Consett increased their lead at the top of the Northern League 1st Division today with a good 3-1 win over fifth-placed Ryhope CW at a blustery Belle View Stadium.
Recent signing Dan Capewell got them off to a perfect start, heading home his first goal for the club from close range, pictured top, after Colin Larkin’s shot from a corner was blocked in the 7th minute.
But Ryhope showed their league position is no fluke by responding with an equaliser three minutes later, Danni Lay turning the ball in at the back post after a low-hard cross across the six-yard box.
Consett suffered another blow in the 15th minute when striker Scott Heslop limped off, to be replaced by Carl Lawson.
It was the substitute whose pass set up Luke Carr in the 41st minute to almost restore Consett’s lead, with the skipper’s effort curling just wide.
It remained 1-1 at half-time, but Consett, kicking with the wind behind them in the second half, didn’t have to wait long to make the breakthrough.
Carr whipped in a corner from the left and new centre-back Matthew Ridley marked his debut by climbing highest to head home from six yards.
Lawson hit a good half-volley just wide, and Carr had an effort superbly blocked by Matthew Wade after great work by Colin Larkin and Darren Holden.
Keeper James Winter denied Larkin a goal on the hour, spreading himself well to save, but there was nothing he could do when Consett did make it 3-1 in the 71st minute.
Larkin showed great workrate to win back possession and fed the ball through to Luke Carr, who cut inside a defender and buried his shot in the bottom corner.
Ryhope almost pulled one back when Lay’s chip came back off the post, with Kyle Hayes beaten, but Consett had two great chances to make the final scoreline even more emphatic.
First, Dale Pearson, on as a sub after missing the last three games through injury, set up Larkin, who brought a good save from Winter. Then Pearson himself was clean through, but rolled his effort the wrong side of the post.
When the final whistle went it was a well-earned three points for Consett. And with second-placed Thornaby losing at West Auckland, and North Shields on FA Vase duty, the Steelmen are now eight points clear at the top.
- Before the game, long-serving Consett player Calvin Smith received an award to mark his 400th appearance for the club in the recent away match at Newton Aycliffe.