Consett concluded their pre-season preparations with a 3-1 win over Northern Alliance side Alnwick Town at Belle View Stadium – but had to come from behind to do it.
With manager Tony Fawcett away, his assistant Wayne Buchanan took the reins for the first time, but his side quickly fell behind to opponents three divisions below them.
Alnwick broke quickly from a Consett corner in the fourth minute, and Lewis Fairbairn scored with a fine shot across keeper Aaron Steavens into the far corner.
It was a stunning goal, and with the home side struggling to make much headway against a stubborn visiting defence and a strong wind, the visitors almost doubled their lead in the 29th minute when 10 broke away, but this time Steavens made a good stop.
It remained 1-0 to Alnwick at half-time, and Consett rang the changes at the break, using all five substitutes. Within five minutes of the restart they were level.
Jack Gibbons picked up possession on the right and drove in to the penalty area, taking on two defenders. When he was tripped there was only one outcome, and after the referee pointed to the penalty spot Zak Atkinson stepped up to level the scores at 1-1.
Just before the hour the Alnwick keeper made a good save to deny Ben Ramsey as he cut in from the left, but there was nothing he could do two minutes later as Consett took the lead.
Ramsey swung a corner in from the left, Ben Milburn headed it back into the danger zone, and Dan Capewell was on hand to half-volley home from six yards for his second goal in successive games.
Wil Shaw came close to make it three in the 81st minute, but was denied by a fine low save by the keeper, who had already made a stunning fingertip save from Calvin Smith (though it wouldn’t have counted, as the Consett man was ruled offside anyway).
Consett weren’t finished, and in the 87th minute it was 3-1 when Jack Gibbons picked up possession outside the box and drove a fine shot into the bottom left corner, despite Alnwick’s sub keeper getting a hand to it.
Gibbons almost had a second right at the death, but this time the keeper got a stronger hand to the ball, and a defender completed the clearance before it could roll over the line.
- Full match report, picture gallery, video highlights and post-match interview to follow.