and the lads showed on the pitch that we have a quality team which we have built over a period of time.

“We not only did the club proud, I think we also did the town proud. We couldn’t have any fans there, and the stadium was eerie without them. But they were with us in spirit, on the video we made which was played on the giant screen as the players warmed up.

“In the run-up to the final we received so many messages of support, and I was truly humbled at the number of people who turned up at Belle View Stadium on Sunday to see us off. Support like that makes a big difference, and we really appreciate it.

Time to push on

“Now we need to build on the platform that going to Wembley has given us. We’ll be looking to make improvements where they are needed during the close season, to help us push on.

“I want to go back to Wembley next season for another FA Vase final, and this time win it with our fans present. And I want to earn promotion by winning the Northern League.”

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Consett captain Arjun Purewal acknowledges the support from the hundreds of fans who turned up to watch the squad leave for London. Pic: Gary Welford.

The FA presses ahead with restructuring using points-per-game to decide promotion

The FA today confirmed that it intends to press ahead with its restructuring of Steps 4-6 of the National League System (NLS) for season 2021-22.

The move was intended to take effect from this season, but was delayed due to the impact of Covid-19, with 2019-20 declared ‘null and void’ and 2020-21 ‘curtailed’ with less than a third of games played.

The FA’s Alliance and Leagues Committee Committees have now met to consider this matter and will be recommending to the FA Council that the structural changes to the number of divisions in the NLS be completed.

Extra division

They want to address the ‘imbalance’ that currently exists and achieve the ‘pure pyramid’ at Steps 1-6. This means the creation of an extra division at Step 4 (the division above Northern league Division One) , which will be administered by the Northern Premier League.

A total of 110 clubs around the country will be upwardly moved within the pyramid at Steps 4-6 in order to create the new divisions.

The FA says this ‘will protect the integrity of the NLS whilst supporting clubs with a desire and ambition to progress, without undermining the stability of the system.’

Positive impact

It says the restructure ‘will have a positive impact on a significant number of clubs, supporting them with reduced travel and costs, and providing greater opportunities for generating income via localised fixtures’.

As far as the Northern League is concerned, three clubs will move into the new Step 4 league, with promotion decided on a points per game basis, from games played over the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons.

They will be joined by the top three ranked clubs from the North West Counties League and Northern Counties East League, along with the top-ranked club from the remaining 11 Step 5 divisions.

If an eligible club decides not to take promotion, the next-best-ranked club will be invited (and so on), subject to any cut-off point set by The FA.

Consett AFC is currently examining how the proposal affects the club, before making any further comment.

points across both seasons will be added together and divided by the number of games it has played across both seasons 1 . b. Clubs will then be ranked within their respective leagues on the basis of those calculations. c. Clubs who are eligible for upward movement will be identified as follows: i. Step 5 – The top 3 ranked clubs from each of the North West Counties League, Northern Counties East League and Northern League, along with the top ranked Club from the remaining eleven Step 5 divisions, will be considered eligible for upward movement to Step 4 and will be invited to make an application to do so. Multiple clubs will be upwardly moved from these specific leagues, as per the previous ratification by FA Council, in order to address specific challenges with travelling distance and time which exist at Step 4. ii. Step 6 – The top 2 ranked clubs in each of the South West Peninsula League divisions, along with the top 3 ranked clubs from the eighteen remaining Step 6 divisions, will be considered eligible for upward movement to Step 5 and will be invited to make an application for upward movement. Fewer clubs will be upwardly moved from the South West Peninsula League Divisions, as per the previous ratification by FA Council, on the basis of geographical reasons for the relevant divisions at Step 5. iii. The Committees are currently considering what additional requirements clubs who are eligible based on sporting merit will be required to meet in order to be upwardly moved via this process and further details will be communicated on this in due course. d. It will not be mandatory for any club which is eligible for upward movement to make an application. If an eligible club decides not to do so, the next best ranked club will be invited (and so on) subject to any cut off point deemed appropriate by the Committees. 4. The process outlined above will lead to a need to backfill in certain divisions at Step 6 to bring them up to quota. Where there is a need to do so, the Committee will liaise with the relevant Step 6 Leagues and ask them to consider applications that were made by clubs on or before 31 December 2020 from clubs in Regional NLS Feeder Leagues within their relevant geographical area. Given the degree of variation in the number of fixtures completed by clubs in Regional NLS Feeder Leagues, the Committees did not consider it appropriate to utilise sporting data in the same way to determine upward movement. Accordingly, the proposed upward movement will be determined by the relevant Leagues on the basis of a subjective application process (although sporting data may be taken into account), with the final decision to allocate Clubs being with the Committee. 5. All applications will be assessed by the Committees on the basis of the principles above and clubs will be allocated accordingly.

Consett will face Hebburn Town in the FA Vase final at Wembley on May Bank Holiday Monday

Consett have today been told by The FA that our much-delayed 2020 FA Vase Final v Hebburn Town will take place at Wembley on Bank Holiday Monday, May 3.

However, continuing restrictions to contain the spread of coronavirus mean the game will be played behind closed doors, as under the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown spectators are not allowed at non-elite football until May 17.

The kick-off time is not yet known, but the eagerly-awaited showdown against our Northern League rivals, and the FA Trophy Final between Harrogate Town and Concord Rangers, which make up Non-League Finals Day, will be screened live on television by BT Sport.

Consett AFC Chairman Frank Bell said: “I’m obviously delighted the club will be able to fulfil its dream of playing at Wembley at last, but I’m absolutely gutted it will be behind closed doors.

“I have been in regular contact with The FA since we won our semi-final in September, closely co-operating and trying every which way we can to get the game played in front of our supporters.

“We have waited as long as we possibly could and explored every possibility with The FA to try to ensure that supporters would be present.

“Unfortunately, there were lots of other factors to be taken into consideration, and this is the one and only opportunity they could give us to play the final at Wembley.

“I feel so sorry for all the fans who are going to miss out on the chance to watch their team play at the home of English football, but we will do our very best to bring the FA Vase home for them.”

A statement issued by the FA said: “Despite our best efforts to accommodate limited spectators, a suitable date was sadly not available, and both the Buildbase FA Vase Final between Consett and Hebburn Town and Buildbase FA Trophy Final featuring Harrogate Town and Concord Rangers will be played behind closed doors.

“We will continue to monitor the national Covid-19 situation alongside the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, and would also like to thank the remaining clubs in these competitions and their supporters for being patient and understanding during this challenging time.”

This season’s FA Vase will re-start behind closed doors on Saturday, April 10, with the final to be held at Wembley on Saturday, May 22, with limited spectators present, in line with the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown.

Consett could resume their season on April 10 with a cup match at Birtley – if spectators are allowed

Consett could resume their season next month with their much-delayed Durham Challenge Cup tie at Birtley Town – but only if spectators are allowed.

Both clubs have informed Durham FA they wish to continue in this season’s competition, which it aims to finish once non-elite football is allowed to resume as part of the easing of lockdown.

A date has been agreed for the 1st Round game to take place at the Arrowmark Home Improvements Stadium – Saturday, 10 April, with a 3pm kick-off – on condition that supporters can attend.

This depends on permission being granted by the Department for Culture Media & Sport – we’ll keep you updated with any news.

Consett are among the Northern League clubs who have expressed an interest in taking part in an end-of-season cup competition, again on the proviso that supporters are allowed to attend, and that food and drink can be sold.

No format, dates or fixtures have yet been confirmed, though again we’ll bring you updates as soon as they’re available. The league programme is likely to be curtailed, though no final decision has yet been made.

Finally, the FA has been in touch with ourselves and Hebburn Town regarding the delayed 2020 FA Vase Final, which it still hopes to play before the end of the current football season.

Discussions are continuing between the FA, Wembley, BT Sport, competition sponsors and the DCMS over a suitable date for the game to take place with fans in attendance. Watch this space…

All Consett AFC games are OFF until further notice due to Tier 4 Covid-19 restrictions

Consett AFC first-team games and training are being postponed until further notice, due to Covid-19 precautions.

This is due to the Government’s decision to place the North East into Tier 4 restrictions to try to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

That means our first scheduled game of 2021, the Durham Challenge Cup tie at Birtley Town this Saturday, January 2, is OFF.

Northern League fixtures, which were hoping to restart on Saturday, January 9, will not be resumed until further notice.

That means our next scheduled home game, v Seaham Red Star on Saturday, January 9, is OFF.

Subsequent fixtures will depend on which tier of restrictions we’re placed in at the next review.

The Northern League management committee meets on Monday, January 4, to consider options available for the rest of the season.

Consett AFC Chairman Frank Bell said: “Sadly, we have entered Tier 4, and we won’t have football for some weeks.

“However, I believe it is in all our safe interests. Please take care, and I hope to see you all soon.”

northallerton

Consett’s away match at Northallerton gets a new midweek date due to league’s Covid-19 break

Consett’s away trip to Northallerton Town – postponed because of the Northern League’s two-week coronavirus-related shutdown – has a new date.

The Division One game was originally due to be played at the Calvert Stadium this Saturday, December 12.

But the league’s decision to postpone all fixtures after 37 of its 40 clubs were placed in Tier 3 areas following the lifting of the second national Covid-19 lockdown means it has had to be rearranged.

Ironically, Northallerton is in North Yorkshire, which is in Tier 2, but the league decided to cancel all games until December 16, as most clubs said playing behind closed doors was unviable.

The Northallerton v Consett game will now take place on Wednesday, February 10, 2021, with a 7.30pm kick-off.

Last season’s encounter – our first visit to Ainderby Road since 2012 – ended in a frustrating 0-0 draw.

Jake Orrell’s shot is saved in last season’s game at Northallerton. Pic: Gary Welford.

Our home game against Ryhope CW, which was due to take place on Saturday, December 19, will also be rearranged due to our progress in the FA Vase, with the 3rd Round scheduled to take place on that date.

On this day: 29 November 2013 – Consett get off to a winning start at their new home by beating Spennymoor

Consett played their first competitive fixture at their new Belle View Stadium on this day in 2013, and marked the occasion with an excellent 2-1 win against Northern League front-runners Spennymoor Town.

Continue reading “On this day: 29 November 2013 – Consett get off to a winning start at their new home by beating Spennymoor”

Northern League suspends fixtures for two weeks – but Consett’s FA Vase tie v Maltby Main will go ahead behind closed doors

The Northern League’s management committee have decided to suspend fixtures for two weeks beyond the end of the current UK-wide lockdown, it was announced today.

Continue reading “Northern League suspends fixtures for two weeks – but Consett’s FA Vase tie v Maltby Main will go ahead behind closed doors”