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 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 have added a friendly match against Northern Premier League club Pickering Town to their pre-season schedule.
The game against The Pikes, who play in Division One North West of the NPL, will take place at Belle View Stadium at 2pm on Saturday, 15 August.
At present, Government and FA guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus mean the game must be played behind closed doors.
We have met once before, in the 2nd Qualifying Round of the FA Vase in season 2016-17, when Pickering won 3-1 at Belle View. Our goal was a late consolation from Michael Sweet.
Matty Slocombe, pictured in action above, is the only player involved in the game who is still at Consett.
Pickering were in the Northern Counties East League at the time, but were promoted at the end of the following season, and have been a Step 4 club ever since.
They play at the same level as our former Northern League rivals Dunston and Marske United, and it is hoped the friendly might become an annual fixture.
Consett will play one of the Northern League’s oldest clubs, Crook Town, as part of their pre-season preparations, it has been confirmed.
The Black and Ambers were 3rd in the 2nd Division, and looked a good bet for promotion, when last season was abandoned.
They will visit Belle View Stadium on Saturday, 8 August, but under current Covid-19 restrictions the game will be behind closed doors.
The meeting will be our first since 21 March 2015, when we won 4-0 at their Millfield ground in a 1st Division fixture.
Our goals that day were a hat-trick from Michael Mackay, pictured in action above, and a strike from Aris Guerin-Lokonga.
Crook are managed by Jamie Tunstall, a young manager who encourages his team to play good football. Their squad includes Harrison Scott, a defender who had a spell at Consett in the 2017-18 season.
Their main goal threat is Daniel Kent, who’d scored 20 when last season was brought to an abrupt halt, while Christian Holliday (16) and Daniel Maddison (10) were also in double figures.
Our pre-season schedule so far is:
Sat 1 August v Newcastle Blue Star (A)
Tue 4 August v Tow Law Town (H)
Sat 8 August v Crook Town (H)
Sat 22 August v Morpeth Town (H)
At present, all friendly games must take place behind closed doors, and we await updated guidance from the FA/Government on when spectators will be allowed to return.
Consett will return to match action on Saturday 1 August with a visit to Northern Alliance side Newcastle Blue Star.
We are awaiting Government guidance on whether supporters will be allowed to attend the fixture, which will be at Scotswood Sports Centre with a 1pm kick-off.
Blue Star were one of the most famous non-league clubs in the North East before the old club folded in 2009.
They famously won the FA Vase in 1978 as a Wearside League club, and joined the Northern League in 1985, immediately winning the 2nd Division title and League Cup.
They did another double, winning the 1st Division championship and League Cup, in 2006, and were promoted to the Northern Premier League in 2007.
After leaving their home at the Wheatsheaf Ground to share with Newcastle Falcons rugby club at Kingston Park the club were promoted to the NPL Premier Division via the play-offs in 2009.
But off-the-field problems – particularly being asked to repay £65,000 in loans which they had received for the Wheatsheaf Ground – resulted in the club’s demise.
Newcastle Blue Star was reformed in 2018, and finished 3rd in their first season in the Northern Alliance Premier Division. Their short-term aim is to re-establish themselves as a Northern League club.
They are managed by former Newcastle United player Kenny Wharton, and recently appointed another ex-Magpie, Lee Clark, as director of football.
Consett’s second friendly will be a home game against local rivals Tow Law Town at Belle View Stadium on Tuesday 4 August, and we will also entertain Morpeth Town on Saturday 22 August.
Consett tasted defeat for the first time in pre-season in today’s final friendly against Morpeth Town – but will take plenty of positives from their 4-3 loss.
The Steelmen gave as good as they got for much of an incident-packed game against a team who will be playing two divisions higher than this season.
Although it was a friendly, both teams played it like a cup tie, and Consett manager Terry Mitchell will be delighted with some of the football his side played.
Morpeth, who won the Northern Premier League East Division title last season, went in front after just two minutes, when Sean Reid was allowed to carry the ball deep into the Consett half, and smashed a shot past Kyle Hayes from 20 yards.
On 31 minutes Consett levelled with a fine goal. Luke Carr‘s pass sent Darren Holden surging down the level, and his perfect return ball saw the No 10 sweep the ball past Morpeth’s trialist keeper.
Morpeth regained the lead in the 39th minute when Ben Sayer’s free-kick was headed down by Jeff Henderson at the back post, and Ben Harmison slammed the loose ball in from close range.
A minute later it was 2-2 as Consett equalised with another well-worked goal. Teenager Max Russell did well down the flank, and his cutback found Andrei-Vasile Ardelean, who fired home from eight yards.
On 52 minutes Morpeth got their noses in front again with an excellent solo goal from midfielder Ben Sayer, who danced through the Consett defence before finishing past Hayes.
Consett responded well, and on 66 minutes made it 3-3 through Darren Holden. Deployed again in a more advanced role, he advanced up the left and fired into the far corner from the edge of the box when the Morpeth defence stood off him.
The final goal of a pulsating game came in the 76th minute, when Jack Foalle grabbed the winner for Morpeth, curling a beautiful strike into the corner to make it 4-3.
- Full match report and more pictures to follow.
Consett’s next scheduled pre-season friendly, away to Tow Law Town on Tuesday 23 July, has been cancelled, after they informed us they were unable to field a team.
This would have left Terry Mitchell’s side with just one more game, v Morpeth Town at home on Saturday 27 July, before the season proper kicks off on a week later on Saturday 3 August.
However, Consett AFC Reserves have agreed to fill the void by playing a friendly against the first team at Belle View Stadium on Tuesday 23 July. It’s a 7.30pm kick-off , and entry will be FREE for all supporters.
The Reserves finished 8th in the North Division of the Durham County FA U23s Sunday League last season, but are hoping for a better campaign this time round after an influx of new faces.
Their ranks will be bolstered by players from last season’s Consett AFC Chiefs side, who won the U18s Premier Division of the Russell Foster Youth League.
The team, managed by Chris Kelman, has also reached two county cup finals in recent seasons, and it is hoped the current squad will, in time, produce more players to feed into the senior team.
They will hoping to follow in the footsteps of Chris Rogan, Adam Male, Michael Brown and Ross Coombe from the all-conquering U21s of 2016-17, who have more than 100 first-team appreances between them.
Consett gave visitors Workington a lesson in the art of taking their chances as they made it five pre-season games unbeaten at a blustery Belle View today.
The Steelmen ran out 3-0 winners against their BetVictor Northern Premier League North West Division visitors, despite being second-best in terms of possession for long spells of the game.
After a largely uneventful first half, Dan Hawkins gave Consett the lead three minutes before the break, spotting Workington keeper Jim Atkinson off his line and beating him with a wind-assisted lob from 40 yards.
With the wind at their back, Workington pinned Consett back for much of the opening 20 minutes of the second half, without really troubling their hosts.
But on 67 minutes Darren Holden, playing in a more advanced position than usual, made it 2-0 with a surging run from the left wing into the heart of the penalty area, where he slipped the ball past the advancing keeper, pictured.
The scoring was completed in the 84th minute when Arjun Purewal headed powerfully goalwards from a left-wing corner, and sub Michael Brown got the finishing touch for his fourth pre-season goal.
After the game, Purewal received the Specsure Cup, which will hopefully be contested annually between the clubs, from one of the club’s major sponsors, Zag Sharif of Consett opticians Specsure.
Consett are still unbeaten after four pre-season games – but had to make do with a draw in their latest friendly at Heaton Stannington tonight.
The Steelmen had the bulk of possession and the better chances, but the match at a rain-soaked Grounsell Park ended 0-0.
Calvin Smith had the best chance of the first half, but his well-struck effort from the edge of the box was turned onto the post by Stan keeper Jonny Ball.
Andrei Ardelean and Jermaine Metz also had chances before the break, but couldn’t hit the target, and Consett’s dominance was such that keeper Kyle Hayes was virtually a bystander.
The second half was a different story, and as the incessant drizzle became torrential rain at times, the game began to open up.
Five minutes into the second half a free-kick skidded in from the right and was cleared off the line by Consett skipper Arjun Purewal, and on the hour Hayes made an excellent reaction save from Stan sub Joe Kerridge.
The nearest the game came to a goal was in the 88th minute, when sub Michael Brown got on the end of an excellent cross from the left, only to be denied by a superb point-blank save by Stan’s second-half keeper Joe Brook.
Full match report & pictures to follow.
- Consett’s next game is at Belle View at 3pm on Saturday, 20 July, when they take on Workington, kick-off 3pm.
Consett made it three pre-season wins out of three today as they came from behind to beat National League side Gateshead 4-1 at Belle View Stadium.
The young Heed side took the lead on 14 minutes after a slick move down the right which saw Connor Smith’s low cross met by Mason Fawns to finish from close range.
But on 25 minutes Consett were level when Ali Alshabeeb ran on to Jake Stafford’s long pass, and kept his cool to finish past the keeper from 12 yards.
Six minutes before half-time the Steelmen took the lead, when Luke Carr picked up a loose ball 30 yards out and fired a venomous left-footed strike in off the post.
It remained 2-1 to Consett at half-time, and they thought they had a third on 58 minutes when Carr’s free-kick was headed down at the back post and a trialist finished from point-blank range, but the ‘goal’ was ruled offside.
On 72 minutes Consett did make it 3-1 when substitute Michael Brown was felled by Dabizas, and Carr stepped up to score with an audacious chipped penalty which sent the keeper the wrong way.
Then two minutes later Carr turned provider for Brown, who slammed the ball home from a pullback.
Consett could have had more, as Carr, Brown and Andre-Vasile Ardelean all had efforts well saved, but Gateshead could also have added to their tally too, as home keeper Kyle Hayes made a trio of good saves.